First off, I guess you have to link to more stuff, generally be more informative, and probably say less (and yet more) in order to be considered a blog. So I shall consider this a journal, because with no readers and no real links, that’s pretty much what it is.
Second off (which you never hear, actually), we are having a little family drama and its playing out in my living room. We have no children, my husband and I. My family is all pretty distant or pretty well taking care of themselves. My only-child husband still has a father, though. His mama passed away a couple years ago and was a very tough blow for my hubs. The father-in-law, however, as it turns out, is as much like a child as a child would be. Well, except without all the cute and the home-schooling and the crafts.
Pops-in-law has gone and dug himself into a little financial ditch in the past two years. He was on the Financially Irresponsible track for the first year and a half -after Moms-in-law passed – and did a lot of damage with no assistance from anyone. And then he (somehow) met a 20-ish year old female who has taken him on a rather sizable ride. That crashed at our doorstep when we found out.
I should state that Pops-in-law is 83. Years. Old.
He drips from various orifices. He shuffles when he walks. He farts loudly and is seemingly unaware of it. He tells the same stories over and over and over again. He has trouble projecting his voice sometimes. He always has his cell phone on speaker, but he holds it up to his head anyway… you catching my drift? The man is old. He gets around fine – still drives, still walks & stands, is still continent and, from a distance appears completely functional. But it’s a lie. No, it’s not his advanced years or dementia or the A-word – it’s total irresponsibility driving his bus. You know, the one that crashed?
During his 40 year marriage to Moms-in-Law (a freakin’ saint, by the way), they had little debt, 3 credit cards between them, a paid-for house and 2 paid-for cars. They were a school teacher and a guidance counselor during their working years. They are patriots and Methodists in retirement. But ever since Moms passed, Pops has seen fit to open 12 more credit cards, buy (finance) a muscle car (that he can’t drive, tyvm), eat out in restaurants for every meal and generally throw away half of all that he has. Granted, little Vixen scammed him out of half of the half, but I can’t blame her too much, because after reviewing 6 boxes of random papers, it is CLEAR that Pops was headed here anyway. It’s like he has zero financial management skills. Plus, he is a very skilled liar. Bonus!
He has been carrying on with his floozie, or hooker, or friend, or adopted granddaughter, or whatever the hell she was, for several months, and has never breathed a word to us. We are at his house twice a week and speak to him every day, but neither one of us had a clue. I mean, I wouldn’t, of course, because he’s not my dad. I try not to pry. But still, how do you keep such a big secret for so long at his age? The answer is, of course, you can keep it forever unless you max out all of your credit cards, run out of money, and start buying your dinner with cash only after your credit cards are declined. That, my friends, is what tipped us off. Until all 14 cards were maxed, though, the only way to know would have been to dig, unprovoked, through all his papers.
Sadly, after we cut off her utilities, made Pops change his phone number and bank account, we thought he might not be safe at home, so we brought him to our house. Where he has proceeded to drive me entirely batshit crazy. We have a 2 bedroom house. It’s not like we’re overflowing with accommodations here. I mean, he can buy Vicky’s Secret undies and rent fancy cars and co-sign leases and keep big terrible secrets… but he can’t make his own damn sandwiches or do a dish. It’s a bit perplexing.
And also, I’m angry with him. I mean, he’s been given numerous opportunities to come clean, but he keeps up the lies. And he continues to try to hide things from us, even though the jig is entirely and irrevocably up. His gal has made herself scarce for fear of an arrest for exploiting an old man, so he definitely knows he was had, but clearly, he felt it was worth it at the time. Then again, I do not believe he knew just how deep the hole was that he was digging.
So here we sit – my Pops-in-Law and me, while my hubs works second shift and I cook his dad his meals. And listen to his rambling stories. And listen while he reads off all the school closings out loud every time there is storm even though neither one of has kids, knows kids who go to school, or find the closings in any way relevant to our lives… and when I’m not doing those things, I’m trying to wrap my arms and my brain around this giant financial mess, one piece of random paper at a time.
Life’s little surprises… always entertaining.
So I’ve searched the internet and found all kinds of stuff about abuse of the elderly. Financial exploitation being one form of abuse. And I know that he was abused. But I also know that he was 100% willing. And that he was already blowing all his money anyway. And the cops all say there is nothing he can do because they were all gifts. And they were because he signed every check and every credit card receipt. And the websites don’t say anything at all about what to do when your 83-year-old Father-in-law has a mid-life crisis and takes up with a 20-year-old prostitute and ruins his financial life. If you have any ideas, share them. For our part, we are doing what we can to explain to him where his behavior has landed him and to try to get him to right the bus. I am pretty sure, however, that if I put a credit card in his hand tomorrow, he would use it tomorrow. And no one has any advice about that. Nor can they tell me who is going to support him when he loses everything. Because we sure as shit can’t.
So there you go, interwebs. One for the pile.