Sunday, November 11, 2012

Suddenly I Remembered Patty (part 2)

It was moving day and I had hired "Two Men and a Truck", the franchise, to do the move for us, mostly because they advertised to be cheap. They weren't. After they have your "stuff" on their truck, you're pretty much at their mercy, regardless of the estimate, which turned out to be just an imaginary number, that I WISHED they had charged me. I was moving the contents of a 4 bedroom house, that was 1760 sq. ft., into a 3500 sq. ft. house with 5 bedrooms. Somehow my meager household goods got lost in the new house and I was anxious for Patty to fill the void. A couple of days later, a U-Haul arrived and backed into the driveway. It was moving day for Patty. We all helped her carry her furnishings into the house, Patty didn't bring any helpers, just Brad and I. 

Patty had a three year old daughter named Stephanie, that was the cutest little girl I'd ever seen, but what an attitude? She was so spoiled, that there was hardly a chance of bringing her back to reality. It probably seems odd to hear a grown man speak that way about a mere baby, but this little girl was just horrible! She had been tossed into daycare from birth on and had little human interaction. Stephanie and Alex each got their own rooms and Patty bunked with me. One morning, Patty asked me to sit with Stephanie while she had her cereal at the breakfast table and I complied. Stephanie was playing with her bowl of Coco Puffs and I told her to be careful or the cereal would spill. That's when this wonderful child just looked me straight in the eye and without looking at what she was doing, just dumped the bowl up-side-down, pouring it's contents onto the white carpeting. Charming, right?

Brad and I had a tradition of going into Phoenix for Chinese food every Sunday afternoon. When Patty joined us, we included her and her children, naturally. Patty suggested we invite her Mom and Dad along as well. I wasn't going to say no, so when we got to their house to pick them up, there sat Mom, Dad, her sister Cindy who had just been released from prison for embezzlement and her younger brother Joey, who was about Brad's age, but had dropped out of high school and was attending night classes. I recall Brad asking him how many nights a week he went to classes and he recited touching his thumb to his fingers, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday........Four! Brad and I simultaneously bit our lips!

So we all went out for Chinese food and that was nice to have family around for once. Then the check came and no one reached for it. Doug, Patty's dad went immediately to the bathroom and stayed there for quite some time. I looked at Mom, who immediately needed to freshen up and that left Patty, who I knew was always broke. This became a game for Brad who kept looking at me and laughing. At the time I was driving one of those really big Mercedes and I watched as the 9 of us climbed into it, making it look like a low rider. We drove home.

It was quickly becoming Christmas time and Patty's 2 older children had come for the holidays, along with other nieces and nephews and brothers and sisters, Mom and Dad were Catholics. Mom was of Dutch descent and loved the old Dutch traditions and loved to cook their old favorites, like homemade mushroom soup. Mom took a screen right out of the window and put cut up mushrooms on it and placed the whole thing out in the backyard in the sun to dry them. (along with the flies that landed on them and the dog running around kicking up dirt) She also made other favorites, that I knew I wouldn't be trying. One tradition that came to mind was passing a large raw onion around the table and everyone taking a bite out of it and cheering the others as they did so too. They all teased me when I didn't partake.

By this time Patty and I were not getting along so well and I suggested that she stay with her folks while her older 2 kids were in town. One evening I got a call from her older daughter, she was about 12 and a charming little girl. She was crying because she said she got a call from the police saying that her Mom had been arrested and was in jail. There were no adults around at Mom and Dad's house. I assured her it was just a prank call and the police would not give that information to a 12 year old child. I started making calls and found out it was all true! Patty had been pulled over for expired tags and was arrested for outstanding warrants. One for a speeding ticket she had never paid and the second writing a bad check and never making it good. 

Patty called me and begged me to come down and bail her out, it took $2000 in cash. No one she knew could come up with that much money. I had just sold a car and had that much in the house that day. I rushed downtown and bailed her out of jail. Not knowing the protocol of bailing someone out of jail, I let Patty handle the finances. She had been arrested prior it turns out. One of the questions that you have to answer when posting bond is, who should the money be returned to when the bond was satisfied. Patty, being a shrew, put HER name in that spot and I never saw the 2 grand again. Expensive lesson.

Here's one last thing I just remembered about Patty'and her family. One morning I got a call from Patty's Mom. She was at work after getting a ride from a co-worker. Her battery was dead in her car and her husband, Doug was useless. She asked me if I could help her get a new battery. She had left the keys under her seat and the car was unlocked. I woke up Brad and the two of us went to their house on our first service call. We jump started her car and drove it to an auto parts place to get a new battery installed, then drove it back to her house and parked it in front, leaving the bill for the battery on the front seat. It took all morning. Several weeks had gone by and I realized that Mom never thanked me and never paid me for the battery. I casually mentioned it to Patty and she replied, "Oh, she won't pay you, that's just how Mom is"! Then to appease me, she told me it would be okay to put it on her bill! The one that she had no intentions of paying either. Including the bail money, Patty owed me about $4000. I didn't have any expectations of ever getting that money back, so I didn't feel taken advantage of. Shortly after that I asked Patty to move out and she did. I never found out if she ever finished paying for those boobs or were they repossessed?

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