Sunday, July 27, 2014

The $400 Lesson

About 13 years ago we met this group of guys in a band that were immensely talented and right out of high school.  We quickly became friends and hung out quite a bit. They even played mine and Brian's joint bachelor/bachelorette party.
One of the guys was Shaun. He was a super talented guitar player, hilarious smart ass, and after a while was like a brother to Brian and I. He moved in with us as a roommate and we had a blast together.
He moved out for about eight months and moved back in while I was nine months pregnant with Hayden.
Right after I had the boy and was getting used to taking care of a new baby Shaun had moved his girlfriend into his room without talking to us, and they were causing HUGE messes and not cleaning up after themselves. Also, Shaun starting taking pills. His attitude and his respect for everyone completely changed with the pills; a lot of back stabbing, disrespect and lying. We tried to talk to him about everything but he didn't give a crap what we thought and conversations turned to arguments and he moved out.
Our bands still played shows together occasionally over the next few months but not without him making rude remarks and being a real dick to us. Soon thereafter we heard that his girlfriend broke up him, he was kicked out of his band and he got fired from his job.

Lets fast forward now to two weeks ago.  We hadn't seen Shaun in eight years. He had reached out last year via phone and facebook telling us he had been through some shit and wanted to come visit us in Vegas soon but he didn't follow up with it. But two weeks ago he reached out to me via facebook and said he was about to be homeless and needed some help. I immediately offered to get him a bus ticket and get him here. It took him two extra days due to him having issues like "having a seizure while getting off the bus and hurting his knee causing the driver to make him go to the hospital" and "not being able to get on the second bus because thats same bus driver had reported him to security."

So as soon as he got here we hugged and listened to his stories of all this bad shit and crap luck he had. Most of it seemed like he had some moments of bad judgement and had a few bad friends that had attributed to the issues. He also seemed really appreciative of the time he had lived with us before and had missed that over the last eight years.
We had a friend that could get him a job right away and we started the process he needed to get an id.  But for a week he sat around the house not wanting to work, not wanting to go anywhere with us or get the paperwork done to finish the process. He also didn't shower, brush his teeth and drank all the alcohol we had in our freezer.
Sunday we had our son's birthday party. When we returned Shaun was belligerent drunk. He went upstairs to his room and we heard him fall or drop something super heavy. We tried to check on him fearing he had a "seizure" which he had claimed to have often. He didn't have a seizure but had made the room a mess and couldn't even stand up.
The next day when I got home from work I tried to talk to him and asked out of respect for us trying to help him that he get off his ass, stop getting belligerent drunk, and start helping himself.
That night at like 9pm we heard a huge crash from his room. When Brian checked on him he  was drunk again, had taken a bunch of advil pm and had thrashed the room even further completely destroying a whole bookcase with stuff from our wedding on it. He also thrashed our bathroom.
Brian had reached his breaking point and told him he was done here and that we would be taking him back to the bus station in the morning.
So at 7:45am the next morning I gave him $200 and dropped him off at the bus station.

So my $400 lesson= Never helping out a former friend again. 
-$150 for the bus ticket here from Washington
-$50 for his rushed birth certificate (charged but he never completed the process so I paid for nothing)
-$200 for him to leave our house.

We figured out after he was gone that he had been drinking rubbing alcohol on top of regular alcohol. He left some pretty gnarly dirty clothes stashed in our guest room, thrashed the room, and lied to us about a lot of stuff.
He's not the first friend we tried to help that took advantage and let us down but he is the last.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Truly out in the desert

 Our definition of family has changed a lot in the almost fifteen years Brian and I have been together. 

When we first met I was close to my grandma, uncles, and aunts and young cousins. Brian spoke to his family quite often on the phone but hadn't seen them in years. When we moved in together we didn't really see our families all that often but then they all (mostly) came out for our wedding.

Once we had our son we got a little closer to our family and I tried to get us out to see Brian's at least every year for 4 years straight on top of making efforts to see my mom and stepdad as often as possible. My father and I have had a rocky relationship and sometimes we're close and sometimes we're not. He has got to spend the most time with our son but will soon be away.

Currently we are far from most of our family. My mom and stepdad live in Florida, my dad is close here in Las Vegas but is moving back to California soon, Brian's family is all in Washington and the rest are pretty distant.

Our son doesn't have the traditional sense of family. He isn't close to cousins or aunts and uncles. He doesn't get to see his grandparents as often as he should. I worry at times about this distance from family and the effect it will have on him especially as an only child. Both Brian and I wanted more for him than the distance we had.

Our family has been reformed to include our closest friends. Unlike family; friends come and go. Some stick around through the ups and downs of life, some are fair weather friends. Babysitters also come and go. Currently my 17 year old brother watches our son on show nights or nights out and he is the closest family member Hayden has. They get along great and I believe they mutually enjoy hanging out. But my brother will be gone next month living in California.
I'm a little heart broken that the bond will be broken and am starting to feel like we are truly out in the desert on our own.

Don't take your crazy family for granted no matter what your definition is.