My oldest son just started at the community college last week. Yay.
After a summer spent trying desperately to get a job, he got one, pumping gas at the local Chevron. Again, yay.
He hated the job almost instantly, but he’s never worked before. I was certain it would be a shock to his system, and I was right. Still, he’s hanging in there. Getting up at 4:50 a.m. 3 days (in a row) a week to work 8 hours pumping gas. And then on Friday’s (the oh-so-coveted Friday!) he is at work until 10:30 p.m. Which kind of sucks for him since he’s right back at work Saturday morning at 6, and therefore can’t “hang out” with his buddies after work — sucks, but hey, life is not always easy. And while he complains periodically that all he does is “stand around” at this job, I have reminded him time and again, they are PAYING him to “stand around,” and he should be grateful. He’s trying.
I’m extremely proud of him for a number of reasons, not the least of which is he hadn’t flat out asked me for money in quite some time. Two nights ago he asked if there was something he could do for a little cash (he doesn’t get paid until Friday). He picked up dog shit in the back yard (his little brother was overjoyed since it’s his regular job) and then mowed both my front and back lawns. I gave him $45. While it’s true the youngest would have picked up the shit for free, as part of his chores, he doesn’t do quite as good a job as his older brother – so for the pick-up and mowing, I considered that a bargain. Have you seen my 200 pound dog?
I was pretty proud, happy and content.
Then last night the boy tells me that he thinks he needs to quit school (already) and get another job. Not a different job, ANOTHER job. Why? Because, it seems, his father, the poor victim that he is, is flat broke and really needs some monetary help. Um, WTF?
The man who quit his job (or got fired) in February because they didn’t know what they (the bosses) were doing, and treated him poorly on top of it. The man who hasn’t done much looking for a job in the past 7 months because he’s getting unemployment and apparently that means “vacation” to him. The man who smokes 3 packs of cigarettes a day. The man who not too long ago bought an Audi TT. The man who gets blonde highlights in his hair every other month. The man who buys a $5,000 Les Paul Guitar for himself instead of a car, as promised, for his son on his birthday . . . . THIS is the man who needs some monetary help from his 18-year-old son at the expense of the boy’s higher education.
[Note: the previous paragraph is all speculation since I have zero communication with the ex-husband. The speculation, however, comes from a combination of my 23 year history with him, what I have witnessed, and things my boys have told me.]
I don’t hate my ex-husband. Well, not ALL the time. But I certainly hate his selfishness. Not sure what to do about this – not sure there is anything I CAN do about this. It’s a fine line to walk, but I know it’s not my son’s responsibility to support his father well before his father is in diapers.