February 22, 2021

Hawaii 5-Oh, how wonderful?

As anticipated, Lad fell off the good-behavior wagon a week after he got home. Shucks. Really, we knew it was coming. His bad-behavior isn't really awful, so there's that. It seems that stress makes him spiral. We're his punching bags, so yeah . . . taken some direct hits. Again, I can't stress enough that the current climate is nothing compared to what we endured over the summer. 

He got a new general manager at his dealership. A micromanaging type. Lad really liked the last guy, so the change irritated him.

He came home and described how the GM was trying to help him close a deal. Constantly asking him if he wanted help. 


Me:  SO DID YOU TELL HIM, WELL I TOLD MY CUSTOMER BUY THE FUCKING CAR YOU ASS WIPE. Was that the kind of language he was looking for?

One day Lad was leaving for work and he opened his mail and realized that a red light camera ticket doubled from $100 to $200. He was distraught. As he left the house he told me that he wouldn't do any of the testing (that we made him agree to complete) until Coach and I paid his unpaid toll bill (separate from the red light bill). 

Well, that wasn't our arrangement and I asked Lad to try to take some responsibility for the fact that he'd not paid a toll in 5 months. And, ya know - he has a long ass commute.

So, it went like that - him not coming home for 3 days, demanding things, breaking our agreement, insisting we give him his grandparents address so he could stay at their empty place since it is closer to work (that was part of our arrangement - YO, GET YOUR EVAL DONE AND YOU CAN STAY AT THEIR PLACE WHEN IT WORKS FOR YOU). Manipulating us. Or trying to. We didn't cave. 

What I did do, was call the ipass people to ask about Lad's bill. Like how much does he actually owe? 

Might I suggest, if you're ever in the mood for a frustrating conversation, call ipass. I'm pretty sure that's what they're there for. I can get you their number. You can tell them that Lad's grouchy-ass mother sent you, the one they spoke in circles with. 

The bills they send don't add up what is owed from prior months. Have you ever? So, Lad is confused. I mean, I'm confused too and I share the same reality as the general public. Can't say that for Lad, so how ideal was it for him to get a bill with a number on it - that had NOTHING to do with how much he really owed? A.prefect.storm.

I found out, please sit down if you have a heart issue, that Lad owes - seriously this might be shocking to your system . . . $3,409.  Well, that was last week - it's at least a few hundred bucks higher by now. Unfamiliar? If you don't pay within 14 days, then the rate goes up. 

Unthinkable. (not the 14 days part).

Totally not what I'm here to talk about, dang it - but it's the punch line to this here post, so let's roll forward and gloss over this horrid fact that just goes to show that our guy is not behaving in an accountable way. 

In case you are wondering, Coach and I are standing firm. It isn't always pleasant, but we are trying to deal with the unpleasantness while sticking to our guns. Even if Lad gets the testing done, no guarantee that he'll be receptive to the help he might need. *sigh*

Anyway, Coach forwarded me an email last week from the PT place he teaches classes for. He used to teach in person (remember when we went to Dallas, North Carolina, and Arizona, ah - the life), and now he's teaching from zoom one night a week. Not as much fun, because I'm not laying in the sun while he's teaching. 


I meant to start this post with GREETINGS FROM THE TUNDRA. Seriously, the SNOW and the COLD. Well, those two need to stop teaming up. We've had SO MUCH SNOW. 

Is it me, or does he look like Olaf?
I made this snowman with the tots.
Over the next few weeks, he looked like this . . . 

I seem to have dropped my glasses.

There are several inches on top of this.

Snow days seem to have died an untimely death here, because now kids can e-learn. Too much snow? That's OK, you can skip school - just hop on your laptop at home

What's the point of being a kid if you can't look forward to a snow day now and then? 

Oh, the email Coach forwarded:  WE'RE LOOKING FOR FACULTY FOR OUR HAWAII LOCATION (or PT college or something) . . . 

Coach's forwarded the email message to me with:  WANNA MOVE?

My response:  HELL YES!

Well, I wouldn't really want to move NOW, when I finally got my kitchen hood installed and Mary Ann's husband just used his snow blower to clear our driveway (really, he's very nice, still -this was an unexpected gift. My kids who were outside trying to move THE ENDLESS SUPPLY OF snow were TICKLED). 

But, oh my gosh. Hawaii. I've never been, but I hear it's kinda nice. That would be a helluva way to mark my 50th year . . . thus the title. The kids caught wind and they were like YES! Mini in particular. I was like, YEAH, FUN - BUT NOT HAPPENING.

Coach is a partner in his business here and he'd love to teach full time but he can't really switch gears right now. 

You'd all come visit though, right?

I emailed Coach a perk I thought of:  HEY, IF WE MOVE MAYBE THE IPASS PEOPLE WON'T BE ABLE TO FIND US. 

Later, I also made the realization that Hawaii might be my only chance to escape Irish dancing. No Irish dancing and a constant tan? We might have to re-think this. 


Nicole MacPherson said...

Ooooh I would move to Hawaii!!! I've been and it's literally paradise. Sorry about all that with Lad, it must be hard to stand firm on it but it's the best thing to do, I'm sure.

That snowman absolutely cracked me up. Poor guy looks so beaten down!

Kari said...

I am laughing so hard at your pain. I am such a bad friend. Actually, not at your pain but more at Olaf.

I cannot believe he owes I-Pass that much. That can't be right. Our state is so damn crooked. You do NOT pay that. I guarantee someone fudged those numbers. And WHY DO WE STILL HAVE A TOLL SYSTEM ON OUR ROADS??? Sorry, my winter aggression got the best of me.

Sending you all hugs and hula dances. HEY! Did you tell Mini about that?? She could competitive hula dance! ;)

Ally Bean said...

Definitely looks like Olaf. Hawaii is wonderful. We were planning on being there for Christmas 2020, but that didn't happen, now did it? Your toll road system sounds wacko. How could anyone owe that amount of money? You could build your own private road with that kind of dinero.

Kara said...

We went to Hawaii (Oahu and Big Island) for our 20th wedding anniversary. Of course, my husband managed to time the trip just right so that he could compete in the Spartan Hawaii trifecta. So while he raced for the weekend, I spent those days on the beach (he hates just hanging out on a beach). Hawaii is unreal. You don't believe how gorgeous it is until you see it in person. It is also outrageously expensive and the traffic in Honolulu is awful.

How far back do those unpaid tolls go? Is it like a year, or just a few months? Honestly, I'd be losing my shit over that. You are a better person than I, because I'd not be able to control my reaction to an almost $4000 AMERICAN DOLLAR toll bill.

Ernie said...

Nicole - Honestly, the Hawaii scenario is so tempting. And of course since that popped up, I'm hearing about it more. The infectious doctor expert I listen to every morning on my fav morning news program, shared a list of the states that are doing the best. Like Wyoming and Hawaii and others. Then he went on to say, WELL YOU KNOW, IN HAWAII THERE REALLY IS NO REAL REASON TO BE INDOORS. And I thought: You're killing me over here, KILLING ME!

Lad is tough to live with. He was racing out the door the other morning and was hollering at me to hurry up and finish the protein shake. Then he quickly poured it into a gi-normous cup (the kind from a sports venue). In his haste, he overshot the cup and spilled it all over the floor as I was busy putting the milk away, etc. Guess what? It was not his fault. He instantly said: WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS THING? WHY DOES IT POUR LIKE THIS? Um, I pour myself a glass EVERY morning - into a glass with a much smaller opening. Hmm, I guess it's just a riddle. *sigh*

Olaf is about 4 feet from my kitchen door and he is a regular source of entertainment. "OH, WHERE ARE MY GLASSES?" It's warming up this week. I think he will soon melt.

Anonymous said...

Yikes, that ipass bill definitely made me choke a little! I’ve been to Hawaii once for 10 days, it was beautiful and I would love to live there or come stay with you when you and Coach relocate haha, unfortunately Hawaii prices probably make the ipass look like a good deal.
Your snowman definitely has some Olaf resemblance, I can’t imagine bundling up so many littles to play in the snow! How nice of Mr. MaryAnn to help your shoveling kids out, maybe some day some of his niceness can rub off on her.... doesn’t sound likely, lol

Ernie said...

Kari - Um, 5 months of not paying a toll when you drive through 8 tolls 5 days a week. As in 8! It adds up. There are fines for being a slacker and not paying, you know. Plus you are not entitled to the regular rate when you don't bother to go in and pay your bill within the 2 week grace period. My stomach would hurt if I missed a few tolls and didn't pay them by the next day. That's just me.

I am not sharing competitive hula dancing suggestions with any of my offspring. I'm smarter than that. Also, the timing of a move is not right. Guessing my siblings would stop leaving me out of group texts and shit if I was a lifeline to a free stay in Hawaii. Just kidding . . . I wouldn't even invite them. ;)

Suz said...

Olaf is very, very sad. Cute, but sad.

Hawaii? I could get on board with that! I've never been, seems like it would be dreamy though. But Mary Ann would miss you terribly.

$3400? FOR TOLLS? IS Lad building new roads or something? Goodness. That really bites. I am glad you guys are holding your ground though; he has to be accountable.

I just went round and round with the city of Arlington, VA. Remember Lolo went to school there? we paid out the ass for her tiny apartment, paid out the ass for her schooling, and then we get a bill from the city about her car that was parked in her parking garage. (that we had to pay extra for) Tangible taxes for each year. 2200$ and she wasn't even there for most of it because of covid. I went round and round with them: Well she wasn't there because classes were cancelled and she came home. Them: But she still had her apartment? Me: yes, we couldn't get out of the lease. Them: well, you can't prove that she wasn't there with her car then. Me: Well you can't prove SHE WAS there.
Alas, we had to pay it or there would be criminal charges against her and coach since the car is in his name and she's going back into law enforcement and they frown upon you having criminal charges. MADE ME SO EFFING MAD.
Sorry, this comment just took a turn....

Anyhoo, I hope you guys can get back on track with Lad. Rather, I hope Lad can get back on track with YOU.

Ernie said...

Ally - We celebrate our 25th anniversary in August. With Yellowstone, Arizona, and possibly a mandated Dublin trip, I don't see Hawaii in the near future for a vacation. It's on my list though. I believe it's amazing. I don't think we can up and move there right now, but good to know it is a possibility for the future. If only Hawaii would host a major Irish dancing competition, right?

I got a good chuckle out of your suggestion that we could make our own road with that kind of funding.

Ernie said...

Kara - Coach is more of a "I need to find a shady spot" kind of guy, while I search for the sunniest spot on the beach. We are going to fly to Arizona this weekend, spoiler alert. Not really. I have nothing drafted about this trip yet. Anyway, we usually do these long weekend trip when he is teaching a class but he and I are just going somewhere. Together. I have no idea how he will kill the time, but I will be laying next to the pool.

The toll bill covers 5 months. See my response to Kari for reference for how his bill got out of control. It is mind-blowing.

Ernie said...

Anonymous - You make a good point. I did think about that to myself: isn't it really pricey in Hawaii? And to think of all the airfare to get me home to see my college guys or to get them and all of their closest college buds down to hand with us for spring break. Now that I think of it, this might me my only chance to be the cool spring break mom who invites everyone (because she's desperate to see her college kid).

I love the reference to 'Mr.' Mary Ann. You know the stereotypical guys in movies who run in circles around their bossy wives? Um, that's what the across the street scene is. Tank overheard her ordering him around on the driveway this summer and it made him shudder. He's nice. She's the center of the universe though, and we'd all do better to remember that.

Bundling those little guys up was exhausting. I pulled them on sleds. Made the snowman and kept putting on mittens that fell off. One guy was constantly in need of me putting him back up when he fell down. Funny thing, my kids were all milling around in the kitchen supposedly between classes. I was like: hey, who can spend 5 or 10 minutes outside with these guys? They vanished into thin air. I heard all of their zoom things pinging as they entered their classes. Timing.

Ernie said...

Suz - Yes, poor Olaf. He has become a pathetic character. We've enjoyed watching him wilt. Or lean. Or whatever it is he's doing.

We need to meet in Hawaii since we've both never been - sounds like a great location for my 51 is fun b-day party later this year, right?

The thing (well, it should be plural because I had much to say to the toll people - why could I not speak to a supervisor? This is not protected by hippa. I have his bills and all his info. I'm trying to get you your money - hello, McFly) I stressed to the toll people was WHY WOULD YOU CONTINUE TO LET SOMEONE DRIVE ON THE TOLL ROAD IF THEY OWED THAT MUCH. PULL HIM OVER- BECAUSE HE HAS BEEN PULLED OVER PLENTY - AND ARREST HIM. NO MORE TOLL ROAD FOR YOU, LAD.

That parking lot bill blows. How horrible. So pricey. And she wasn't even there. Yikes. That place would have a photo of me with my phone number written under it hanging on their wall, because they'd be all about 'NO MORE ACCEPTING CALLS FROM THIS LOONEY BIN.'

Lad totally needs to start accepting responsibility for his stuff. Definitely part of his dysfunction, but I need someone to TELL HIM THAT HE HAS A DYSFUNCTION AND THEN TELL HIM HE NEEDS HELP. Apparently that should not be me. Lots of tongue biting going on here as it is hard to not scream this information in his face. There, now my response took a turn. Your turn.

Charlie said...

Yes, I’ll come and visit you in Hawaii :) Well done for not caving with Lad, that’s got to be so tough, but totally see your reasoning. We don’t really have toll roads here, so I can’t believe how easy it is to rack up that kind of debt. I know of people who’ve done that with unpaid parking tickets though, and once you get into that it’s easy for the costs to just spiral.

Pat Birnie said...

So sorry to hear that Lad's behaviour has deteriorated, but we all know things don't get magically better overnight. We wish! If I could go back in time, I'd love to be better at not engaging with rude surly teens. I suspect ignoring and not responding would be healthier for me & frustrate the heck out of them - but that's a hard skill to learn. And yikes that toll bill. It's so hard not to bail our kids out. hang in there guys. My husband has always been unable to say no to his youngest. The guy is close to 40 with 3 kids and still constantly calls his dad to borrow money. It's so much now, that we actually have it written in our will to be deducted from his portion when the time comes. (I have matured! I do not let it get to me anymore:) Be Strong!!

Ernie said...

Charlie - I cannot believe how much he ran up his toll bill either, but WHY OH WHY are the toll people letting him continue to drive on the dang road and if they cannot provide someone with an ongoing, cumulative bill, how can they expect to be paid. Oh, I could go on. Communicating with someone in that office was beyond confusing. I asked the woman 3 times what step she wanted him to take - like get a transponder to connect to his account and her response completely fell short of making any sense. At all. I finally just acted like I knew what she was talking about.

If we move to Hawaii - you will definitely be on the guest list. (Don't hold your breath though - don't think we're going there . . . I do have an amazing collection of sundresses though. Just saying.)

Ernie said...

Pat - Oh your husband's son . . . how frustrating. Coach and I talked about it again today. Like, we want someone to tell him about the elephant in the room. There is SOMETHING going on and you need to get help. My fear is that the doc he is seeing is not giving him a legit neuro psych evaluation so that might sort of stall any progress we hope to make.

A yogurt fell out of the fridge when he opened it the other day. Lid popped off and spilled on the floor. He wiped it up, but barely. There was white yogurt smeared across the kitchen floor in front of the fridge. I had to ask him more than once to finish cleaning it up. His response is that it wasn't his fault that it fell out. EVERYTHING IS SOMEONE ELSE'S FAULT. It is mind blowing how he doesn't know how to respond to something like that. Just clean it the hell up. No one said you blatantly threw it on the floor. It happened. Total dysfunction and yet trying to tell him that he is struggling with total dysfunction would be like trying to convince an alcoholic in denial that he is an alcoholic. Makes for a very frustrating living environment. Hawaii is calling for me, I must go. Now!

Beth Cotell said...

That bill is jaw-dropping! Sorry to hear he's backsliding, but I guess you knew it was going to happen. Praying he goes to get the testing and will accept help.

Ernie said...

Beth - Yes, the toll bill is staggering. He is supposed to sign his hippa so that Coach and I can talk to the doctor. At that point, I hope that I can make this guy understand the kind of testing we want done. I appreciate your prayers very much.

Anonymous said...

I’m so sorry to read things have been rough lately but bright spot (maybe?) stress really brings out your funny! This post was hysterical! And the comments were a hoot too. So thank you for sharing your pain in an incredibly delightful way. Your description of calling for the toll road bill....Oh my.

Also that toll bill amount is INSANE! I know you explained how but but but HOW? Soon the bill will be greater than a year’s lease for a room with a commute that is *not* on the toll road! :-)

Your Olaf! I can’t even he is so funny....

Over the past year I’ve occasionally thought of moving. Hopped on the internet to look at stats for things like houses, etc. Hawaii def made the list! Glad to know I’m not alone even if it is just dreaming! (Actually I know I’m not alone bc Hawaii currently experiencing a Housing Sales boom if internet can be trusted lol.)

Hope things get better, warmer, soon! Hug Olaf for me!

Ernie said...

Maddie- In a not so sad turn of events, Olaf's head fell off today. This is happy news because it means the snow is MELTING. Why, you ask? Because it is warming up. Just in time for time for me to fly to Arizona and get a tan and come back to a vision of spring on the horizon.

Yes, the toll thing. Don't get me started on how just because the world says a kid is an adult, it doesn't mean that he is ONE. I don't say stuff to my folks, but today my mom asked me if Lad would be home while we are in AZ. Um, anyone's guess. I told her sometimes he stays with friends. Then I described how he NEVER got his diploma in the mail and his school doesn't recognize me as the person who could straighten it out and give him his address for them to send it to, and how he had an issue with some tolls (and here I am, lying during lent) and how they wanted Lad to give permission to let them talk to me EVEN THOUGH I AM THE RESPONSIBLE ONE WITH THE MOOLA. This is (in part) why I don't call my mom often. So afraid I am going to slip up as the middle child who is living a double life and harboring a fugitive from the toll authorities. Suddenly I feel like I might be staying in Arizona. No worries, I can blog from there.

Bibliomama said...

I am shocked and outraged AND confused by the bill - I didn't think you could get through a toll without paying. I have had enough aggravation just trying to get information on the Presto card we use for public transit here, though, so I imagine it is extremely frustrating - the number on the bill isn't what you actually owe? What?
I did love Hawaii. It was like hanging around in a beautiful fireplace surrounded by gorgeous flowers.

Ernie said...

Ali- Yes you can drive through a toll without paying. First of all the bins that collect change are not open during covid. Most people who use tolls a lot have a transponder thing that is tied to a credit card or bank account. Lad did not get himself a transponder so it just takes a picture of his license plate. The bills do not reflect the amount that has not been paid from prior months. I would not have believed it if I had not seen these bills show up at my house. People SAVE YOURSELF THE POSTAGE . . . all they do is mail us crap. Usually two envelops a day. And then they won't let me talk to a supervisor to work it out. Aggravating by definition.