Back from a visit: Update

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Lil, Oct 22, 2018.

  1. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Jabber and I visited our son in Colorado this past week. It was nice to visit because, well...Colorado. I love it there. I've always loved mountains. The elevation did interesting things to our systems, that's for sure, and it was snowing the day we arrived, but the second day it cleared up and got up into the 40's and 50's and it was beautiful to go hiking and sight-seeing.

    We arrived to learn our son is once again unemployed. :( His fiancée and one other roommate are working, but he and another friend living there (previously his roommate here, who we were most dismayed to see had moved to Colorado and in with him) are not. He said the restaurant had cut his hours to two days a week and then let him go...lack of work. We have reason to believe that's true, as we went to dinner there and the waitress mentioned to him she was only working two days a week.

    I mentioned, probably too many times, places he could apply. Unfortunately, a lot of places there drug test, even with the legal weed, and he won't pass a drug test. So...I'm sure he'll find something. It might help if he didn't look like a slob. He's still the same long-haired, unshaven, baggy black clothes and stupid beanie-wearing person he was here. Why do I expect that to change? Every time we see him, a year having passed, I expect his style to have evolved a tad. The only evolution is longer hair! It's past his shoulders now.

    On the upside, he didn't ask for any money, other than to inform us if we wanted to go out to dinner, etc., that they were completely broke. So of course we paid for everything, but we would have at least offered even if they were both working and doing well.

    Every fiber of my being wanted to give him money. I wanted to give him $40 for his computer payment or $100 to go toward the rent. I wanted to take them grocery shopping and stock up. I didn't. His statement on our last morning there that he was listing his "grow-tent and grow-lights" for sale to raise money to pay his bills, helped me squash that urge. I can't say what I'll do if, in 3 weeks when rent is due, he calls and asks for money. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

    I really don't like that his old roommate has moved there. He is apparently looking for work, but he never worked when he lived here and left our son struggling to pay the rent. He says (according to our son) he wants to find work and make some money and then return here to try to get custody of his toddler (who may or may not be in state custody now) and that he had nowhere to live here so moved there to start fresh. I don't like it. It's not my business. I don't think son's fiancée will put up with mooching long though. At least this is not one of the people our son moved to get away from.

    On a brighter note, looks like his fiancée's family and godparents etc., will foot the bill for the wedding. We don't have any kind of a date for that, but she did say her mom was wanting to take her shopping and her dad had said something about the venue. Apparently, it's quite a matter of pride and tradition in Mexican families to pay for such things. That's good. She is as lovely and responsible as ever and I continue to wonder what on earth she sees in my son. LOL!

    So...long story short, living in the land of legal weed seems to agree with my son. I can't say I approve, but he seems to be adulting as well as can be expected. I guess that's enough.
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    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hi Lil. I would not like it either about the lost job. But consider the type of jobs these are that he gets. They are by nature unstable and temporary. But the thing is this: Your son is capable of so much more. At some point this potential will be tapped and he will demand more of himself, and seek better.

    I would worry about the friend living with them, too. And I would not like it. I remember when this friend was laying around that other apartment, when son was working. Is fiancée strong enough where she will put her foot down? It would be one thing if this friend from the past was contributing, but quite another to be freeloading, with her carrying him. I would hate it. Why should she permit this? What does Jabber say?

    I do not understand much about why people are drawn together as a couple. In my young adulthood I believed that I should want to be with a man who was highly successful, a good catch. Good looks, confidence, sense of humor, charm, self-confidence, were all important, but all "surface."

    Now I have a completely different idea of my needs. I believe I choose based upon the ability to deeply trust a person; the wanting to be near to them, and not leave; the deep caring for their welfare and wanting to protect it; feeling safe and protected; enjoyment of their company; not wanting to be without them. Ever. It is more about staying power and sticking power. Even if bad things come up, you don't want to leave. It is almost less about the positives and more about the forcefield that keeps you adhered to one another.

    If I think about it this way, it is not about attributes it is about energy, the energy that one coupling generates for the two people, between them and inside of each of them. It seems clear that your son wants to be with her and she wants to be with him, on some deep level, independent of the "surface" stuff. But there are realities here. They are moving towards marriage which involves a future and mutual dependency.

    Son needs to up his game. I agree. Son needs to step up. He needs to see that he is responsible for and to his fiancée. This is what personal growth is in a relationship, I guess. The awareness that a situation calls for more, and the commitment to do it. He is now in a realm where he needs to be husband material. We will see how he handles this.
  3. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Jabber says, and I agree, that it's really none of our business. :unsure: They are all adults and well, he's not on the lease, so they can kick him out. That's what happened to the last 4th person in the apartment. He worked, but was just a terrible roommate...demanding, entitled, an utter slob - to the point that the other roommate who was supposed to share the bedroom preferred to sleep on the couch! I don't know if they finally told him to leave or he just left, but they were glad to see the back of him. I do think (hope) that son's fiancée is a strong enough person to put her foot down.

    But in the end, it's not our circus, not our monkeys.

    This was the longest he'd held a job for a while...most of the year. I'm hoping that he eventually finds a job he's got some actual interest in and things improve. But again, up to him. We'll see I guess.
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  4. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Yes, I said its not our business and it isn't. That being said, I'm not happy about it. I've said MANY times that if something were to happen and I lost my job today, I'd be working by next week, even if it was only flipping burgers till I found something better. And while I was flipping burgers, I'd still be job hunting on my time off. To our son, fast food is the last resort of jobs and has made it fairly clear that even applying for those jobs isn't an option till all other options have been exhausted.

    As for the "friend"...he says he's trying to get himself together to go back and get custody of his child. This is a man in his early 30's who's never really been gainfully employed and has been kicked out of all possible residences of family and friends BECAUSE he's never been gainfully employed and is happy to lounge around mooching off of others. Lil says her estimation of him went up a notch when he made the statement about getting custody of his child. Sorry, but all I see is a father who loves his child so much he moved two states away instead of finding work nearby. I've heard this song and dance entirely too many times from offenders who talked their asses off about improving their lot in life but NEVER did anything about it and then had the gall to :censored2: about how "The System" failed them and that their failure was someone else's fault, not their own.

    Sorry, in a bit of a mood this morning and will get off the high horse now. Needless to say, I aint buying the crap he's selling. And yes, I do believe she is strong enough to put him out.
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  5. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    No. I said he went up a notch when Son and Fiancee told us he calls every night to check on his child. That is more than a lot of guys do. I totally agree, if he wanted custody, all he had to do was find a job and a place to stay. Given what I have heard of his baby mama, it would be pretty easy to get the state to favor him over her.

    But let's face it - my estimation had nowhere else to go but up.

    As for our were WAY more optimistic in the truck on the way home.
  6. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Good point. I couldn't remember exactly how you had phrased it.

    Still optimistic. Just not happy with his priorities. Also, refer back to the whole I'm in a mood thing.
  7. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member


    But at least he's willing to sell his "growing supplies" to keep his computer. Granted, that may be to play, but it's better than the other thing.

    This growing up thing is taking a really long time. :( At his age, I was back in law school having lost my mother over the summer, working part time, and getting ready for the Bar Exam.

    Granted, I was living off student loans and paying my MasterCard by taking a cash withdrawal and depositing it in my checking account, then writing a check to the same card I'd taken the cash withdrawal from. Yep, I paid my MasterCard with my MasterCard - now that's resourceful. ;)
  8. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I feel like I was bad-mouthing my son here and I don't mean to. He's basically a good guy I think. I have a feeling he's the kind that does sweet things, like pick a flower or bring her breakfast in bed, he's openly affectionate - which I'm sure he got from example of Jabber and me - and that he generally treats her well. She's clearly crazy about him. I hope we've raised a man worthy of that...or if he isn't now, that he continues to grow into it.
  9. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Well glad you had a nice visit for the most part.

    I agree Lil, the shaggy DA thing is just nasty. I hate everything about it. But as you said, not much you can do.

    I also agree on the mooch friend. I hope they gave him some type of timeline.

    I lost both of my parents by the age of 17 and I could have been a pregnant druggie and felt sorry for myself but I rose above. In fact if my parents were alive to see how far I've come on my own they would be shocked. I guess that is the difference between many millenniums and us!

    I have a somewhat strong opinion of what my kids do. I would worry the fiancee would not like friend there. I probably would have said something subtle to that effect....and I would not care if I was out of line or he didn't like it. Refer back to "subtle". Dudes can be dudes but there's a lady there now!!

    I worry so much about when our J comes home next month. I hope he doesn't make me want to tell him what to do because I don't want to do that any longer! I just hope he does what he needs to do. Boundaries is all I can think of.

    All in all though your son is adulting in his own way!
  10. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This is what I think. You said it beautifully.

    Your son Lil, might be a lot like you in terms of character and constancy. Underneath the shaggy effect.
  11. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    We've lived the same life, Lil.
  12. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    And THAT is SO hard! When they are in your house, it's SO hard to take a step back and not tell them how to live. Last time our son was in our home I swear, it was all I could do to not tell him to eat and to sleep and to bathe and to brush his teeth! He was paying "rent" at the time and still had such a struggle. The parent/child dynamic is hard to avoid.

    It is MUCH easier to take that mental step back when they are two states away.

    Fiancée was there first. I'm pretty sure he wouldn't be there if she hadn't been cool with it since they lost one of the people paying rent. I'm just finger-crossing that he gets work and pays his share. The rent is steep, but very doable with 4 people splitting the cost.
  13. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    This could describe my eldest. Except he does not have a child, thank God. He maintains low-end jobs for a few weeks or months at a time when he is absolutely out of options, but if he can get away with not working and find a way to avoid freezing or starving he will take the easy temporary out every time. Sigh.

    This could also describe my eldest, except he is bald now. I do not understand why he won't take care of himself or try to present a decent appearance. I got him a suit to wear for his sister's wedding and he cleaned up so nicely! But ...we've reverted back to baseline now.

    It sounds like the visit went pretty well, all things considered. Selling the grow set up is probably a good sign. I agree that its best to stay out of their decisions on their financial and domestic arrangements. As much as I hate to play into the old "a woman can fix him" trope, it sounds like his fiancee is a strong woman and good for him. And also has solid family supports. I hope he continues to grow into more responsibility and finds a job soon. My daughter in law has been the best thing ever to happen to my younger son, N. They got married VERY quickly, and I had my doubts, but she is strong and lovely and seems to keep him on a steady course. She is a refugee from a war-torn country and puts up with ZERO shenanigans. I talk with her more than I talk to him now - we've gotten very close, even though they are across the country. And fatherhood has been a huge incentive for N as well. You never know when things will start to click. He is in a trade apprenticeship now and doing well. I've become a big advocate of trade schools and apprenticeships. These are solid skills that are in big demand, are highly transferable across regions, and aren't going to be outsourced overseas. For the most part, these aren't going to be jobs that are automated, either - at least in the near to medium term. I would love to see my eldest follow his brother's example here.

    It is hard to know what draws couples together. But years ago my sister said something beautiful about my brother in law I have not forgotten. They had a lot of ups and downs, but she said, "if the world were coming to an end tomorrow, he's still the person I would want by my side holding my hand." That has become my metric for a strong relationship. Do I trust this person enough that I would want them holding my hand at the end of the world? Do I think they would be a comfort or a hindrance in the ultimate crisis? I want all of my children to find the person they would want "at the end of the world."
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  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This is so beautiful, Elsi. And true.
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  15. You are WINNING, Lil! Your son has started "adulting", has a responsible girlfriend who loves him, treats her well, and is openly affectionate! This is great news! Please go celebrate, Lil!
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  16. Oh...and congratulations to you, Lil, for not offering your son any money. That's always very hard.
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  17. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    Sorry I don't know your history. Just one thought as an outsider...perhaps you might want to approach the girl's family to find out the wedding traditions for the groom's family. Not suggesting that you give money to your son but that you indicate to both him and the fiancee that you accept their union, her family traditions and are hopeful for their future together. Whether is the rehearsal dinner, flowers, tuxes, etc, if you can afford it perhaps its a worthwhile gesture.
  18. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    We have no issue with helping, we're just not in a position to spend 10+k on a wedding. We're waiting to see what her mom settles on as she's been advocating HUGE wedding while her daughter wants something small.
  19. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Great news, Lil and Jabber! I'm sure you are very proud and happy. It sounds like his fiancee is very good for him. I think it is a wonderful thing when our off-the-rails children find someone or something that makes them care enough to want to get back on track.
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  20. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I am still happy for you and your son. He eill get another job. I am so excited about the wedding.