Crazy Is as Crazy Does
I’ve been called a lot of names before by people who barely know me on the internet. One of them is “crazy”. But after the last few months, boy do I understand just how uninformed those people are.
Some backstory. A few months ago, my oldest daughter’s best friend who lives just about a mile down the road came over banging on our door. I honestly thought someone was breaking in and I instantly went for my firearm because I’ve never had someone bang on the door like that before and the only emotion I could think was behind it, was anger and people aren’t very nice when they’re angry and I don’t put up with any bullshit on my property when it comes to my family’s safety.
I went to the door and saw that it was my daughter’s best friend. She was in tears, her clothes were – well – not right. I put the firearm away and opened the door and she lunged at me like a toddler terrified of a bad storm. I’m purposely going to withhold her name, but let me tell you, that’s never happened to me before by someone that was not my own child.
Her explanation was that she was abused and never wanted to return home. Again I’m going to leave out the nature of this abuse and such. How in the hell could any normal human being say no? I honestly didn’t question her, my daughter is 17, her friend was 18 and legally she could leave her house and go where ever she wanted. She did know that our house was a safe-zone and she knew I was heavily armed. Again, I do realize I should have done some more vetting of what was going on, but I agreed to let her stay for as long as she needed.
Now, some things didn’t really add up for me. She claimed that things were getting abusive, but her mother claimed it was lies. But then she got her mother on video backing up some of her claims and then got a video of her mother destroying her room in retaliation of her leaving and claiming that she had burned all of my oldest daughter’s friend’s property including medicines, clothes, etc.
Then I learned this all started over a cell phone. Now, I keep an app on my kid’s cell phones and they have a very finite amount of screentime they can use before the phone locks them into just dialing mom and dad or 911. Also, if they don’t complete a chore, that’s an hour they lose each day for the week. If they don’t complete their homework, that’s another 2 hours they lose and if they’re failing a class – oh they get no screentime at all.
Let’s say that none of my kids have any attachment or “addiction” to their cell phone so the claim that this all started over a cell phone was absolutely befuddling to me – alien even. But I started to understand a little more over the next few days of her staying at our house. For the first couple of days after about 3 hours of us agreeing to allow her to stay with us, she walked around the house pacing back and forth with ear-buds in her ear and talking to her boyfriend who lives about 2 hours away who moved last school year.
When trying to talk to her, it was hit and miss. Sometimes you had to yell her name and even then she wanted to ignore you. It wasn’t like we were just asking her mundane stuff, we are literally trying to see what she needed: Clothes, toothbrush, feminine care products, backpack, medicine, etc. She literally had nothing but the clothes on her back and her phone.
So, my wife and I dug into our entertainment budget after hearing the recording of her mother saying she “burned” all of her belongings and took about $670 to make her stay more comfortable including buying a new mattress, sheets, pillow, clothes, underwear, bra, shoes, socks, personal care stuff, etc.
A few things to keep in mind here. She had a job working at a grocery store after school in the little town we live near. She claimed to have paychecks coming in and that she would eventually repay everything. Naturally, I told her, “No, it’s a gift with a string attached – stay in school, get your diploma and you’ll be welcomed here for as long as you need.”
But this is where some alarms started to go off. She said her mother had canceled her cell phone and was demanding that she return it. At first, it sounds like an out of control mother seeking revenge, but it was what my daughter’s friend said next, “Can you help me buy a cell phone, I’ll pay you back!”
Maybe it doesn’t sound all that odd, but it was her reaction to my reply, “I have an older phone that has 128gb of storage and 4 cpu cores in my room and I can get service turned back on in just a few minutes – it is still really fast.”
She then asked, “What kind of phone is it?”
And I replied, “Moto Turbo 2”
She then replied, “But that’s Android, I want an iPhone!”
Oh, hell no, I thought to myself and I told her right there, “Look, you want a phone, I’ll give you a phone – it’s still a badass phone, but it’s not an iPhone, besides they are years behind Android, still today! But I’m not buying you a brand new iPhone because it’s completely unnecessary!”
She wouldn’t have any of it, she started calling relatives, her boyfriend, her boyfriend’s mother – she literally spent 4 hours calling around trying to beg money from anyone including past boyfriends, and even other classmates (who my daughter identified). The next day she finally asked if I could take her down to Boost Mobile. I asked if she had the money and she said she did. I took her down and she went into the store and lowe and behold she returned with a brand new iPhone.
I asked, “How did you get the money? No one came by and you didn’t go anywhere!”
She replied, “Oh [your sons] loaned me the money!”
Oh, yeah. I was pissed by this point. But you know what. It was my boys’ money, not mine so there wasn’t much I was going to say other than what I did, “Well, you better pay them back when you can.”
From this point forward, things really turned for the worst and I mean the dire straights. She slept in her earbuds, I know this because she would sometimes sleep on the couch when I was working late at night and I would see her fast asleep with the earbuds in. Other nights she would be talking to her boyfriend upwards of 3am. I know, I’ve been there – I’ve stayed up a few times fairly late to talk to a girl, but not consistently, day after day and then fall asleep with the earbuds in my ear with the line open.
I knew at this point something was very, very wrong and I also knew it was time for a talk. I did just that and explained to her that it was simply unhealthy to keep earbuds in the ear that long throughout the day. I’m not even joking, on the weekend she would wake up with the earbuds in her ear, ignore everything and everyone in the house all day and then go to sleep with those earbuds in her ear all the while talking with her boyfriend on the other end.
I was then alerted by the principal that she was using her phone in class and in the hallways and not paying attention in class. Then she started claiming she was sick. I would take her to the doctor and they would prescribe an allergy medication change and she would then get a doctor’s note and stay home the rest of the day. Lately, she would just stay home for no other reason than, “I don’t feel good.”
However, right at 8am, she was up, moving around without issues (even after her visits to the doctor) on the phone. How in the hell can her boyfriend even do any schoolwork himself if she was on the phone with him for almost a week straight like that? Seriously!
If ignoring everyone trying to help her wasn’t bad enough, in the small bouts of her not being on the phone, she was making demands: “I need to go to the store”, “I need to go here and do this”, “I want something other than what you cooked tonight” – No, I’m dead serious – just a quick background here – up until a few months ago my wife worked as an administrator for Case Farms – the supplier of Chicken to KFC and other restaurants. Every month they would do a chicken sale and employees could buy that chicken for pennies on the dollar, 100lbs of “parfry” (or partially fried) chicken = just $40.00. We ordered the chicken nuggets intended for Dominos, the chicken patties for Olive Garden, and some other nice cuts. It was likely the biggest variety of fried chicken that most people keep in their deep freezer and we had A LOT! We still have approx 80lbs left still months after my wife left for a new, much better paying job.
No one goes hungry at my house because of this. But, this was not satisfactory for this girl. Even though this was literal restaurant food, she HAD to go to a restaurant to eat. I don’t know maybe it was our kitchen wasn’t clean enough even though our counters and table are sprayed down with Clorox brand disinfectant and all-purpose cleaner after every meal (I’m a germophobe when it comes to what I put in my body and fear salmonella poisoning)? For the life of me, I couldn’t figure this out. Now, that’s not to say we had chicken every night, we didn’t. We also had homemade chili, tacos, hamburger helper, spaghetti, etc. But she refused to eat anywhere but a restaurant. In fact, I’ll end this one tidbit on one fact: Not once did I ever see her eat any food we or my kids had prepared.
It was a few weeks later I overheard her talking to one of my kids just after she had gotten back from her boyfriend’s house that weekend. My daughter came running into my room and slammed the door and shouted, “Dad, we have a problem! She’s trying to get pregnant!”
That confirmed what I thought I heard. My wife then had a talk with her and said very specifically, “Look, our agreement doesn’t include a baby. You should be focused solely on school.”
My daughter’s friend also made it extremely clear that her boyfriend didn’t really know what she was “trying” either, whether it be ignorance on her part or intentionally trying to “hook” the boy for 18 years of child support, I don’t know and can’t say. I can only assume.
A few hours later I had a talk with her, as far as I know, she’s never had a father figure in her life before and I was very candid – I told her that boys her age don’t give a rats ass about the long-term they only care about the short-term sex. I told her, “If you get pregnant, there is a very good chance you won’t have a boyfriend the moment you tell him, no matter how much you think he loves you, I can guarantee you that if he thinks he will be committed to you for the rest of his life, he will bolt at this age.”
She at least pretended to listen, abet with headphones in her ears. Yeah, I can imagine that she and I weren’t the only ones in the conversation but I also didn’t give a flying fuck either. It was words she needed to hear if anything I can say I tried to impart some wisdom as an experienced and never-again teenage boy – young dumb and full of – you know how that saying goes.
At this point, we had caught her in a lie. She claimed she wasn’t talking to anyone and instead she was listening to music, even as she was telling us that with earbuds in. But as my wife begins talking to her she replies, “Yeah, I’m here”, really softly. Oh yeah, Kim doesn’t like it when someone lies to her and neither do I.
Needless to say, it took her a while to pay my sons back, late but paid. They both have part-time jobs working for the guy who owns most of the land around here and rents out the lots around this area. His name is Donnie Allen, he’s a great guy and loves the boys and thoroughly enjoys their company and comedy, so he has said himself. I’ll admit, the boys are interesting characters and even put me in stitches sometimes.
As it turns out, she couldn’t have paid the boys a moment too late. Unbeknown to me, she had had problems at her work. Again I didn’t know it, but she had been skipping work to go to her boyfriends almost every weekend when they wanted her to work. I know this because Donnie Allen knows her manager and the store’s owner – it’s a small town and Donnie and I are good friends. Essentially, she would take excessive bathroom breaks, or even make excuses to leave her register and get on her phone. She was even reprimanded SEVERAL times for having earbuds in her ears and talking while ringing up customers.
When Donnie told me this, I knew she was literally out of control and had absolutely no grasp on reality. Now, before you ask, it’s not like Donnie and I just sit around and shoot the shit and gossip about girls working at the local grocery store. Oh no, what brought this up was Donnie’s concern of what happened just the day before, as he told me, “Mike, I think she’s asking for a lawsuit or something like she’s trying to get money out of people. She was just walking down the road here with her earphones in her ear on the asphalt and caused a semi to lock up and made me have to stop too. She saw both of us stopped and she just looked at us and didn’t even stop or get off the road, she just kept going like she had every right to be there!”
Let me just say that this road is somewhat narrow and rural with a speed limit of 55mph. I told Donnie then I didn’t think it was her trying to get a lawsuit out of someone, I told him I think she has a problem with the phone and that’s when he told me when he said he agreed with that assessment. When I told him about our experiences thus far, he said, “Why are you still allowing her to stay with you?”
I honestly couldn’t answer that. This is also where we caught her in a very big lie. She told us over and over again that nothing was wrong at work and that her manager “removed me from the schedule because I missed work one day when we were getting my state ID.”
Yeah, no. According to Donnie, she missed an entire week but only notified her manager of the one day she missed. The other days were “surprise I’m just not showing up” and she ignored the manger’s calls. She had essentially – quit. Never mind she swore up and down in a bald-faced lie to our faces that she was still working.
I should have known a little before this that something was off when she asked me to take her down to the Social Security Administration building. This was a little confusing but her explanation was that her mother was getting a Social Security check on her behalf and she had to transfer the beneficiary to herself. Now, I’ve never known a child to get a Social Security check, especially one in school. But this told me, this girl is not at all against living on someone else’s tit – she has no shame in being a thankless freeloader.
But I’ll also just say once more. It was constantly, “Take me here, Take me there.” with this girl. If I wasn’t taking her in my truck, my wife was taking her in the SUV every day, if not multiple times per day except when she was at her boyfriends which seemed to be about the only time we ever really got any break from driving!
I know that her relationship with my daughter had also deteriorated to the point my daughter wanted her gone. My daughter is much like her parents, she hates a liar and she is pretty slick at catching someone in a lie (maybe even better than I am). She also caught her friend lying to Kim a few times and started fessing up to knowing about this time (a few weeks ago) My youngest daughter was neutral to her until just a few weeks ago and now she too is very negative. As she will tell people, “She’s an ungrateful bitch.” My oldest two boys definitely want her gone and was really pissed off when she was a month late at paying them back.
So, this girl had lost her previous home, she had lost her job, and she had lost her relationship with her best friend over the phone. Her mother’s story was becoming more and more believable by the day and made me regret ever allowing her to stay with us.
A few times we tried to talk to her, we even sat her down and told her, “No earbuds on the road, no earbuds when someone is talking to you” etc. But she didn’t stop until my wife, Kimberly finally had enough of it and confiscated her earbuds and told her, “For the weekend, you will live like a normal human being.” (LOL, my wife is so fucking awesome!)
This enraged the girl so much so that she spent nearly 99% of her time outside. On speakerphone. Yelling.
I then got another call from the principal – again I’ll remind you this girl is 18 and she’s not my daughter, the worst I can do is kick her out of my house which the thought of ding that gnawed away at my insides. This call, however, was different – she’s missed too much school and she cannot pass her classes for the semester (the school will hold the grades hostage for this semester until she attends a semester with a better-than-normal attendance record – ie no more than 3 days missed).
We had yet another talk, I sat down and told her, as nicely as I could (which I will willingly admit that I can rub against someone like sandpaper with my words) and told her very specifically, “The terms of you staying with us is that you have to attend school and work toward your diploma. You’re not doing this. You have a choice to make, today, either you become an adult or remain a student. If you become an adult, I will expect that you find a job and start saving your money for a deposit so you can have your own place to stay within 3 months.”
She then went to her boyfriends – again. It was Friday and she had pretty much done that every weekend and even missed 2 days of school to attend his relative’s wedding in Georgia. So she had now many attendance strikes against her. Several “I’m not feeling good” absences and now 2 more days of unexcused absences for attending a wedding (yeah, not excused in this state, funerals are though). Sunday night the clocks rolled right over 11pm and she did not return. We called her and she told Kim, “My boyfriend’s mother was sick and couldn’t bring me back, I’ll come back tomorrow night.”
At this very moment, she just threw everything we had done for her, every bit of advice and help we tried to give her in our faces and my wife lost it on the phone. She had just shown us that she didn’t give a shit about the school, she didn’t give a shit about anything we had tried to avise her of. She didn’t give a shit about the house rules. Literally everything we had done was thrown right back in our faces.
Long conversation short, my wife told her that she had just convinced her that she is just not going to follow any advice and told her, that’s fine – so it will now be rules and demands, the time for advice has ended and told her, “I’ll come to pick you up or she can bring you home, but you’re going to school tomorrow.”
My daughter’s friend hung up on my wife. Oh, even my kids aren’t that fucking brave, trust me. Even I AM NOT THAT BRAVE! My wife tried to call back and each time it rang and rang. She didn’t lose signal, she didn’t lose battery, it was ignored. Kim sat and stewed for a moment and finally she called Kim back and told her, “I’m going to stay with my boyfriend now because I don’t think [your kids] like me.”
At this point, I couldn’t help but reply out loud, “Good.” But Kim launches in and raises a chuckle from me again and shouts, “You know what? I don’t recall the agreement for you staying here involving [my kids]. If if it is true it’s not like I can force them to like you. You’ve brought any disdain they have for you on yourself. But they have nothing to do with this, it’s simply a convenient excuse. But you’re 18, you can do what you want, so good luck!”
The only thing going through my head is it would only take a few days for her boyfriend’s mother to see what she’s up to – the money-grabbing princess lifestyle she demands to be happy and at that point, I thought, she too will kick her out. So maybe, I think, just maybe at the point of her boyfriend’s mother kicking her out, the girl will get the hint.
That’s where we are right now. We’re still waiting for her to come by and get the stuff (mostly what we’ve bought for her) from our house and go stay with her boyfriend though it still isn’t quite clear if his mother has agreed to allow her to stay indefinitely. I can tell you as a matter of fact that if she does go through with her plans and has a child, her son will never get ahead in life and that girl has absolutely zero willingness to work which means, mom is going to be full-time supporting two grown-ass adults and ONE OR MORE infants/children well into her retirement.
I’m really unsure what the takeaway here is. Perhaps it’s that I shouldn’t ever open my home to anyone again? It seems a little wrong. But I can conclude with one thing – that girl is batshit crazy but it’s not the kind of crazy that should require medication, it is the kind that should have required the severe use of a leather strap long, long ago. I thought I’ve seen crazy before but I’m telling you she makes the combined lunacy of an asylum look as sane as the Dalai Lama.