Adventures in Senior Sitting: When Opportunity Strikes

It’s been a little while since I’ve written about my father-in-law and the reason for that is: I no longer speak to him. For my own sanity, I just can’t. I’ve got one life, and I’m not wasting it on an asshole.

That doesn’t mean that I’m going to quit sharing stories, you understand. Because we’re all in this together and by that, I mean dealing with in-laws, or shitty people. Or both!

If you’re new to this series, I’ll give you a quick recap.

When my mother-in-law passed away in 2018, my husband and I inherited my then 64-year-old father-in-law who promptly went from a grieving widower to a rebellious teenager within a month. From constantly getting in trouble to bringing home a significant other we couldn’t stand, everything he did was like payback for how bad of a kid I was – something I thought I’d avoided by not having kids of my own.

Those stories, BTW, can all be found here.

A lot has happened since my last post a year ago where I detailed his trip to Florida that detailed him going with COVID then returning, getting sicker, and having me call the ambulance because he had no lung capacity, except for the air he had available to call ALL OF HIS FRIENDS while he waited for the ambulance to tell them that he was waiting for an ambulance.

Since then, he’s moved out – run away to his girlfriend’s house for all you parents with teenagers. But like all people with bad kids, I’m still dealing with and having to hear about all of the shit he’s getting into. 

A few weeks ago we received a letter from a recycling company in the city he lives in now explaining that he’d been caught dropping shit off without paying to drop that shit off, and included a picture of the shit he dropped off. 

I was incredibly disappointed. 

That picture didn’t have him in it. Just the chairs (his girlfriend’s, of course).

I almost called the recycling company to ask them for a copy of the video but my husband wouldn’t let me. He’s such a fun sponge.

Then I decided to do it anyway but before I even had a chance, he’d moved on to another scheme.

Like all wives, my husband has a friend that I can’t stand named Stewart. He’s a complete moron. One time he got in a fight with a guy and when he was told he had a small penis he took it out and put it on the bar. And that’s just one of the hundreds of jackass things he’s done.

Recently, he managed to top himself. He got a DWI and also got charged for firing his gun at somebody. 

His mugshot is fantastic. My friend Joanne (the woman I ghost hunt with) dislikes Stewart as well, so I’m thinking of turning his mugshot into her birthday card. Or maybe have someone on Etsy make a shirt. I’m not sure yet.

Stewart is obviously in a lot of trouble and is facing quite a bit of jail time. 

The way I see it, he had it coming. The way my husband sees it, it’s a bummer that his friend has managed to get himself in this kind of trouble.

The way my father-in-law sees it, it’s an opportunity

Stewart has a membership with a local marina where he pays a monthly fee and can take a boat for the day anytime he likes.

But since Stewart won’t be having a hot girl summer this year, my father-in-law convinced him to put him on his membership so he can rent boats while Stewart serves his time.

This may sound like no big deal, but I haven’t told you about what happened to the last thing my FIL played with that wasn’t his.

Just before he moved in with us, he was living in a hangar that he would tell people was his but actually belonged to his friend, Mark. Mark was a wealthy man courtesy of his oil rights inheritance. 

I’ll never forget when he came into that money too. 

He walked into the motorcycle shop I was working for at the time and looked like Lloyd from Dumb and Dumber in the scene where he’s wearing the fringe jacket.

I was like “damn, Mark made it.” New money purchases are snazzy.

Mark couldn’t spend his money fast enough and one of the things he bought himself was a little 3-seater plane. The only thing was, he didn’t know how to fly. 

My father-in-law had his pilot’s license from like the 80s and also used to play flying games on his iPad so you could call him a pro, or at least that’s what he called himself when he pitched his plan to Mark. He convinced Mark to let him live in the hangar and manage his plane and also fly him around. 

Mark agreed and after my father-in-law (and mother-in-law prior to her passing) moved in, he promptly hired an actual pilot to fly them both around. This arrangement lasted about 5 years which is usually the cut-off point for most of his friends. 

One day, a few months after my mother-in-law passed, he was flying the plane around showing off. When he came in for a landing he forgot to put the landing gear down and crashed the plane.

AND THEN…

When Mark gave him the bill for the damages, my father-in-law claimed he wasn’t responsible because it was Mark’s plane

He never paid the bill so Mark kicked him out of the hangar (which he told people he sold BUT IT WAS NEVER HIS) and that is the reason he ended up moving in with us. 

He’s nothing if not consistent as he continues to spread his carnage, first at my house and just wait until I tell you about what he did to his girlfriend – that’s next week.

Or it might be his impending boat wreck where he blames Stewart and adds to his charges, whichever comes first. 

Adventures in Senior-Sitting: When Spring Break Goes Bad

I’m not sure what traumatized me into never wanting kids. Maybe it was realizing that kids equaled zero fun time. Or, that you had to be responsible for them forever. Or maybe it was something my grandma said: “your kids will be 3 times as bad as you.” No thanks. I was a nightmare, so bad that I didn’t even start liking myself until I was 30. I don’t need “younger me” amplified. So I opted out of having kids. Karma, however, found me and opted me in like every e-newsletter I never signed up for.

As most of you know, I inherited a teenager in the form of my 66-year-old father-in-law and it’s been a real barrel of laughs. One after school special after the next.

About a month ago, my FIL was sick but like most kids that have plans for spring break, he wasn’t about to suffer from FOMO. So off he went to Daytona Bike Week, coughing and wheezing his way there. Upon settling in his camp spot, he realized that, uh oh, the cable box in his motorhome wasn’t working. You see, the cable company didn’t shut off his box in his RV when he cancelled his subscription prior to moving in with us. They ended up fixing the glitch and it worked itself out on day 1 of his vacation.

Well, you know kids and their screens. He was so desperate for television he tried to get a box added to MY account (which I actually consider payback for the time I added my own land line to my parents account without permission). When the cable company declined, he called my husband and asked him to MAIL HIM THE BOX FROM HIS BEDROOM. We did not.

He managed to survive his lack of Matlock reruns however, when he arrived home there was something else that he was suffering from.

Yes. He came home with the VID.

And so began the great sickness of 2021. He was coughing non-stop and had zero energy, but he was pushing through. Now, if you asked every friend that he miraculously found the energy to call while he was being quarantined, he was on his death bed. Each night was sure to be his last. He couldn’t lift his head without going comatose from exhaustion. He could only breathe once an hour.

And eating? Forget it. If it wasn’t KFC he couldn’t keep it down, which I don’t remember reading on the CDC website so I suppose they’re due for an update. At one point I had my husband ask him if he needed anything from the grocery store. Grapes and orange juice was his request. Did my husband ask my FIL or my 3-year-old niece because that’s totally something she’d want as a snack.

A week into his illness, things took a turn in a matter of 2 phone calls. That morning my husband checked in on him and informed me my FIL was feeling a little better. Less than an hour later, my husband received a call from one of his dad’s friends. Apparently, he was about to die and another friend was on the way to our house to take him to the hospital, which didn’t make sense to me because I work from home so why wouldn’t he ask me?

So I call my FIL to find out what the deal is and was pretty surprised by how terrible he sounded. What also surprised me was that he actually did not have a friend coming to take him to the hospital. He ended up asking me if I would take him but I suggested calling an ambulance which he agreed to.

A few minutes later I could hear sirens so I went outside to flag them down. Outside I could no longer hear the sirens but I could hear something else: “I guess they missed our house, hee hee.” I turned around and there stood my FIL, giggling. “What the fuck are you doing out here?!” I yelled. I’ve just told 911 that my FIL is on the outs and here he is practically dancing in his driveway.

I. Was. Mortified.

As soon as the paramedics got out of the ambulance I began telling them MY side of the story: he tricked me. They check him out and nothing. Nothing is wrong with him. Are you sure? I asked them. There’s nothing in that ambulance that you can shove down his throat?

No.

The paramedics loaded back into the ambulance and by the time I turned around to ask my FIL “what the fuck was that?!” he was already back inside. That was the last I heard from him for about a week. I didn’t check on him because I didn’t have to. Our neighbor kept me in the know. She also informed me that, according to my FIL, he in fact was dying that day and had the paramedics not given him oxygen for the 3 minutes that they did, it would’ve been over.

This story of almost seeing the light has made its rounds and every time I hear it he was nearer and nearer death. Not long after standing at the pearly gates, he recovered.

BTW, it isn’t lost on me that I once put my mom through a similar situation. When I was in 6th grade I experienced a level of embarrassment I’d never felt before after I tripped over a pipe in front of about 30 kids (out of a class of almost 500). 30 may as well have been everyone. I couldn’t take it. So I faked being sick for about a week and a half before my mom finally took me to the doctor where I was outed as a fraud and had to go back to school.

The moral of the story is I was terrible well into my 20s and my comparisons to my FIL are only up to 11-year-old me so I’ve got a lot more of this shit to go.