When she was living in Beaverton, and we were dating long-distance, she got an ultimatum from her roommate of about a week or so to find another place to live. Unfortunately, at that time, she could not possibly have enough money to move in to a place on her own, nor with her rental record could she find something quickly. The only alternative at the time was to have her move in with me and get back on her feet. We went from long-distance to close-quarters in the span of a month after deciding to start dating. This is the second time this has happened, and the last. All of the above occurred in December of 2002.
Following a few quarters of school (which I admit I promised I would pay for), and after my being laid off from eBay, she had to start looking for work to help pay for bills in my time of unemployment. Because of that, she’s started working at the local movie theater (roughly 10 months now), making minimum wage. Initially, I thought the move from student to worker would be a hinderance, but in truth, since she has not had custody of her son, Jaxom, for a long time and he’s been living with his dad back in Oregon, she was going to have to cover the child support in one way or another. I always found it easier to look for a job when you already had a job. I figured she would work, but look for something better. Granted, there were maybe two prospects; one turned out to be some sort of weird financial firm that required initial investments on the part of the employee and the second one required her to live in San Diego. Out of maybe six to seven months of “looking” she hasn’t had a single call beyond that.
Time to change tactics, imho.
I’ve mentioned in the past several times that the local Employment Development Department office in Campbell does nothing but try to help people get employed. They offer training courses in basic job skills, as well as certifications and other means of proving to prospective employers that you have those job skills. Mel’s a fast typist, and she possesses the ability to do a great many things given time to learn. She’s not stupid and she’s not without resources. All it takes is the desire to go down there and get it done. Now, I’ve made mention of this opportunity to her before and there has been no movement whatsoever on it at all. All she does is continue to try emailing her resume out and hope it does something. Once again, after a while of little to no success, you have to change your methods to get results.
Going back to her having two children, she speaks often about having them with her. Unfortunately, with us having four people living in a two bedroom one bath apartment, it’s just not conducive to having children around here. She knows this. So why is she dragging her feet on making it happen? Only she can answer this question. There was talk about joining the service on her part; all she needed was proof of custody from the respective states. One already had it on record, and she just got it in writing from Oregon regarding Jaxom being in the custody of his father. All that’s stopping her now is going down to the recruiting office and signing up like she wanted. No movement, there, either.
The overriding theme in light of her stay here has been one of laziness. I’m lazy, too, so I know I’m the pot calling the kettle black, but when the shit hits the fan, I don’t sit and feel sorry for myself, cry, or otherwise start thinking the world is closing in on me. I pick myself up and get to work, especially when there’s a time limit. I figured the only way I am going to drive this point home, is to put a time limit on it and put a dire consequence at the end of that limit. Three months is a long time, and longer than required by law (law says we have to give her 30 days minimum before evicting her). One month is pretty hard, two months is a little cushion, but three is doable. Again, Mel’s not dumb, she’s not stupid, and she’s got skills and intelligence. She lacks drive, which is in most cases, only necessary when something big is on the line. She may not recognize that I’m trying to give her the best chance possible right now. I’m covering her rent, I cover her utilities, I pay for the internet/phone. She works part-time, plays Everquest, and sleeps. I wish I could do that and get away with it. Though she has covered a small portion of the rent in the recent past when it we needed her to (and while I was unemployed), but for the most part she is truly living at our behest and has been for over a year and a half.
I can no longer sit by and contribute to this kind of cushioned life anymore. The longer it goes on, it only makes it that much harder to get off of. She came down here as a friend displaced unusually so. She was welcomed with the understanding that she would try to get on her feet. We (Todd and I) agreed to pay for rent, but I did tell him it was a temporary situation. Temporary has since turned into 1.5 years-plus, and it’s just not fair anymore. Mel has to stand on her own two feet to break this cycle of moving every so often. Plant some roots in an apartment of her own, get a better paying job to support herself at first, and then build a home where she can raise her children. She cannot do that while I’m paying for a majority of her life.
This has nothing to do with hating her, malice or spite. I still do care very much about her, and I would rather see her give this her best shot and learn success. But, Mel… please do not give up before you even begin to try! I know it sucks that I had to do this to get you moving, but it is my sincere hope that you understand why I had to do it. If you make it, then you will never have to worry about such things ever again and will be truly an independant person without the need for people to rely on financially. The courts would look at that and give you your custody back if you pull this off. Go for it!