Dad and I talked today. We had a very extensive conversation about his financial situation, his goals, plans, and needs. You see, he was laid off last week. He’s been in a rough spot since his wife died when I was pregnant with my oldest child. Things have to change dramatically. Starting now.
But he needs a runway to give him the time to get the house ready to sell. He has a lot of stuff to do to dismantle the life he has had up to this point and downsize to the point where his future income will be able to support him. He knows it is coming. He’s just about to Social Security being his option. He will have to be able to make it on that.
It was a hard conversation to have. He’s not my biological father. I don’t owe him what someone thinks they owe their blood. But he is the only Dad I have. I have other Daddy’s… yes… but they aren’t my Dad. I have very different relationships with each of these men. Only one of them provides the Grandfather role to my children. It’s different.
He and I talk through stuff he doesn’t want to talk about because he is willing to help me because that’s the deal. He has opened his heart and his home to me consistently for extended visits for over 15 years. He has absolutely obeyed every boundary I have ever set. He pushes his luck till he finds a boundary. Then he is absolute.
I can live with that.
I’ve already trained him.
I’m scared about sending him this much money. It’s a lot of money. This is a huge trust exercise. I give people small amounts of money just about every day. That doesn’t stress me out.
You know what? Sending a whole slew of people $50/month doesn’t bother me any more. I have acclimated to that. It’s a small amount of money.
Holy. Fucking. Shit.
This is a lot of money to send him. We are going to chat again in February or March and it’ll be possible that he needs the same amount of money again to make it through till June. That’s the explicit agreement right now. I can’t float him a six month runway today. I can do halfway and negotiate again and probably do it then.
That’s terrifying to me.
I trust this man. I have watched the series of steps his life has taken. I know all of his wives. I’ve known his girlfriends way too well in my opinion. I know his “real” kids.
He isn’t going to cut and run. His whole community would come down on his head like the fire of God. He is a deeply invested man. He just needs six months of help.
And because he’s white and he’s upper class, he has access to a network that can float him that kind of money just for the asking. That blows my fucking mind.
Why am I not willing to lend that money to other people? Because I don’t think they can give it back and that is too much for me to take away from my family permanently as a gift. I’m ok with giving away $1,000 or $2,000 at our current income level every month. I don’t need it back. That’s extra.
But the amount of money Dad needs cuts into my ability to pay off my mortgage by 2018. That’s… that’s personal. That hits at one of the pillars of security in my life.
I mean, I could just stop giving the “smaller” amounts to all the other people and make it back…
But no. I give that money to women of color who have children to support. I’m not going to stop doing that so I can help a fucking white guy.
All of these decisions about who to help and when and how much and where and…
They hurt. They are never fair. They are always made by your gut in the spur of the moment.
Why in the hell did I invest in that coffee shop?! Because they are my friends. Because I wanted it to survive. Because I get to feel joy that it still exists. It did work out. I did get what I wanted from the deal even though I lost money. I didn’t need the money back.
But I could have put it on my mortgage. Enh. I’m operating within the parameters I set for myself. I hadn’t expected to accelerate the mortgage with that money. I don’t feel like it is going missing.
Money is so very weird.