Mother had a sordid past in oh so many ways. One of them was her employment record, a record which was scratched and mostly broken. She stayed at jobs less time than it takes most people to apply. You may remember reading about her less than stellar experience at Marshall Field’s in Chicago. Or about her brief time working at a supper club in Decatur. She went on to similar positions in central Illinois, Iowa and southern California.
Mother’s table-side manner left much to be desired. Once she even chased a customer out to the parking lot to return his dime tip because, as she said to him:
You need it more than I do!
Yelling this less than gracious comment, she then threw the dime at him. This kind of behavior did not bode well for her future employment working with the public.
While working at some real dive bars in California, she was just as caustic as always and was ‘let go’ (fired) from several of them. Mother’s history of working or hardly working meant that when she retired, her social security was quite low. Since husband number three Tom decided to retire early, between the two of them, they just couldn’t make it financially. Although they had moved to Hillbilly Heaven in southern Indiana, where the cost of living was cheaper, Mother pleaded with my sister and me to bail them out from their money woes.
We have shared the story about making up the list of jobs for them to try. Needless to say, it was met with disgust and anger. How dare we think it would be their responsibility to take care of themselves and their bills! Mother’s animosity could be felt through her letters.
How dare you ask us to work! After all, we are retired! We worked hard our whole lives and now it is time for us to enjoy life.
This kind of reasoning borders on whack a doodle with an unhealthy dose of insanity. Of course, Mother and Tom should not be expected to pay their own way. What kind of illogical expectations did we have?
My sister and I did bail them out on several occasions and there was seldom a thank you. I guess when you expect your daughters to finance your life, there is no need for something as tacky as manners.