QotD: My Last Argument
What was the last argument you had about? How did it end?
My last argument was about none other than money. I was laid off about 8 months ago. Since then, I have become the family bum. I have always worked, but because I didn't go to college, never really made more than enough to get by. I've been divorced for some time and on my own. I've always managed to get by until this last few months. My younger brother, who is also divorced, stepped in and has pretty much taken care of me. I do get unemployment. He pays for the roof over my head, so for the most part I have only utilities and food to pay for with the money I get.
I had been going to my sisters on the weekend and spending at least one night a week to have a little bit of social time since I live alone. A few weeks back, my water froze and I was forced to stay at my sisters for about two weeks. I bought food while I was there and brought it home and cooked and had dinner on the table for the family while I was there. It was the best I could do. When the electric bill came in for the month, it was high. I realize that my presence caused it to rise a bit, but I am about as good at being conservative as they come. The real reason for the increase in the bill was the extreme cold we had during those two weeks, which was why I was there in the first place. My sister rents her place. She had made comments before about two of the rooms that didn't ever get warm. I told her that the vents were probably pulled loose under the trailer and her heat was escaping. I told her she needed to tell her landlord so he could fix it and save her electric bill. She hasn't done anything about it.
When the electric bill came in that high, she blamed it on me being there and wanted to know how much of it I was going to pay. She knew I didn't have the money to do any more than I had done. She hadn't had to buy groceries at all in two weeks. All this being said, I understand the money part of it. I understand her being upset. What I didn't understand was her inability to be diplomatic about it. Instead of sitting down and discussing it with me, she went to work and sent me a nasty text message about it. She hurt my feelings.
I packed my stuff and came home, water or not. The weather warmed up over the next couple of days and my brother got the water fixed. I have since stayed home. I don't need the social interaction bad enough to take ugly comments about something I can't help right now. Our relationship is damaged at the moment and will probably stay that way until I get back to work. I hate it, but money, or lack of it, can really tear people apart. I've had to learn this lesson quite a bit these last few months. My sense of the situation is that I have learned that my value as a family member, as a friend, or as a human at all can be equated in dollars. It's a sad revelation.