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Did I mention how much of a pain in the ass my mother is? You all might know her as Oompa at this point, but - I might change that to 'pain in the ass.' She's always going to look like an Oompa Loompa, but lately this new nickname for her is becoming FAR more appropriate. I might have indeed mentioned...but just in case I didn't... My. Mother. Is. A. GIANT. Pain in the ass! I just spent most of this morning arguing with her and one of my lovely readers is likely going to have to front me some bail money because I'm about to be arrested for matricide. Unless of course, I can 'untwist my panties,' (as she so eloquently put it) by venting here. It seems like a much safer alternative to jail time, so - here goes. The son has pretty much commandeered use of my car - he uses it to get back and forth to the (local) college. When he goes back to the wasband's on Saturday evenings, he will take the car with him (unless I need it for any other reason) and more often than not, it's with him these days more than it's with me. That's okay - this was always my intention - let him 'take over' my car - in lieu of a hefty monthly car payment, he would pay for gas, insurance and any other upkeep/maintenance costs on that car - and I would get a new one to ensure I had a means of getting from A to B without having to rely on anyone else. I've told him this, too - 'you NEED to find a job - if you want to have a car (and I added the usual mom-style pep talk about growing up, becoming responsible, etc) then you NEED to start learning how to budget and manage your money.' As is, we are now living somewhere where 4WD is NEEDED and owning a SUV is highly recommended - and although my existing car (which will soon be the Son's) does not have 4WD and is TERRIBLE in the snow, I don't have the heart to trade it in as it was bought from money my aunt and uncle left me upon their passing. Rather than the son spend the money (that he doesn't have) on a car that he'll have payments (that he cannot make) on, he can make do with a significantly reduced financial responsibility and use my old car to get to school/work. It does snow a lot here, but it's NOT a CONSTANT problem - when it does snow, his classes are usually cancelled anyway. I have some money saved - and am now feeling the need to be situated with a car - I'm going to be starting school in the fall, so there's a little time. However, I've realized that the son is also dragging his feet. He won't move unless I do. He had PLENTY of time to find a job during his first semester (last fall) and didn't. He isn't fully to blame for this, though - the wasband (another VERY accurate addition to my 'Top Five' Pains in the Ass) has been taking the majority of his elder son's and daughter's paychecks, 'to pay house bills with.' Our son, aside from having an endless supply of self-admitted laziness, is a VERY perceptive and observant young man. He sees that his older brother and sister NEVER have a penny to their names - they work and hand their paychecks over. This has been going on for months, already, and my elder stepson, having finally reached his limit, has left the wasband's home and moved back in with his mother. There was a HUGE blowout between him and the wasband, something I had no idea was happening until AFTER the fact - and long story short, Junior is no longer 'supporting the family,' and MY son has now been told that he now has to take over Junior's job working alongside his sister at HER job. This means, now the son has a job. Which is what I've been waiting for. It is my intention to let the wasband know that he's going to need to afford the son a little bit of leniency with his paychecks so that he has the money he'll need in order to maintain the expense of having his own car and possibly his tuition so that he doesn't doom himself to a lifetime of debt. So, how does Oompa fit into all of this? Well, for starters, she knows I've been saving up to buy a car. And now, my savings is starting to dwindle - as we have lately had some hefty financial responsibilities - vet bills, vacation bills, household repairs, etc, all in the last three months. The vacation we planned on, but the rest, we did not. So, now, I am of the impression that leasing my next personal-use vehicle is likely my best option. But being 'President's week,' she has began to urge me to research the sales because 'there are some excellent deals out there.' Not a lie, but still, considering the window of opportunity is beginning to close on the Son's EVER being in a position to control his own finances, it's time to move. To top that off, my sister's best friend's husband is a dealer at the Subaru near her and he's 'EXCELLENT' and 'can get me a good deal.' (Though, likely only on a Subaru.) I've always wanted a Jeep. I've already accepted that I'll not be able to afford the pretty purple Wrangler that sits teasingly in front of the local dealership - but saw today that a local dealership is offering NEW Jeep Cherokees, and I could lease for $169 a month. I supplied Oompa (the pain-in-the-ass) the phone number and instead of calling THEM to find out more about this 'special,' she called the dealer she knew. She then mentioned that he wouldn't recommend a Jeep (as no Subaru employee likely would) and that he recommended an Impreza or a Legacy and could get good deals on those cars for me. We could go see him on Saturday because he got my brother-in-law a good deal on HIS car - he would definitely do the same for me. I told her that those cars mentioned were NOT SUVs. And I had told her previously that I did not want anything other than a SUV. WHY was she pushing cars? Apparently, 'they have 4-wheel drive,' but, still. These are CARS. I told her, 'I am absolutely not wasting my time looking at cars when I already know what I want." "But why do you need such a big car?" I could NOT believe she'd just asked me that. I've never had a big car/SUV. Before my Avenger, I had a Neon. Before that, a Mitsubishi Mirage. My SISTER, (who is smaller than me) - has a GMC Acadia - that is a VERY large SUV. Why doesn't she ask HER why she needs such a big car? She has two kids - who combined, are still much smaller than my 12 year old. My 18 year old is bigger than ME. J is bigger and taller than me. What if I want to take my family somewhere? We're not all going to fit in a clown car! I told her I had my heart set on a Jeep. She then proceeds to tell me that I should look them up online - they're not the most reliable, they're not the safest (Subaru is) and they've got bad reputations. She actually went as far as to say she wouldn't 'cooperate,' should I not agree to keep an open mind and at least LOOK at cars that are 4WD. Yes, you heard correctly - SHE will not cooperate. Another manipulation tactic. I'm DONE with manipulation. In the course of my forty years, manipulation has been a constant. My mother and my ex being the two biggest offenders - the reason for that being they were people I depended on most. Yes, manipulation indeed goes hand-in-hand with dependency - for if you 'upset' or 'disappoint,' you lose a means of support - whether it is a GOOD source of support is irrelevant. What matters is, I THOUGHT these people actually were looking out for my best interests, and am sad to realize that this was never the case - it is a matter of what is more convenient for them, what THEY want. There were almost always ulterior motives. And I'm not even sure what my mother's motives are, here - was she trying to get my sister's friend's husband a commission? I finally said, 'Look - NOTHING pisses me off MORE than someone who tries to change my mind when I've made it clear what I'm looking for. I asked you to come along because you're good at negotiating with dealers (she is) and working out the best deals - but If you're not going to cooperate and help me find what I want to find, then I'll go without you and go buy myself a fucking Jeep!' That's when she said I should untwist my panties, the dealer would sell me whatever I wanted. I told her that if this 'excellent' dealer could show me an actual SUV (like the Forester - more the type and size I'm looking for) and beat the lease price of $169 a month for a Jeep, then we'd talk and see about getting him a commission. But that $169 a month was the right price for a car that I actually wanted - so why WOULD I settle for anything other than that? Is she paying for the car? No. Is she co-signing? No. So what's the fucking problem??? Safety? A Jeep would be safer than what I'm CURRENTLY driving. They're not known to be reliable? Well, that's why I'm better off LEASING, isn't it? Repair coverage. And after the lease is up, I'd be put into a brand-new car. There's not enough time for something to go wrong with it - if something does, it's covered. As it stands right now, I'm going to the dealership in the morning - armed with my dwindling patience, my checkbook and my manipulation-proof vest - I know all too well how it's going to go. She's going to try and push those 'cars' on me again - she's going to ask (again) why I need something so big...she'll get J to 'talk some sense into me,' and J is fully prepared to put her in her place - SHE likes Jeeps, too! It's just sad that I have to be this firm with my mother - at forty years old. That she still feels the need to control me and she CANNOT just let me make choices without trying to meddle. She has two other daughters, younger than me, and who LIVE closer to her than I do. Why can't she bother them!? In closing, I will let all of you know tomorrow of the following: Whether I need bail money and where to wire it; (I'll pay you back...someday?) Whether I get a new SUV tomorrow or I end up planning to 'buy a fucking Jeep on my own;' And whether my mother is still breathing, and carrying on with her usual day-to-day annoyances...she likely will be, as no matter how angry or annoyed or irritated I can get, I could honestly never hurt a fly. My tolerance for bullshit is at an ALL TIME low with my mother, and with my ex, both of whom are tied for top pain-in-the-ass! Some days, I just don't know who's worse. When I eventually figure it out, I'll let you all know. Hoping the rest of you are having a less stressful weekend. My best to you, - Capulet