Sunday, August 17, 2008


It's starting to settle down now, but things have been crazy here this last week. To tell the story properly I'm going to have to go a little further back, but please allow me to share the drama with you.

Early in July a some friends of ours were finalizing the purchase of their home. It was supposed to be finalized mid-May, but one problem after another held things up. They were due to sign final papers on a Monday, so the Friday before they were given the keys so that they could start painting. Technically they shouldn't have been in the house, but it had taken so long that everyone decided to look the other way and let them get going.

A friend of my mom, who happened to have nothing to do, volunteered to help with the painting. He didn't know the friends who were moving, but he wanted something to do. On Sunday morning he was on top of a ladder doing a very high wall when it went out from under him. This of course translated to a nice long ride to the ER in an ambulance. My mom went with him since she was the one who knew him.

That Sunday afternoon I talked to my mom and it was decided that I would go sit at the hospital witth her. Mostly I was worried that my mom wasn't taking care of herself, so I went to make sure that she was okay. Because the fall had happened fairly earlky in the morning it ended up being that neither mom nor Bob had eaten anything all day. I arrived around dinner time and brought them tuna sandwiches. I stayed until Bob was settled in a room and my mom was ready to leave.

When all was said and done, Bob ended up having surgery on his knee, and will need a follow up surgery in a couple of months. Because of Bob's living situation he wasn't able to go home from the hospital. (Upstairs apartment, a tall bed that requires a running leap for an average height adult to get into, nobody there to care for him, knee immobilizer, etc.) Because Bob is from England there was no family for him to go to. This is why Bob ended up staying with us.

From the time that Bob arrived in our home Donny was jealous of him. I actually had several arguments with Donny about the jealousy. I saw no harm in the fact that Bob seemed to enjoy talking to me, and I didn't see what Donny was talking about when he said that Bob was interested in me. (Just to make things clear, it's not like I'm a supermodel who normally has men falling at her feet. In fact, I'm not even a regular model.) Bob would come sit with me and talk, but that seemed normal to me.

Then things started getting wierd. Bob started talking a lot about wanting a relationship, and how good he would be to a woman. He also started telling me how much he wants more kids, even though I had previously heard him say that he doesn't want more children. He seemed to be trying to manufacture ways to be alone with me. There was one night that he seemed to be trying to maneuver things so that he and I would wind up going to dinner, just the 2 of us. There was the time that Donny was telling me about something that had happened to him that day, and he got rather loud in the process. Bob came out to the garage where we were to tell Donny not to yell at me. (Nevermind the fact that Donny wasn't yelling at me, or that it's not Bob's place to get in the middle of how Donny and I handle our relationship.) And then there were the times that he'd pull me aside to tell me how badly Donny's treating me and how I deserve so much more. (That may be true, but it was just awkward coming from him.) It finally got bad enough that I asked my mom to help me work things so that I wouldn't be alone with Bob anymore.

Interspersed with all this drama that involved me was more drama between Bob and Donny that I wasn't a part of. A few weeks back Donny got a couple of boxes of patches to help him quit smoking. The only problem was that once he got them he decided that he wasn't ready to quit. Bob was aware that Donny had gotten the patches, and took it upon himself to consistently bug Donny about using them. His way of doing so was to ask Donny about in a tone of voice that left you with no doubt that he knew the answer to the question and was only asking to rub it in. It was just strange. He also took to making snide comments about Donny's personal hygeine. (When Donny's not doing well he gets bad about it, but nobody wants to hear the snide comments, especially in their own home.)

Things just got progressively worse, until it hit the point that Donny and I were staying in our room or in the garage all the time. Separating Donny from Bob was all I could do to keep the problems from getting worse. By this time other problems had come up that caused the arrangement to be that Bob was staying with the friends who he had been painting for at night and coming to our house during the day. I stayed away from Bob when he was at our house because I simply couldn't deal with what was going on with him, and it helped keep Donny calm.

Last Wednesday afternoon Bob was taking a nap in my grandma's bedroom, and Donny was asleep in the garage. When Donny woke up he came into the house and spent some time with me in our bedroom. We were having a good day and when he stepped out of our room he was in a good mood. The next thing I knew he was yelling at Bob in the living room. I went and got Donny and took him to the garage to calm him down and find out what happened. Apparently, Bob had told Donny that he had been trying to nap and asked him not to slam the garage door. (The garage door automatically closes behind you, and it slams if you don't catch it.) Donny was livid tthat this guy was now "ordering him around in his own home". I got Donny calmed down enough for me to go deal with the problem, and went to talk to my mom to ask for ideas on the best way of handling it. I was still in my mom's room when I heard Donny come in the house and head for the restroom. I stepped into the hall in time to hear Bob ask Donny if he had calmed down yet. I was almost to the living room when I saw Donny kick the back of Bob's chair. I got to him before he could hit Bob.

This was the point at which I grabbed Donny and told him to get in the car. I had no idea about a long term solution, I just knew that I had to separate the two men before things got any worse. I can't afford to bail Donny out of jail right now. We went for a long drive that ended up being an adventure in and of itself. The evening ended on a good note, we really enjoyed the time that we spent together that evening. Bob has not been back to our house since then, but there's nothing decided about possible future visits. He is a friend of my parents after all.

I summed this up to my mom by saying, "Those two are like a couple of dogs marking their territory. Which would be kind of funny if I weren't the fire hydrant."

1 comment:

mielikki said...

sounds like you are doing all you can to put the kibosh on the situation. Still I do not envy you that position. I hope things get better