How My Daughter Tried to Kill Me

& others, along with other tales from my Very Busy Tuesday.

Tuesday started for me in the car driving home & arriving at quarter past 12 am to find Chrissea, her daughter & their dog just arriving at our house too- for a pre-planned visit for Chrissea’s & my mutual Tuesday off. We came in the house to be greeted by 17 who was waiting up to greet us & hang out. We all ended up sitting around chatting until after 1 am at which time 17 & Chrissea’s daughter went upstairs, Chrissea went to bed to read & I watched my news on dvr before going to bed too. When I went to bed I could still hear 17 & Chrissea’s daughter talking up a storm from upstairs.

The kids were kind to me & were quiet on the way out to school in the morning so the first thing I knew it was 930 & I had to get up to eat breakfast & get ready to go to H&R block to get my taxes done. I had done a refund predictor thing on the same company’s web site & was expecting something around $3k back. Last year was around 4k & they had warned me that with 17 turning 17 I would be ineligible for 1 credit for her & would lose $1000. in refunds because of it. So 3k sounded right to me.

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I was amused to find not a single cat downstairs at all. That probably had something to do with Chrissea’s humongous German Shepard Toby lounging on my living room floor. He was pleased to see me but really wanted me to help him get up the ladder stairs to the upstairs where the cats were apparently ensconced. Since I don’t even climb the ladder stairs I was unable to oblige.I was gratified to see that the ice, snow & freezing rain they had been predicting on the news the night before was no-where to be seen & though it was gray & cloudy it was over 40 & not raining or otherwise precipitating.

Off I went to H&R block where the same, very kind & lovely hippie type lady who’s been doing my taxes for at least the last 4 years was waiting for me. We went through the usual range of questions, anyone disabled? Everyone still in school? Any change of residence or employment etc & so on, until it was established that the bonuses my company gives out in addition to my new hourly wage conspired to reduce my refund by not approximately $1k but by 2k. I was disappointed to say the least but what can you do. We went over it 3 times & there was nothing there that she missed. I tried the rebate predictor on the website again after I got home & it showed exactly what she had come up with too so I don’t know what happened but it was wrong 2 weeks ago when I tried it the first time.

I settled in the bank parking lot before cashing my refund check (I do rapid refund- I know it costs money, but it is worth it when you’re getting shut off notices on your electric bill & paying late fees on other bills) I had to re-do the finances. Now it looks like the whole stairs plan is going to have to wait – yet again- though, since I was upset & frustrated already I decided to talk to child support enforcement because they always put me in that mood so they, at least couldn’t do much damage.

They were pretty cool, I had to give them the ex’s address which he willingly gave me a couple of weeks ago & which I hadn’t gotten around to calling them with. I asked about the arrears amount (he owes me more than my tax refund amounted to- sadly) & they said he was scheduled for ‘special collection action’ which means he’ll lose his tax refund this year again (4 years in a row- can you say yee hah? I can!) They also explained that the reason they’ve had to hold it 6 months previously was because he filed taxes jointly with his wife. So I speculated that since he’s divorcing, he might be filing single this year. That would mean that I’d have the money pretty quick. I’m not saying a word to him about it I’ll just be checking out the automated system on the child support thing weekly from now on.

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I arrived home to find Chrissea, 17 & Sami waiting for me. We decided to go get a light, quick lunch & went back to town to DJ’s drive in for burgers with the expectation that we’d be going out all together for a nice big meal as an early celebration for 17’s birthday after 11 & 8 arrived home from school & 17’s boyfriend got out of work. 8’s teacher called to tell me she was worried about getting home because of the inclement weather expected later in the day & was canceling the remediation class for the afternoon so we went back to the house to await 8 arriving by bus. 11’s teacher lives in town & was unconcerned so we still had to wait for her to finish her remediation & pick her up at the school at 4.

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17 had the driving bug & really wanted to drive around & practice. We’d all been discussing old times & so decided a drive up to the old rental house we lived in when we first moved back to Floyd in 1997 was in order. While we were driving 17 was feeling hypersensitive to everything I said, when I asked her to get off the edge of the road she bitched about me being too critical of her driving & nit picking every move she made. So, when we went to make the left turn onto the road which leads to the road the old house is on, I didn’t say anything about the ditch.

The turn onto the road (Buffalo Mountain Road) is a hard left & the road immediately dips down & does a little turn, if you don’t turn just right, there is a very deep ditch on the right hand side of the road. The last time 17 & I had taken this ride with her driving I had said something about watching out for the ditch & gotten an earful about ”I lived off this road for 2 years, I rode the school bus back & forth all that time, mom, I know the road, duh, I know there’s a ditch there” so, in light of the diatribe I’d sparked 3 miles back up the road I kept my mouth shut.

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And she drove right into the ditch! It was, like all car accidents etc. in slow motion, I watched her turn & started to say- you’re too far to the right & then we were down in it & she yanked the wheel to the left, somehow the car went airborne for a split second, there was a large bang & we landed on the road partway- headed for the other side of the road, she yanked the wheel right & straightened out (something she’s not been all that good at so far- up until yesterday when it really counted) & we kept on going. Me worrying about my nice new (barely a week in my possession) car’s suspension, tires, gas tank et. al. Chrissea thanking heavens she was in the back & didn’t see what happened exactly, 8 wide eyed & staring & Sami chattering excitedly about the whole thing. We were going to stop at the private church school up the road but there was a car parked there & I didn’t want gawkers so we drove all the way to the old house, past it to the church & parked in the parking lot to survey the damage.

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There was no damage! not a scratch, dent or ding, none of the tires were hissing & leaking air & no smell of gas from a cracked gas tank. 17 said she was glad it had happened because she felt like now that she’d had something bad happen & had been able to handle it without serious injury she’d be better prepared next time. I was not happy but what’s done is done & since there was no damage we went along- Chrissea drove us – she hadn’t driven my new car before then- to the elementary to get 11 & we all went back home to await 17’s BF’s arrival, then, in 2 separate cars (17 driving her BF’s car) we went to C’burg where we had planned to eat at the new Olive Garden. The wait, however was 55 minutes – which is crazy for a Tuesday so we went to Outback steak house, were seated immediately & had a great time at a table for 7.

When we left to go home 17 & the BF went to spend some of her birthday money (the tradition is that when my tax refund comes in I give her her birthday money then & she picks out her own gifts- it began when she was 8 or 9 & so picky the ex & I didn’t dare buy her anything for fear she wouldn’t like it) I was more than a little concerned when she called me to ask me about bleach. Sure enough she came home with a bleach kit & TEAL (?) hair dye.

It turned out Sami had hair color she’d talked her mom into getting for her & so they had a little hair dyeing party, I did the tipping with bleach that 17 wanted but the stuff she bought was weak & didn’t lift right, over an hour later she was still pale orange, not white. My advice was to wait until Friday, go get a better bleach kit, re-tip & then put in the teal color, she insisted she had to go to school with teal hair tomorrow & put the teal in anyway, resulting in an odd greenish tinge.

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We all played rummy & then the school bound went to bed & Chrissea read again, I watched the news in horror (I didn’t watch the national news Monday night, only the local for the weather & was completely in the dark about the whole stock market crisis.) A good time was had by all really & I’ve barely spent any of my refund yet (If you don’t count paying the electric bill & writing out, but not mailing, a bunch of checks for bills)

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