Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Yup, that sucked. (Thing One's first hour of independence, Version 1.1)

Before I give you this update, I want to give a more important one. This past weekend, Thing One called and asked to talk. He said that he'd been doing a lot of drinking over the weekend in the hope that he could forget his problems, but it hadn't worked, and he was sober and worried that night. We talked for awhile. He says he's applying for jobs and has a lead on a fast-food job that would allow him to pay his tickets and get insurance and licensing sorted out. He says he's resolved not to drive again until he has a valid license and insurance. And he says he's going to take things one thing at a time and not panic at the prospect of being sued for money he doesn't have. I waited for the pitch, the appeal for money, or the excuses to start, but they didn't come. He seemed to be very serious, and I want to give him credit. I'm sure there will be setbacks again, probably soon, but to me, this young man who wants to help people but has some growing up to do first is the real Thing One. This is why I'm on his side, even when I have to try to find the humor in his actions to keep from despair. Keep this in mind as you read Version 1.1 of his story of events--later on, he will begin to take genuine responsibility. It's just going to take a couple of weeks first.

If you missed the last installment, Thing One has turned 18 years of age (along with Thing Two.) Being 18 years old and thus a mature adult, he has moved out to seek his fortune. Unfortunately, not having prepared to take that step by holding jobs, saving money or securing his own transportation, he didn't have the means to go out on his own . . . so he arranged to have his biological mom, BM, pick him up and take him to her home in Wisconsin. If you want this post to make any sense at all, you're going to want to read "Yup, that sucked (Thing One's first hour of independence)" first.

Life with Thing One has taught us that, when he's in trouble, there's always another version of the story in the works. Don't like the version he told you? Ask someone else; he told them something different. Don't like either one? Tell him so and give him a day; there'll be a new version. Basically, if he were a fiction writer, mid-level management would love him; he's very responsive to notes and suggestions. When he was telling these versions to us, My Bride and I were in different states and I was hard to reach; the temptation to give us at least two different versions must have been too much to resist.

So what changed in Version 1.1?

  • He told his mom (My Bride) that the occupants of the other car actually jumped out and switched places immediately after the accident, rather than staying put to be examined by him as he told me. This is a key detail because it allows him to continue to claim that the other driver must have been drunk. If you recall, the police tested the other driver at 0.04 BAC, but Thing One claimed that the passengers were more intoxicated. Note that I'm not claiming to know that the other drivers didn't pull a switch; I'm just pointing out that it's the second version of the story, not the first.
  • He further explained to her, the next day after the accident, that he was greatly relieved to find that he would not be held responsible for the "totaled" vehicles . . . because the other party wasn't insured, either. His "theory of the case" holds that only insurance companies can sue drivers for damages, so he's in the clear. When I got the chance to talk to him, I explained that liability doesn't work that way, but Version 1.1 wasn't ready to hear that yet.
  • Perhaps most intriguingly, Version 1.1 included a teaser/trailer for Version 1.2: Thing One told My Bride that "everything is going to be ok" because "SugarDaddy signed the truck over to me, so it's in my name now." When she asked what had been done and why, he refused to spoil the surprise, saying only that he was now the proud owner of the (totaled) truck and that this was somehow better for "SugarDaddy and his wife." Pressed for details, he blurted out, "I'm not going to do anything to mess up Bio-Mom's relationship with SugarDaddy!" and left it at that. How he came to believe that it would be his fault if Bio-Mom and SugarDaddy somehow failed to make their extra-marital affair work out was not clear, but personally, my guess is that someone in the household explained it to him.

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