Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Perspective and Snap Decisions

I came home from work the other night and walked in to an emotional shit storm. My daughter, the mother of my eldest granddaughter was ranting, more like storming rage, about something her 18 year old daughter had done. She was on the verge of tears, and slamming her fist on the table repeating, “I CAN NOT BELIEVE SHE DID THIS!”
This rant only produced more emotional upheaval as she tried to stifle her tearful frustration when I asked just what it was that was so offensive. Along with this festering emotion was my husband, who also was fuming, but really waiting for me to have a similar reaction to the issue at hand, whatever it was, so I asked.
“Did she have a car accident?"No.
“Was she pregnant?” Nooo.
“O.K. then what?”
The rant continued. “She told Nancy Nonsense (of course that is not her real name) that she could move in here for a couple weeks because she is fighting with her mom and is getting thrown out! “
With that declaration my daughter slammed her fist against the table again in what was actually more her own temper tantrum than a real anger or disappointment.

A brief background, these girls have been friends off and on  since grade school. The off times were usually because of a stark difference in personal choices. Nancy has a little issue with household authority, and wrestles with a heavy dose of oppositional defiance.  Now they are college students and not much has changed. She’s a real charmer when it suits her, but lately, Nancy lacked that charm in her own home. 
Back to the emotional shit storm. I took a deep sigh and said, “You’re upset because she made that decision without consulting you.”
“You’re damn right I am! Just who does she think she is?”
“She’s just a kid,” interjected my husband, still waiting for me to pile on.
With another deep sigh,  I got on my virtual soapbox and here’s what I said.
“Yes, she is not in a position to make such a decision without consulting the adults in the household. But let’s go back almost 30 years ago when YOU were just a kid and our house was always hosting at least one of yours or your sister’s  friends for a variety of reasons. It wasn’t because we lived in any lap of luxury that they didn’t have in their own home. It was because they were avoiding their own home and as long as they were respectful and kept in touch with their parents I was okay with that. The way I saw it, I knew who you were with and what you were doing (for the most part). When the welcome mat wore thin, I sent them home. Nancy can stay here tonight but then she has to leave. She is not homeless and she has other places where she can stay. She can’t stay here just because she can’t make all the rules to suit herself.”
With that, my daughter and husband chafed that I wasn’t going to carry on in a fit of rage similar to theirs.
“Then YOU tell them,” they said as if that were a challenge, like I don't speak my mind.
After speaking to Nancy’s Mom and hearing her side of the story, we agreed that she would spend only that night at our home and then be on her way, essentially a cooling off for both sides.

The girls were informed that this would be the last night of her stay and then Nancy Nonsense would have to either go home or find someplace else to stay, but it would be wise to first try home.
Nancy wasn’t happy, but did depart the next day, albeit with a bit of a pissy attitude.

And my granddaughter’s offense? She offered to someone a place to stay that needed some time to pull themself together. With time and experience she will understand the consequences of making snap decisions. I hope she never loses that compassion for another human being.

1 comment:

  1. You handled this situation the perfect way that I've come to expect of you. Kudos for Granny