We have become used to thinking of the ‘disadvantaged’ as ‘victims’; however, some have done everything to get where they are. I give you Betty:
This mother of 3, ages 7-12, has 4 years of college, claims to speak 5 languages, and has traveled the world. Her father was a high government official and most of her brothers and sisters are professionals. She has a number of good qualities, and there the fun stops.
She was investigated for child neglect, but beat it. She was evicted from one house. One visits her home and there might be a beat-up car parked the wrong way or one abandoned in the drive. The front and back yards are usually a mess. A faucet drips making a puddle near the entrance. A smoke detector bleeps for months, needing a battery.
The inside looks like a cyclone hit. It’s crowded with expensive furniture that was shipped at more than it was worth. Everything is stacked and strewn about. There is no place to put anything. The food is left out and spoils. The toothbrushes are in the same glass touching each other.
She asks people to work on things when there isn’t the space, tools, light, manuals, or peace and quiet. When being told simple alternatives to repairs, she doesn’t listen.
Once she had two families living there plus an illegal alien. Usually it’s her family, a nephew or two, a roomer, and some down-and-outer referred from church.
Since her place is a disaster, the only people who stay there are ner-do-wells. She cooks and cleans up after them. Some sponge off her, break things, get into the mail, don’t take messages, run up the phone bill, take drugs, steal things, and move out, owing her rent. She finds another who causes trouble for a while, moves out, and then she finds another as bad. She doesn’t learn.
She is always late, overwhelmed, and unable to find things. When a free washer and dryer were offered, she turned them down as they didn’t come with installation.
The kids and the roomers run her ragged. Her health and morale break down periodically, and she looks old for her years.
She has no health nor car insurance, yet spent $250 for an answering machine, $400 to bail out a relative (not her responsibility), $1800 for a computer, sent her kids to private schools, and took them across the country. When the family got back, they didn’t have a ride from the airport; when they got home, they had to break a window to get in.
Her messy car breaks down a lot. Her phone and table manners are bad, she uses profanity and ethnic slurs around neighborhood kids, and she dumps refuse illegally.
She yells at her kids all day, lets them stay up late, and can’t get them up in the morning. Her adult video tapes are out where they can see the labels. Apparently the teenage nephews have seen some and stolen others. One of them, 16, had her 12 yr. old boy out till 2:00 AM. The latter calls her ‘mommie,’ won’t study nor lift a finger to help, yet she ‘waits’ on him at meal time.
For all of the above, she has a thousand excuses: she is the victim, not the cause, the mess is temporary, the neighbors are low class – not her, others don’t know how to handle roomers – she does, other homes are depressing – not hers, people abuse her – not visa versa, even though they do a lot for her, they are ‘cheapskates,’ and she thinks she excels at everything. All backwards.
Impulsive, nervous, irresponsible, unreliable, dumps her troubles on complete strangers – life owes her a living. You feel sorry for her relatives, neighbors, and especially her kids, but not for her.
The public needs to know there are people like this. If they are helped, it should be under the strictest conditions.