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Source: (consider it) Thread: Master(mistress) /servant relationships
Penny S
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# 14768

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This is something I have been dwelling on a bit lately.
First of all, my guest offered to pay a proportion of the cost of the food I served them, demanding that I calculate it carefully, and not satisfied when I said it was stuff I had by me, and had no idea of the cost.

Having accepted payment, I came to realise that the dynamics had changed from host/guest to something else. My guest could now require things from me - not only food to her taste, but also radio programmes to her taste (Farridge!) even when I expressed different and strong preferences.

Now I find that I am expected to respond to the guest's wishes as if I were in service. "Where is Penny, I want my breakfast?" "I need tea for my pills." "I want my lunch now."

We have fallen, on the one side, into the expectation of a service relationship, and this has triggered the thought that if it is so easy, in a situation where it is not spelled out, for one party to assume the acquiescence of another in satisfying their wants, this is at the root of a lot of human problems.

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molopata

The Ship's jack
# 9933

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Well, yes. But then maybe no. Surely it depends on the relationship you have to this (paying?) guest, what her reasons are for staying with you, and what previous history you had with her.

Just because I chip in for the food does not intrinsically mean that I get to determine the menu - unless of course I am like more than paying my way when all is considered (roof over my head, food, cleaning).

On a slightly different note, it is interesting that. Molopatas Jr. 1 & 2 (despite not paying a penny for their upkeep) seem at times to believe that their doting parents are bound into a service relationship to them. Given legal requirements, cultural conventions and innate parental instincts, they may not be entirely wrong in their assessment. Nevertheless, it requires a little discussion from time to time as to where the limits are!

Would there be anything hindering a straight talk with your guest?

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... The Respectable

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Rosa Gallica officinalis
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# 3886

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Your guest is paying for the food that she is eating, not for accommodation or for your time, gas bills to cook it etc. She needs to decide whether she is a guest- present by your generous hospitality in your home fitting in with your rules/schedules/radio preferences, or if she is a resident paying fully for the services she is expecting.

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Come for tea, come for tea, my people.

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Boogie

Boogie on down!
# 13538

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Always worth a frank discussion as to expectations and boundaries I would think.

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Garden. Room. Walk

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cliffdweller
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# 13338

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It is interesting dynamic, isn't it? It strikes me as very cultural-- those of us in the relatively affluent and highly individualistic West can be very uncomfortable being in someone's debt. We don't like to ask for favors, don't like to be a "guest" because it shatters our illusion of self-sufficiency. Your guest's insistence on paying for food seems like a means to take control of her life. I don't know the circumstances-- this could be related to a sudden change in life situation that cause her to feel uncomfortably vulnerable. I'm thinking of my mom when her health suddenly declined and she became dependent on caregivers we saw this sort of kick back and wanting to take charge of a life that felt like it was slipping away. Or it could just be an expression of fierce independence and self-sufficiency, which are so wedded into our culture.

In other cultures it doesn't seem to be as problematic to accept hospitality from others graciously-- in more communal cultures there's a greater understanding that we're all inter-dependent so less need to create this illusion of self-sufficiency by paying for any gifts you receive.

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by Rosa Gallica officinalis:
Your guest is paying for the food that she is eating, not for accommodation or for your time, gas bills to cook it etc. She needs to decide whether she is a guest- present by your generous hospitality in your home fitting in with your rules/schedules/radio preferences, or if she is a resident paying fully for the services she is expecting.

Being a guest in someone else's house, but providing food or something is pretty common. I can't count the number of times I've showed up at someone else's house with food, or beer, or whatever. That doesn't somehow stop me from being a guest, or give me rights over the TV.

In my grandmother's later days, my mother often used to shop for her (G. would manage the bus to the shops on a nice day, but wasn't up to it on a wet and windy one. Or, sometimes, they would drive in and shop together.)

These outings always ended in the same way - with the two of them sitting at our kitchen table with a cup of tea and their purses (this might be called a coin purse in American) out, each trying to pay for all the shopping.

It still makes me smile.

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Belle Ringer
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# 13379

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quote:
First of all, my guest offered to pay a proportion of the cost of the food I served them, demanding that I calculate it carefully, and not satisfied when I said it was stuff I had by me, and had no idea of the cost.

Having accepted payment, I came to realise that the dynamics had changed from host/guest [/QB]

You provided some food but not the labor that turns food into a meal. Her paying for a share of the food did not reimburse you for the shopping, prep, or cleanup. And thats what you tell her with the addition that you do not agree to the changes she wants.

When she wants a cup of tea, tell her were to get it. If you don't feel comfortable with her messing in your kitchen, uninvite her.

This guest knew exactly what she was doing. Take control again. NO ONE has a right to control your radio but you.

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Amanda B. Reckondwythe

Dressed for Church
# 5521

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There is, after all, such a thing as overstaying one's welcome.

Benjamin Franklin got it right: "Houseguests and stale fish smell after three days."

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"We're not in Wonderland anymore, Alice." – Charles Manson

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Boogie

Boogie on down!
# 13538

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My brother lives with us four days a week. We had a chat about it - we buy food eaten at home and he pays for take always and restaurant visits.

It works well for us.

Although he tends not to ask for anything and never makes cups of tea etc. So, if I forget for any reason, he can go all evening without a brew [Hot and Hormonal]

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Garden. Room. Walk

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Penny S
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# 14768

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cliffdweller has the situation. It was an emergency offer of accommodation during the cold weather when the house became unliveable. There is no alternative sort of help for someone in her position. Loss of control is very much the essence of the situation.
We've got to get her place liveable again before her use of 'home' for here becomes indelible. And 'my blanket' for the travel rug with my name tape on it for college.
I was wondering more generally, though, about the assumption of entitlement to others' service/duty. And, conversely, the way people can knuckle under to this assumption.

[ 27. February 2017, 19:22: Message edited by: Penny S ]

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Gee D
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# 13815

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Reading this with other posts by Penny S, the person referred to is a sort of semi-permanent resident - or at least approaching that. As she is eating very frequently at Penny S's house, her offer is reasonable and a realistic assessment of the position.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Penny S
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# 14768

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Yes, but the control is not reasonable - beyond the point that her teeth require a certain texture of food.
Maybe I'm wrong in linking the money to the control, though. Superstitiously.

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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{{{{{Penny}}}}}

From previous posts, I know this person is extremely difficult.

Would it help *you* at all to say "Thank you for pitching in for your share of the groceries; that was kind of you"? That might restore your sense of personal power, because *you're* the gracious hostess that she was kind enough to reimburse. Does that make any sense?

She might not see it that way. OTOH, it might knock her back on her heels a bit, temporarily.

Penny, I really hope you can get some kind of respite caregiver to step in, once and a while. Is there anything like adult daycare at senior centers where you are? But the best thing, as you already know, is to either get her care at her home, or get her into a care home or assisted living.

I hope that can, somehow, be managed soon, and without a lot of fuss. You need a break, and the friend you're helping out needs a long-deserved break from her.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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Penny--

quote:
Originally posted by Rosa Gallica officinalis:
Your guest is paying for the food that she is eating, not for accommodation or for your time, gas bills to cook it etc. She needs to decide whether she is a guest- present by your generous hospitality in your home fitting in with your rules/schedules/radio preferences, or if she is a resident paying fully for the services she is expecting.

Penny, you might want to check your local laws to find out at what point she might be considered a renter. I don't know what else she may have paid for. But sometimes, here, people can have a legal nightmare trying to get rid of someone staying in their home. The line can be blurry, and sometimes the renter will flat out lie.

She may not have anything like that in mind. But, considering her situation, that you're evidently her primary care-giver, and your friend doesn't have much involvement right now, your guest might get Ideas.

I hope not, but might be a wise thing to check. YMMV.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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Lyda*Rose

Ship's broken porthole
# 4544

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In some places in the US one doesn't even have to be paying rent to invoke the obligation of the person providing the residence to let you remain until legally ejected with notice and all the rights to legal appeal that a renter has. In other words, if someone moves in and stays, say a week, they now legally live there and can't be ejected at the instant will of the owner or main resident.

I realize from previous posts on the situation, this isn't Penny's problem with her guest. But even here in the US, I don't think the obligation to be served tea or watch the TV show of your choice is a legal one.

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"Dear God, whose name I do not know - thank you for my life. I forgot how BIG... thank you. Thank you for my life." ~from Joe Vs the Volcano

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Tubbs

Miss Congeniality
# 440

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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
Always worth a frank discussion as to expectations and boundaries I would think.

This! The best thing would be to agree between you all a length of time for the stay and the purpose.

For example: "You can stay for x weeks while your house is sorted so you can return to it. After that period, we will review and, depending on the state of the repairs, you can either stay for longer or look for alternative accommodation.

During that time, I will provide food and shelter, but as it's my house we live by my rules. So if I don't want the radio on, off it goes. However hard you sulk".

It sounds ruthless when put like this but if you don't start setting some boundaries, you're going to be lumbered with mummy forever. And she will run you ragged.

Tubbs

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"It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it up and remove all doubt" - Dennis Thatcher. My blog. Decide for yourself which I am

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Jane R
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# 331

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Golden Key:
quote:
Penny, you might want to check your local laws to find out at what point she might be considered a renter.
That's a good point... but in the UK it's fairly straightforward AFAIK. As Penny's (hopefully) temporary lodger is not related to her and is living in Penny's house, Penny only has to give her 'reasonable notice' to quit - see here under 'excluded tenancies'. 'Reasonable notice' in this case would probably be interpreted as 'long enough to finish repairs to her own house or find a place in respite care'.
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Tubbs

Miss Congeniality
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
In some places in the US one doesn't even have to be paying rent to invoke the obligation of the person providing the residence to let you remain until legally ejected with notice and all the rights to legal appeal that a renter has. In other words, if someone moves in and stays, say a week, they now legally live there and can't be ejected at the instant will of the owner or main resident.

I realize from previous posts on the situation, this isn't Penny's problem with her guest. But even here in the US, I don't think the obligation to be served tea or watch the TV show of your choice is a legal one.

Doesn't work that way in the UK at all. Mummy would be considered a guest, not a tenant or a lodger. Even if she was a tenant or a lodger, as Penny is the home owner and lives in the property, she can tell Mummy to leave at any time without getting a court order. (IANAL).

Tubbs

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"It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it up and remove all doubt" - Dennis Thatcher. My blog. Decide for yourself which I am

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Lyda*Rose

Ship's broken porthole
# 4544

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I imagine if the guest has another residence where they have their belongings and receive mail, it's the same here. The protections in the US are mostly meant to keep significant others and family members being suddenly made homeless by the main resident of a home.

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"Dear God, whose name I do not know - thank you for my life. I forgot how BIG... thank you. Thank you for my life." ~from Joe Vs the Volcano

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L'organist
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# 17338

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This is nothing at all to do with an consumer/provider of service relationship and everything to do with the fact that your 'guest' lacks manners.

I was fortunate to benefit from having a nanny as a child, and we also had people to help run the house, etc. It was drummed into us that people who come into the home to help the family - resident or not - are under no obligation to do so, can leave at any time of their choosing, and while under our roof are to be treated and as valued family members.

The fact is, good manners cost nothing: the lack of them can render life unbearable for the people who are patronised or abused.

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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Penny S
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# 14768

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Manners are improving. Information regarding reliable tradespeople is on its way. Respite care is a no no. Not available. Zilch. Plans are afoot for clearance.

This morning my heart leapt up as I followed a van labelled "budgetjunk" "We clear your rubbish from your house". I chased him along the school run. Sadly, he doesn't reach as far as the house in question, but does that sort of thing - and there is the stuff in my garage. His card shows various authority insignia as proof of his bona fides. He knew all about hoarding. This gives me hope that there are others in the business.

There's less of the expecting service now.

As her son says, she seems to move in and out of various states, trying to hold on to herself, but sometimes losing track. Yesterday in the car, she silently held out a cup we had taken without asking if there was any more tea in the flask, I had to deduce it. There's episodes of an odd helplessness.

But I'm linking this to the historical situation of my grandmother, expected to curtsy to carriage folk, whom God had put into their place because they were "better". Why did people accept this situation (in the catechism, as late as 1928, for goodness' sake)? Or the women who went into service to have their baptismal name erased by the employer because it was au dessus de sa gare.*

People expect others to do their bidding. And others do it. (I've inherited my grandmother's attitude - she didn't curtsy.) I've heard teachers object to children who speak to them as if they (the children) were adults (a boy with a large gap above him in the family who lived in a house of adults, intelligent and thoughtful, this was, nothing rude about him.) An expectation of hierarchy. Why?

*This is not correct French for above their station.

PS. I am working out from my energy monitor the increase in electricity use.

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Gee D
Shipmate
# 13815

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quote:
Originally posted by Jane R:
Golden Key:
quote:
Penny, you might want to check your local laws to find out at what point she might be considered a renter.
That's a good point... but in the UK it's fairly straightforward AFAIK. As Penny's (hopefully) temporary lodger is not related to her and is living in Penny's house, Penny only has to give her 'reasonable notice' to quit - see here under 'excluded tenancies'. 'Reasonable notice' in this case would probably be interpreted as 'long enough to finish repairs to her own house or find a place in respite care'.
Tubb's following post is right. Several flaws in the suggestion that there may be some sort of tenancy, starting from the basic one that there is no intention to enter into legal relationships. That's the position here; it may differ elsewhere by statute, but I'd be very surprised. The same as if you seek and accept board money from a child still at home but out in the workforce.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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Interesting, the various legalities. I hope Penny doesn't have any trouble. As Lyda mentioned, it can happen here, without any actual rent. It's the kind of thing that periodically makes the news: a person is taken into a home, with intent of a temporary stay; they overstay; the actual resident can't get them to leave; and it winds up in court. And even that doesn't always fix things.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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Some examples:

"Hospitality cost couple dearly when guest refused to leave" (Tampa Bay Times). Also talks about several other situations; and there's a "Legal for 'Get lost'" section at the end, explaining various legal terms.

Search "guest overstayed won't leave can't evict" on DuckDuckGo.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

Posts: 17447 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Gee D
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# 13815

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Those links refer to what "the police think" rather than court decisions. I stick with what I said: subject to any particular legislation where the problem arises, there should be no trouble in obtaining a court order for eviction.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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Gee D--

From my first link:

quote:
So far, the ordeal has cost the Remeikas $328 in court fees and their case has dragged on for eight weeks, all while the woman continues to watch their television and even add items to their dry-erase shopping list.

On Tuesday, they finally convinced a judge to order Heslin to vacate the house. But plenty of damage has already been done.

(snip)

Deputies showed up at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday to serve a felony warrant on Heslin.

Surprise. Heslin wasn't home.

And, by that time, Ms. Heslin had filed a lawsuit against *them*, regarding supposed injuries from a cabinet allegedly falling on her. But the cabinet is still bolted to the wall...

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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Gee D
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# 13815

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Yes, I saw that and it really confirms what I said - don't take that sort of notice from police about a civil matter and get to court asap.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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sabine
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# 3861

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quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
Yesterday in the car, she silently held out a cup we had taken without asking if there was any more tea in the flask, I had to deduce it. There's episodes of an odd helplessness.

This reminds me of my father, who used to just point out in space and say "unh unh" like a child while the rest of us tried to guess what he wanted (he was perfectly able to speak). Now, my mother will sit at the table with a teapot and bowl of sugar cubes. She'll wait until someone asks if she wants tea and then pours it. And then she'll sit and say "sugar" hoping someone will put a cube in her cup.

Both of my parents are (were/Dad's gone) deeply troubled people who were always able to ask for more important things (Can't you stay a little longer? or The light bulb is out in the lamp by my bed.).

Something is blocked internally when a person can't make simple personal requests. (I'm not talking about cultural distinctions in assertiveness.)

sabine

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"Hunger looks like the man that hunger is killing." Eduardo Galeano

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Jengie jon

Semper Reformanda
# 273

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As someone who sometimes resorts to miming to communicate please let me say what it is with me.

It is normally because for some reason I am experiencing difficulty summoning the will to speak. Normally it is because I am feeling over stimulated and talking intensifies stimulation. However, it can also be a reaction to entering into silence deeply and finding it hard to move out of. I do not think I am planning to mime, nor do I do it for attention (in fact in some ways special attention is the last thing I want); the miming is so as people do not think it is odd I am not speaking.

Jengie

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"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

Walking 18 miles to help Refugees get an education.

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simontoad
Ship's Amphibian
# 18096

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If your guest comes home with a whip and some handcuffs it's time to really start to worry.

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The opinions expressed above are transitory emotional responses and do not necessarily reflect the considered views of the author.

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Penny S
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# 14768

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I don't think we're in that Florida territory. She isn't dishonest. Just confused.
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Belle Ringer
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# 13379

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Similar situation and different.

I had an acquaintance who was going on a temporary assignment starting one week after her lease ended. She needed a place for a week, just her and 2 suitcases.

Except when she arrived it was her and a roomfull things, she shoved aside my carefully placed (sometimes fragile) stuff to make room for hers.

At the end of one week she learned the trip wouldn't start for another two weeks. Later they said 6 weeks. I had charged her nothing for a one weeks stay. How do you change a deal?

She protested the delay was costing her money (to pay for her stuff in storage. I pointed out that she was gaining money by living in my house free! She startled.

And bought a (used) washer, which leaked and flooded my storage area.

(Did I mention the burned popcorn that ruined the machine, toilet overflow damaged the ceiling below, etc. Shrug and leave for work. Washer was the last straw.)

I collapsed in tears, she said she's overstayed her welcome, and moved out. To her daughters. (So, why did she need a place? But families are like that)

I should have asked for a little rent the first time it went over one week. Should have handed her a bill for part of the damage she caused, I didn't. A guest just shrugs, like she did, not her house.

But she did buy me a washer. It did make up for some of the problems.

Posts: 5823 | From: Texas | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged
Golden Key
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# 1468

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Penny--

quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
I don't think we're in that Florida territory. She isn't dishonest. Just confused.

Good. [Smile] Just wanted you to be forewarned.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

Posts: 17447 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Penny S
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Thanks for the thought. I am bearing it in mind, and watchful.
It does seem tricky to set down rules as if things will go wrong right at the beginning, doesn't it?
I bet the first person with my name thought that as well.
And sympathy for Belle Ringer's situation (though past).
Just seen the state of the downstairs loo floor. I must remember to check the loo roll on the dispenser daily. I think the floor may need recovering sooner than I had planned. I would not have chosen laminate, as the vendor did. Looks nice, but doesn't like wetness or steam-cleaning.

[ 04. March 2017, 14:34: Message edited by: Penny S ]

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Soror Magna
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quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
...
It does seem tricky to set down rules as if things will go wrong right at the beginning, doesn't it?. ...

Then don't call it rules. Call it discussing and agreeing on limits and expectations.

--------------------
"You come with me to room 1013 over at the hospital, I'll show you America. Terminal, crazy and mean." -- Tony Kushner, "Angels in America"

Posts: 5295 | From: Caprica City | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged


 
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