I am so disheartened with recent events in my life. I'm struggling with the notion that, while I know good people exist (in addition to some I know in "real" life, I've also "met" so many good hearted, fine, upstanding people through blogging!), I wonder if the larger population even cares about good character or integrity or personal responsibility. As I mentioned before, my husband was involved in a hit and run accident last month. The young man (22 years old) who made an illegal lane change and hit Randey, fled the scene of that accident. An off duty police officer witnessed the accident and following the offender as he fled, catching up to him after about 15 miles as the young man turned into and parked at a shopping mall. Upon his apprehension, police escorted the young man back to the scene of the accident, where he proceeded to lie about his version of what happened. He claimed he had no idea that he had hit someone. He thought he'd merely "spun out" on the wet road. Because there were witnesses to the actual accident (another witness returned to the scene and also gave his information to the police), the police arrested the young man for hit and run. At that time, the guy claimed he had insurance. Another lie. I don't really get that one. It's not like they were just going to take his word for it. He had to produce evidence of that insurance coverage and, of course, he could not. Yet he lied about it anyway. This young person hit another car with his car, fled the scene of the accident, lied about how the accident happened and what actually happened in the accident and then lied about having insurance coverage. No character. No integrity. No personal responsibility. Then someone rams my car in a parking lot and leaves without thought as to the hardship they have caused. They were more interested in avoiding responsibility than owning up to it. What's that all about? How does that work? How can you cause that much damage to another person's property and be only concerned for yourself? I'm no saint, God knows, but I can't fathom ever doing that to someone. Then again, maybe I would. Maybe I don't have any more character or integrity than the next person. I like to think I do, but maybe I'm just fooling myself.
This last situation that makes me question things like character and integrity and personal responsibility has to do with one of my cousins. Does anyone remember me talking about our "cousin getaway" from earlier in August? Well, Randey had actually reserved the room for us at the resort and used our credit card to pay. When we arrived at the resort, one of my cousins asked if we could transfer the reservation over to her name so that she could use her husband's Marriott points and maybe get an upgrade (maybe free breakfast or something like that, she suggested). Not caring whose name it was in, I said fine. As she and I checked in, I was standing there when the clerk said there would be no problem with doing that. He then asked for her debit card for any incidentals, etc., which she gave him. The next morning, as we were all "paying up", there was a discussion amongst us about whose card the room charges were on. My cousin called the front desk and upon hanging up, told us all that her debit card was the one charged. So we all paid her for our shares of the room, approximately $34.00 each. I actually gave her $40.00 because all I had was twenties and told her not to worry about the change. Imagine my surprise when I got my credit card bill in the mail and saw that my credit card had been charged for the room ($169 and some change!). I immediately called my cousin to tell her about this and to request a copy of her bank statement so that I could contest the charges on my card. At that point, I was hoping it was an error on the part of the resort ( i.e, they double billed us for the room). Days later, my cousin calls me back and tells me that her debit card was not charged and that she would send me a check right away. A week later, I still hadn't received a check, but my cousin called to say it was a bank error - she had requested the payment to me via Quicken, there had been a screw up, but not to worry, a check was on its way. Another week passed with no check. Upon inquiry, my cousin told me that her bank was just "really messing up bad" - even her mortgage payment was screwed up, but no fear...a check was on its way. And now, more than yet another week has passed. Still no check. Still hearing about her bank screwing up, only now the story is joined with tales of a sick kid and admonitions that I should not be "ugly" about it and should be patient. ("Ugly" consisted of me e-mailing her, asking what was up and to please tell me if she was having money problems or even if she never intended to pay me so I would quit looking for the check to arrive.) It's been over 6 weeks since our "cousin getaway". I don't know about you guys, but if I'm expecting a $169 withdrawal from my bank account via my debit card, I'm aware of it and would have questioned why it hadn't been processed within a week of the resort visit. Assuming that didn't occur to my cousin, however, I would hope that I would have rectified the situation within days of learning of it just because it would be the right thing to do. It's now been over 3 weeks since I told her my credit card was charged and I still have not received payment from her, and in fact am being "briefed" over my lack of patience and understanding. It's crushing me that this is happening. Us cousins had sworn to each other that we were going to treat each other right - we wouldn't make the mistakes of the previous generation. We were going to be open and honest and straightforward with one another and be family. But, for whatever reason and for whose ever fault it is, at least two of us don't seem to be doing that. I've agonized over this. Is it me? Am I not patient enough? Have I not given her plenty of time to fix this? Am I wrong to feel like I've been screwed after this much time has passed? I keep telling myself not to judge too hastily, not to be too fast to feel like history is repeating itself in this generation. But I can't seem to help but feel like enough time has passed and even if she should send that payment now, the damage is done. There was no consideration for my point of view - no thought to my credit card payment being due - no feeling of urgency to set things right. This "cousin getaway" room charge cost one cousin $34. It cost my sister and her daughter a combined $68. It cost me $209 (the entire room charge, plus the $40 cash I gave my cousin). My other cousin, however, made $142.00. It just doesn't seem right, it doesn't feel right and I can't help but wonder if I simply was not meant to be a part of a larger family picture. I seem to be involved in way too many bad feelings within the family and this is just one more incident. Maybe I'm taking it too personally, or too hard or whatever. Maybe I am just an impatient witch. Doesn't really matter at this point, now does it? Either way, I'm even further outside my extended family than I've ever been. Sometimes it seems like the harder I try, the more I learn I shouldn't. Yeah. Like I said earlier, I am so disheartened by recent events in my life.
Maybe this new season will bring changes for the good, eh? One can only hope.