I’ve decided that I’m thinking too much, so I’m just going to chew one thought at a time, write it down, and spit it out here.
My sister-in-law got into town last Thursday. Her arrival was pretty much indicative of the rest of her time here so far. I was at work that day, but planned to meet up with Justin and his grandma and his sister and go out for lunch at Captain D’s, a seafood restaurant chain. The understanding was that her plane arrived sometime between 11:45 and noon, but since her mother wouldn’t actually tell anyone the flight information, there was no way of knowing for sure. Justin and his grandma went to the airport to wait. I had to run an errand but planned to meet them at the restaurant after that.
At 12:15 or so, they determined that her flight wasn’t expected for at least another 30 minutes, so we decided to meet for lunch and then they’d pick her up after that. I was already close to the restaurant, so I told them I’d meet them there. Except when I got there, Captain D’s was closed and the building was up for lease. So we went to Appleby’s instead. They brought me the wrong salad and lost Justin’s order completely. As he was finally taking the first bite of his food, Jessi called to let us know that she was waiting at the airport.
But her school has really been the interesting situation. She arrived without any financial aid worked out for her semester. I’m really not completely clear on the whole situation, but I know she kept asking Justin if an email had come in with information about an application that she put in after she arrived, when she could get her grandfather to co-sign on a loan. That was submitted on Thursday, I think, and by Sunday morning we still hadn’t heard anything. Meaning, there was no way she could pay for school.
At that point, she went to school and un-enrolled from all her classes. We started to figure out all the details that would go into moving her into our house for the semester – clearing out space in the upstairs bathroom for her toiletries, clearing out my not-often-used office to make space for her to have a bedroom, finding a way to make space for her to park her car in front of the house, looking for job opportunities for her to make some money…. And she went to the beach for the 3rd day in a row.
Monday morning, I went to the office still working out the details to accommodate our unexpected roommate. Around 2 o’clock in the afternoon, Justin called and told me that her loan application had gone through and she was heading back to school. She was on campus, trying to enroll in classes and moving things from her storage unit into her dorm room. Justin’s grandma made dinner and while the four of us (Justin, me, Grandma and Grandpa) sat down for dinner, she came back to the house, decided not to join us for dinner, packed up all her stuff from the house, and went back to her dorm.
Last night, because the grandparents are traveling via camper trailer, Justin and I actually had the house to ourselves. This morning, Justin and his grandma were helping Jessi move things from her storage unit into her dorm.
And according to Justin’s calculations, she’s going to be paying more in school loans per month than we pay in rent and utilities…for the next 40 years.
I have decided that as long as she’s not staying in the house with me, then what she does is Not My Problem. She’s 20 years old and an adult and she can make her own decisions. When the plan was for her to stay with us, our plan was to treat her like an adult, let her come and go as she pleased, and let her make her own decisions. Now that she’s not staying with us, that notion still stands – she can come and go as she pleases and make her own decisions. The difference is that now that she’s in the dorm, none of those decisions will have any effect on me.
I’m happy for her – she’s back where she wanted to be, hanging out with her friends, and going to school. And if she decided that she wanted to stay with us, I would do whatever needed to be done in order for that to happen – including boxing up all my books and buying a bed for her to sleep on. But I admit, it is a relief for her not to be spending the semester with us. And I think she probably agrees.