Rent and Responsibility

Dearest Rachel –

I have to say that, when the folks dropped us off after driving us home from the airport, it was really nice to have Logan there waiting for us, with lights on and everything. The fact that he’d also prepared dinner (southern-style baked macaroni and cheese) was an added plus. Yes, he still gets it into his head to cook around the house, with absolutely no prompting. For me to say that he needs to be taught responsibility would almost seem absurd.

And yet, I have to remind myself that this is part of the reason he’s here in the first place. His folks didn’t send him off because they didn’t want him around or anything; rather, they thought it was high time for him to make his way in the world on his own. That includes things like paying his own bills, and paying them on time.

What I’m getting at here is that, last night, I had to remind him about October’s rent. At the beginning of October, he had produced a thick handful of 20s without me even having to ask (and thereby requiring me to ask if he could wait a day or two for his $10 in change, as I had nothing sufficient to give back to him in terms of change, and the rent we had agreed upon was a figure ending in -50. Twenties don’t add up to that, in any direction), to take care of his stay during September. As Daniel and I prepared ourselves and our stuff for our trip earlier this month, I again didn’t bother to ask him, but also thought he might do the same thing as he’d done in the previous month.

He didn’t.

Now, from my perspective, that’s not a big deal. Everybody involved in this transaction – him, me, Daniel, his parents – we all know that I don’t have any need for the money (apart from the nicety of having ready steady petty cash). This is a matter of teaching him responsibility, because once he’s out of here (and at this point, we’ve sort of agreed that he will be by the end of August, unless Megumi shows up sooner, and wants to convert the house into a nightclub), he’ll be dealing with a landlord who likely to be considerably less tolerant with regard to punctuality. Not out of meanness, necessarily, but out of actually needing the money to attend to his properties – and anyway, that’s how business works.

It’s a lesson that, I know, I haven’t yet tried to teach Daniel. But with Logan, it’s something that I sort of owe to his parents; whereas, with Daniel, I can teach him as I choose. No one is telling me how to instruct my son, as if anyone else would know how. Heck, I don’t even know how. I was hoping to have him set up with a bank account, checks and all, paying his own bills, but thus far, that hasn’t come to pass. And without that, he’s got no means to take care of those (admittedly few) expenses of his.

The thing is, while I can take care of him for now, there will come a point in time when we are no longer living together. I may get myself another place. I may find Megumi, and move in with her. Who knows? At some point, too, he will outlive me most likely, and he’d better have learned how to take care of himself, and his finances.

So that’s my responsibility, first and foremost. I’ve gotten in touch with the bank – yet again – to see what, if anything, they need from me in order to set us up with separate accounts. Once that’s done, and I get some checks ordered for him, I can teach him to keep track of his spending. I’d like to think he’s seen enough of me doing it that he can both understand how important it is to do, and how fairly easy it is as well.

Then again, I always thought I might set a good example by going to bed at a reasonable hour, and we both know how well that’s gone.

Anyway, wish me luck, honey. I’m going to need it.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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