What a ******* Piece of ****...
My children were supposed to leave on an airplane tonight at 7:16 pm to make their way here accompanied by their mother. Their mom called me from the airport at 6:54 pm stating she had been there for almost 30 minutes... she claimed she'd JUST returned from a trip to Florida to see her friend... but that no one was at the check-in gate to help them. She said arriving at 6:30pm for a 7:16pm departure was "early". "That's PLENTY of time to make that flight! If we don't make it, its THEIR fault for not being here to help us! You need to call somebody!"
Well... Apparently, arriving to the airport just 46 minutes before your scheduled departure with 3 children to check in, get through security and board the aircraft isn't nearly early enough. The airlines know this of course, and advise everyone to arrive 90 minutes prior to departure for exactly these reasons...
She has known about this flight and had the itinerary since around May 1st. She knew today was the day. She was in Florida and, by any reasonable account probably should have returned home from Florida yesterday so she could make sure she and the children were packed and ready to go without having to rush or risk forgetting something important. It probably would have been a good idea to arrive at the airport at LEAST 90 minutes prior to scheduled departure so you have a small time cushion in case of long lines, slow security checkpoint, or any number of 'what ifs'...
But that's me talking, and apparently I am a whack job.
As a result of running so terribly late, she got pulled over by a cop (according to her) en route to the airport (why speed if you're so early?) and she didn't wanna hear any of my '****' for being upset with her for missing the flight. All I told her was that arriving at 6:30pm for a 7:16pm departure was not early at all, or even on-time.
Don't you love it when people refuse to accept responsibility for their mistakes?
She was apparently able to change the flight, and they should arrive tomorrow at 2:15pm. So thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster for that. I lose 3 hours with my sons, but that's ok. What isn't OK is that I already paid $84 for a hotel room for them to stay in tonight in Seattle. I cannot cancel it and get my money back. Further, Orbitz told me the airlines normally charge $100 to $150 per ticket for changing the itinerary. It'll go against my debit card, only... yea... there isn't $600 in there right now. I counted on her being responsible and making the flights as planned, so I used the $ I saved for this trip to make their room here as awesome as I can. But I won't make the mistake of counting on her to be responsible ever again.
I sure hope the charge is only $100 per ticket...
Is it within my legal rights to make her reimburse me? Yea, probably... but you can't squeeze blood from a turnip... I'll never see a dime of that money back. Sad thing is, that its money to do things with my sons... to buy them things like clothes and shoes because they are growing out of theirs and she doesn't have the $ for some reason to buy them new stuff. She doesn't even ponder this though... and you can bet your *** she doesn't wanna hear it.
She couldn't even pay her half of the kids' travel expenses. She approached me about buying one-way tickets for them out here, and that she would purchase their tickets back. So I did... but she didn't save a red cent over the last 9 months despite receiving child support and alimony in the amount of $1,502 a month, and living COST free (rent, utilities, groceries etc) with her parents, AND having a full-time job making $10 an hour (so figure around $2,800 a month coming in altogether). Her mom complained to me about this stuff for a half an hour over the phone in early April... I ain't making this up.
In February, she received her tax return. She told me at was for $2,200. By the decree, I was forced to pay her the difference of what she would have received had she been able to claim one more of the children, and that total was $375. So by March, she had an additional $2,575 that she claimed she was putting back for the kids' travel this summer. But that money disappeared.
Anyway, a friend of hers here apparently agreed to buy the kids' tickets... thats not how the decree states its supposed to happen, but the court doesn't give a rats *** about how she meets her obligations so long as they're met... even when failure to meet them on her own shows a CONSISTENT lack of financial responsibility on her part.
How do you tell me in one week that the kids need new clothes and shoes because they're growing or grown out of what they have and claim to not have the $ to buy them, and the next week take a 4 day trip to Florida? Even if a friend paid the entirety of expenses as she claims, wouldn't the 'donation' be better spent providing for the needs of your children?
Oh yea... I keep forgetting. I'm a whack job.
I, on the other hand, saved and budgeted so that not only could I pay cash for my half of their travel, but I could also afford to fix their room up like home for them. And I must say, its pretty sweet! I also had to move so I had a place large enough to accommodate them. Moving in Hawaii is not cheap. Just to move in cost me over $2,500. I also paid $1,280 for their airfare and $84 for a hotel they'll never use and I cannot get refunded. I dropped $975 on their furnishings and all... and I've done that all over the last 5 weeks. I didn't get a $5,000 bonus check and my tax return was only $407 after paying her... So how did I manage to do this?
I disciplined myself, put my kids first, budgeted properly, and I saved.
Meeting the needs of my children and my obligations to them (as a father and according to the divorce decree) is paramount in my life over everything else. And I do both. I go above and beyond, like I did hooking their room up the way it is. And yet, my children suffer and I suffer because she is the way she is.
She took care to convince the kids it was the counter clerk's fault that they didn't make that flight tonight... Careful manipulation, blame and total unwillingness to accept responsibility or realize that she made a mistake.
Thats what my kids are learning. That is the example they have for how to live. Can you even understand how much that hurts me?
Here's hoping she gets up tomorrow in time to get them up, ready and to the airport early enough for their 6 am flight. Sorry... but I don't have an ounce of faith that that will happen