One of the ways I have made our food dollars stretch is buying bulk at Costco. We can save a small fortune buying large packages of fresh meat, splitting them into meal size containers and freezing them and get better quality than is available at our local supermarket. Since Jessica was supposed to be contributing her food stamps to cover what she ate, she told Dave not to buy any steaks from Costco on his next trip. Instead she planned to go to Stewart's Meats when her EBT card refilled because she claimed she could get a special deal there.
When she and Jimmy returned from Stewart's, there was less than half of one of the brown paper grocery bags with meat sitting on the counter. Inside there were some butcher paper wrapped packages of chuck and round steaks cut thinner than I have ever seen. When I asked Jessica what she had paid, she responded a little over a $100. My jaw dropped and I told her, "they saw you coming." knowing that we'd have paid far less than that at Costco and had better cuts. Then I explained to her there was no way that bag with its poor cuts of beef should have cost that much. She looked at me with a look that said she didn't understand. As she walked away she just happened to mention, they'd bought a little jerky too.
A few days later when I came across the receipts, I learned why that bag cost so much. Nearly $50 worth of jerky had been in that bag. Jessica and Jimmy ate all that jerky in three days. She had spent all but $12 of her monthly allowance for food on poor cuts of meat and beef jerky but she never missed a meal at our expense.
That was only the second time, and it was the last, she contributed to our household food budget, if that's what you'd call this. Jimmy only contributed $50 the entire span of time they were here and that was only after I insisted he couldn't eat here anymore at our expense. He promised he would give me more money next payday and would continue paying his way from there on out but never did. He was as manipulative as Jessica but we just didn't see it then.
The selfishness didn't stop there. The night they came home from Stewart's with the chuck and round steaks, I informed Jessica I didn't even know how to prepare either type of steak with them cut so thin so I sure couldn't explain it to Dave who was doing all of the cooking even though he doesn't really know how. Jessica claimed she had learned at her dad's house so she volunteered to cook dinner that night. (This was the one and only time Jessica cooked for us. The rest of the time it was the other way around.)
When she was done in the kitchen she brought me a plate of food already dished up. It was pretty sparse even for me so I went to the kitchen. There was another plate there equally as sparse and the pots were all empty. I had seen Jessica's plate as she quickly passed by my view on her way to her room. It had a mountain of food on it.
Jessica disappeared into her room where she and Jimmy ate. On her way by she told Lindsay her dinner was ready. Dave was asleep in a chair in the living room so I guess she figured he didn't need to eat because there was no more food.
Even as sick as I was at this point, I was livid to say the least so I called Jessica on her behavior. Her response to me was there wasn't enough food to go around. She claimed she had shared her plate with Jimmy and that she didn't have much either but I had seen her plate and the amount of food on it. She and Jimmy had eaten the bulk of the meal whether she admitted so or not.
Not only that but I had a pretty good idea of how much food there had been to start with. Those steaks may have been thinly cut but the butcher had wrapped them in family size portions. There had been a pot of mashed potatoes big enough to feed eight, a can of corn and a salad that Lindsay had made. I have cooked most of my life and know portions. There was enough food for everyone to have normal portions.
I didn't argue with her about the amount of food. It would have been a fruitless conversation. Jessica was never going to admit she hogged all the food. Instead I reminded her that we share in this house. If there isn't enough food for everyone, no one goes without. The food gets divided up so everyone gets a fair portion. Then I reminded her that she had a roof over her head and food to eat because of the work Dave has done for fifty years and because he had chosen to be generous and help her.
Even today this makes me furious. Where did she get off thinking that Dave could go without? This man who had dropped everything to run her to appointments and anything else she needed and was now supporting her under his roof and she spoon feeds her supposedly just visiting boyfriend and omits Dave from the meal all together.
This blatant disrespect for Dave shown by Jessica was a first but it would not be the last. There may have been other times she disrespected him that I don't know about but there was only one more that I did.....and it was the last because Jessica had used up all her chances by the time I learned she had disrespected him again. In the meantime she continued to take advantage of us by offering us something we all needed.....hope that there was going to be some relief from our overwhelming lives.
To be continued............
Behind the Words.......