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Call from Sadie hoping circumstances allow me to drive the hour-and-a-half to her former town and spend a couple days helping her pack and load the last of her belongings because renters have already moved in.

Sadie just spent two weeks looking after her new beau’s grandchildren while their parents holidayed in the tropics, and this weekend she and her beau returned them to their parents in a city five hours from Sadie’s new home and attended some cheerleading tournament another granddaughter was part of. Then Sadie drove her beau back to another city three hours from where she lives with her beau, dropped him off there where his truck (he’s a trucker) was, and came out here alone (a 10-hour drive) to move her stuff.

I don’t have a lot of sympathy for the predicament she is in, because she made poor choices, or so it looks from my vantage point, but then tries to call in all the “chips” she is owed by her friends and family. We should all drop everything to attend to her, while she … drops everything to attend to her beau and his family.

She could’ve not allowed renters into the house four days before the first of February, so that she now has to stay in a hotel while she packs her things, working around her renters’ things. She could’ve let her beau return his own grandchildren to their parents so that she was free to come on the weekend herself and start her packing; the grandchildren’s own parents who’ve had the free babysitting for two weeks could’ve driven down to pick up their own kids, and Sadie and her beau could have come together and packed her stuff; he could be the one helping her.

But no. Sadie’s new beau and his family had to be pampered and accommodated, and now there sits Sadie with a huge burden and no help.

Her son and daughter and their spouses probably could have helped her on the weekend, too; as it is, she arrived Sunday night to start taking care of business, when it is most inconvenient for everyone else.

From the outside it looks like she has not asked for help from the people who should be stepping up.

Instead she asks me, who already spent a couple days in November helping her pack and load things from the house and whose schedule includes working on weekday afternoons.
I don’t feel too badly about being unable to go — though of course I could if I put Fella seriously out during his usual work week by asking him to drive me or taking his vehicle (his second one is out of commission), or if I buy insurance for my own vehicle before I’m ready to (I’ve let the plates lapse because I don’t drive it often and am saving my $ for other necessities), or if I take two days off work and juggle myself around to put in extra hours on other days to make up for them — none of which I feel compelled to do. It’s an inconvenience that I might take on if I didn’t feel: Sadie is in a self-made pinch, so why should I go out of my way to lighten the consequences for her?

I didn’t say any of this to her.
I said it to Fella, and to Petra.
They two know I am not boundlessly kind, giving, generous with my time and effort.
I am staying within my comfort zone, and not putting myself out for Sadie this time.

Part of me feels ashamed because I’m not willing to set my own routine aside to go help a friend in need.

Part of me is relieved that I have a perfectly good excuse not to go: no vehicle.