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Moving In And Shaking Things Up

, , , , , | Related | June 24, 2020

My dad has fallen on some hard financial times due to a variety of factors. I live nearby and help out where I can — replacing the leaking washing machine, picking up bills, helping with groceries/shopping, etc. — but he’s still struggling. We’re both people who strongly value their independence, so when he starts making comments about me moving back in and taking over his mortgage, we laugh it off at first.

But the comments keep coming. He starts giving me some variation of “If things don’t pick up, I’m probably going to have to have you move back in by [some arbitrary date always one or two months out].” He also either disregards or says he will, but never does, any of the advice I give him to make extra income, not even the ideas he comes up with himself.

After month upon month of him sprinkling “you’re probably going to have to move back in” into nearly every conversation, I’ve about had it, so I come up with a solution to find out once and for all how serious he is. The opportunity comes when I’m just getting ready to leave after visiting him.

Dad: “Bye! I’ll see you Monday. By the way, if I can’t pay the mortgage this month, I’m going to have to have you move back in.”

Me: “That’s fine. Then I want the house.”

Dad: “What do you mean?”

Me: “Well, if I need to move back in, I’m going to have to assume you can no longer take care of yourself and can’t afford to live alone any longer. So, if I’m paying for the house, this will become my house and my rules.”

Dad: “Is that so?”

Me: “Yes. Those are my terms. By the way, since it will probably come up if we’re living together again: I’m gay.”

Dad: “Oh.”

Me: “Anyway, think about it and get back to me. Love you. I’ll see you Monday.”

I guess the “tough love” approach worked, because he called me the next day to tell me that he agreed to surrender the house to me as a last resort, but he wasn’t giving up yet. Years later, he still has his house, and I’m working on buying my own home now in the same neighborhood. When we told my uncle about the purchase, my uncle asked why I wasn’t just moving back in with my dad and my dad responded, “We have an agreement.”

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