Chapter 21: Unpaid Tolls, Workplace Drama, and Thanksgiving Awkwardness
In the fall of 2019, Bratty’s Americorps job did not get off to a great start. Bratty complained that the program director (a middle-aged male, so not the fault of the evil Middle-Aged Women this time) would not use her requested pronouns. She had submitted a proposal recommending various changes to the office, including converting the restrooms to gender-neutral. Since they did not immediately implement Bratty’s recommendations she decided to exit the program after serving only 4 months of the expected 12 month role. Bratty did find a new job as an entry-level medical assistant at a clinic. She would use this as part of her preparation for her future medical school plans as she still hoped to become a doctor someday.
As Thanksgiving rolled around, we planned to head up to the Bay Area as SO’s brother had invited us as well as Bratty and other family/friends. SO and I decided we would drive up the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and leave the Saturday after. We booked a nice hotel with a spa so I could spend the Friday after Thanksgiving relaxing while SO and Bratty spent the day together.
For Thanksgiving dinner, I brought cranberry sauce and cornbread muffins to share. SO’s brother has a large house but since they were expecting almost 30 people there were 3 different tables set up. While I was not looking forward to seeing Bratty, I was relieved to not have to deal with her random vegan-ness and figured the gathering was large enough that she wouldn’t bother me. Bratty was planning to carpool over in her cousin’s car and texted SO a couple of times complaining that her cousin was making them late. Bratty was bringing a vegan tofu roast thingee and her cousin’s lateness was making it soggy.
Bratty eventually did arrive with her cousins just before we sat down to dinner. Bratty again complained to SO that her cousin made them late because he was late returning from his workout, and how inconsiderate he was. Unfortunately, Bratty ended up at a table with just SO and I as there were a few last-minute cancellations so I got to hear all of Bratty’s complaining first hand. I sat there thinking about Bratty showing up a day late to SO’s birthday camping trip and couldn’t help but wonder why Bratty didn’t apply those same standards to herself.
As dinner went on Bratty talked about a road trip she was planning after New Year’s. She had emailed me prior to Thanksgiving and asked if it was alright if she and a friend spent a night or two at our home during their trip, as they were planning to drive to Mexico. SO and I discussed and we said no problem. During dinner, Bratty talked about her trip and mentioned she had emailed my friend (without asking either SO or I) to ask if she and her friend could stay with my friends mother for a couple of days in Mexico. WTF.
My friend is a few years older than me (and the same friend whose husband Bratty called a misogynist after he asked his son to walk Bratty to her car after a dinner party) and her mother was almost 90, lived in a small village in Mexico, speaks no English, suffers from dementia, and was in rapidly declining health (in fact, she passed away in early 2020). I’m thinking what kind of person even asks their SM’s friend (who they met twice) if they can stay with their mother on their vacation? Holy inappropriate freeloading, Batman! Of course my friend politely declined. When I checked in with her later, she said she thought the request was odd but aside from that there was no way it would work due to her mother’s condition. At any rate, I let it pass but did tell SO later that I thought it was incredibly rude and inappropriate for Bratty to make such a request.
The day after Thanksgiving I got to treat myself to nice spa day with thankfully no interaction with Bratty. She and SO spent the day together doing some sightseeing. We returned home on Saturday and just relaxed at home on Sunday.
A few weeks later, SO gets a ticket in the mail. It was his old car, now Bratty’s car. When SO gave her the car, he told her she was required to go to the DMV and transfer the ownership into her name. She told SO she would get right on it. Guess what, she never did. And she received a ticket evading a bridge toll – the camera got the plate number and of course the ticket was mailed to SO since Bratty never changed the registration.
The toll system was such that if you received this type of ticket you could simply go online and pay the toll that was due with no penalty within 30-ish days. The toll came to $6, I think. If you missed the deadline you had to pay the toll plus a $70 fine. SO called Bratty right away and told her she had to transfer the registration and pay the toll online. Bratty said ok.
A few weeks later, SO was on a business trip and I am going through our mail. I see another ticket, open it, and text a photo to SO. Bratty had not paid the $7 toll and now owed almost $80. He said he’d let Bratty know but she was responsible for taking care of it. Eventually after some ‘follow up’ Bratty did register the car in her name and paid her unnecessarily expensive fine.
As Bratty was set to start her new job in mid-January of 2020, her friend flew in from the east coast for their mini-vacation road trip to Mexico. A road trip to Mexico with Bratty McBratFace – what could go wrong? We shall see…
PS – No one other than Bratty ate her soggy vegan tofu roast thingee except for Bratty. She took most of back home with her that night.