I've been watching a tempest brewing for a long time. Not a friend, not a person I'd even associate with if not for the kids. Perpetually amazed at this one person whose life makes the afternoon soap operas seem boring. Of course, none of it is ever her fault.

Well, things have blown up around her lately, the husband walked out, the car needs $1,000 in repairs, and strangely, all the buddies she claims to have are nowhere to be found when she's in need. The Facebook wall tells a dramatically different tale from the reality, but I'm seeing both sides of it and neither one is pretty-or accurate.

Last summer, I fell for the stories and the little mouths to feed. Had money to share, so I did. The offer of a check to repay it was contingent on me giving her some cash when I had none, so of course, that check was not handed over. Oh well, I chalk it up to a lesson learned. Wiser this time, I wasn't going to help her out. She's notorious for 'can you watch the kids for me while I run to the store?', then disappears all day. Nope, not happening.

Today, she pinged me. No food in the house, just got food stamps, can you take me to the store, my car is broken. Sure, but I'm not going to walk around the store with you, I'll sit and study, thanks. The offer of $100 in food to repay what she owed was made and turned down several times. I am NOT taking food away from those kids.

The drive to and from the store was an exercise in biting my tongue. I kept telling myself that the kids need the food, that's why I was doing this. If it was just her, I would have told her to walk to the store herself. All the excuses, all the blaming of others just ticked me off. When you've got kids, you move heaven and earth for them. They come first.

So the way she talked about how her life was impacted and not a word about those kids? It was kind of easy to keep my mouth shut, because I was rendered speechless by the I, me, my monologue.


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