Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Out! Out damn ... sisters

Tonight Josh and I went to Butter for dinner. I was late, because I suck and work ridiculous hours. Josh was on his second drink when I got there and swore he wasn't upset. This dinner was on me, because I insist on taking Josh out to dinner once a month. This has been going on since I got my grownup job, and am almost at the point of not thinking about the cost when there's an urge for an appetizer or dessert.

Josh thinks it's amusing that I pay. He talks all through when I'm figuring out the tip, and each time I worry about doing the math wrong, which would be outrageously embarrassing. The accountant who couldn't do simple math.

We were talking about my sisters moving out. It doesn't look good. Neither of them earn that much, they're now super spoiled from living here, and they don't want to move out only to have to live together. Josh's parents already pay more than half for our apartment even though I have more than half the people in it. I would have to take out money that goes to my retirement account to put towards their rent. Which I guess I could do, but that would be like, for a shitty apartment in Queens. I don't think Alex and Danielle will go for that. Everything really comes back to them being spoiled. I may have made a really horrible mistake five years ago.


Monica said...

You've got to start laying the groundwork now.

The easiest way would be for you and Josh to set a date to move and then offer to help your sisters research what is possible for them.

i.e. Just want to give you guys lots of notice but when the lease renewal comes up in (6 months ahead at least), Josh and I are looking for a place of our own. I'll be glad to help you guys look for a place but don't wait til the last minute because we will be looking and packing too and you know how crazy work is.

Karen said...

Alex is still in high school, right? And isn't Danielle starting college or already in college? Most college students and high school students get help with expenses through parents, grants, loans or all. I would not expect Alex to manage that yet but she needs to start thinking about what happens when she goes to school. Danielle should already be looking for roommates among her college pals, and you should expect to help them with those expenses until they are 22 or so. That's just how it is. Not your fault. You have made all the right decisions.

Anonymous said...

I agree with both of the other comments. If Alex has her Senior year of high school remaining now is the time to tell her she will need to live on campus at College and the same for Danielle. While they are in college they will have to live within the finial terms of what you are willing to provide help with, just like any other parent.
Giving them plenty of notice to accept the situation is best.
Providing a nice apartment for your sisters is not the responsibility of Josh's parents although they have been very kind in helping out these past years.
It will probably be best to get a one bedroom apartment for you and Josh to prevent anyone moving back in when they get fed up with a boyfriend or roommate of simply tired of paying their own way. You have gone beyond what a normal sister relationship requires and being self sufficient will help them to respect what you have sacrificed in stepping up to parent them.

Anonymous said...

It looks like you've reached a point where as much as you haven't wanted to make your sisters have to pay for themselves, you are now going to have to balance this with your timetable of making a life with Josh.

What if you keep things status quo the next two years, while Josh completes law school, Danielle finished undergrad, and Alex gets her first two years of college under her belt.

It would be perfectly reasonable for Danielle to then get her own place that she pays for herself after that, whether she begins medical school immediately or takes time off.

Alex could still consider your home her home, but like most college students would not live there during the school year. She could be encouraged to do her junior year abroad, and then she could get an apartment with other students her senior year, or she could live in a school dorm both years. You would reassure her that you aren't kicking her out, that though while part of it is that you and Josh needing to start your own lives together is part of it, you also want to transition her into being independent, not kick her out suddenly but instead slowly help her to be independent and live mostly elsewhere while still having your home be hers until she is really on her own.

At that point, while Josh will be experiencing his first year after law school, the two of you would finally be living alone just the two of you, at least most of the time. You'll turn twenty-five during that time.

With the both of you living mostly by yourselves and the both of you being done with school and now both working full time, it will be a good time to finally gear up for deciding to get married. You will be living a more real-world life alone with Josh, which seems to have been part of what you each have wanted to do before deciding.

Also, you once explained that when you were in college all the scholarships you had gotten for yourself added up to more than our tuition and fees, so you were given the leftover by the college to go towards your boarding and everything else. Has Danielle not done as good a job as you have in applying for scholarships? Yes you and therefore she has the assistance of Josh's parents right now, but she should really be doing what you did, and be squirreling away as much as she can to save for when she will move out. Alex should do the same.

It is normal for parents to have kids still live officially at home through college and still support them and everything, but your situation is unusual. You haven't gotten the chance to start off life with just you and Josh before having "kids," so it makes sense that as you get closer to "real life," you'd kind of want them out.

Good luck finding the right balance.

Anonymous said...

Do colleges in NYC even have real dorms and campuses? The girls aren't going to the rolling hills of Kentucky here.

Karen said...

Yes, I believe most of the colleges in NYC and the metro area have residential options. Also, the girls could certainly choose to go to schools not in NYC.

Anonymous said...

Colleges have to be in the rolling hills of Kentucky in order for them to have real dorms and campuses? What?

Anonymous said...

Karen, Sam has said that the scholarship requires an NYC school.

Anonymous said...

Don't you dare put your retirement contributions towards rent for your sisters! You know very well that money put away this far in advance of your retirement will have a great yield due to interest over so many, many years, and that is doubled if your company matches funds. The costs of lost retirement funds would be freaking huge.

Anonymous said...

If you were able to bring in enough money from working two jobs and from your scholarships to be able to pay your share of the rent while in college, then a sister of yours could bring in enough money to pay for her share of the rent in an apartment with a few fellow students.

But you've been through that thinking before, when Dani started college.

Did Alex look at the dorm option? It's probably too late now to get a space for the fall.

Alex has been the least independent of you all. Living away from you part of the time and living abroad at some point could be helpful experiences for her.

Dani might not even go to medical school locally.

Anonymous said...

Sam, you've been the bulwark for your sisters, for years. You've done the incredibly hard stuff but you've got them to the point where they can take charge of their own destinies.

Not many young adults get such free reign as you've allowed them to have. I do understand the reasons why but you aren't doing them any favours by shielding them from an environment that requires planning and choices. They need to plan out their independent living without you.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I'm different from all these people. Idk. But I'm currently a college student and I know it wouldn't be possible for me to pay for an nyc apartment on my budget. Right now school will be cheaper for both of them because they aren't paying for on campus housing or a meal plan. Can there loans/scholarships cover all of that? Would they b able to focus on their studies if they constantly have to worry about bills? I know you did a lot of this before but you can't compare your own strength to everyone else. You took on the role of your mother early on and I find it hard to believe she would kick them out right after high school.
I do agree they should start saving up to get their own place where they could probably get a 3 bedroom with a friend but it takes baby steps.
Never think that you made a horrible decision. You made a great decision and I'm sure these girls really appreciate you. You invested in a future for your family; the best decision you could have possibly made.

Anonymous said...

Sam has been responsible long enough. If she's not careful she'll end up with 50 year old sisters who are totally incapable of taking care of themselves. My dad didn't do my sister any favors by always coming to her rescue and coddling her. Now he's gone, she doesn't understand why life is so hard and would rather be dead and I am left with the fallout. Sam didn't have the luxury of saying "I can't" before but they're old enough to start doing way more than they are now.

Karen said...

Nobody gets a 3 bedroom to share with a friend in NYC. The girls should be looking at studio apartments to share with a friend or TWO or maybe a one bedroom to share with 4 girls in NYC.

The girls have benefited mightily from the generosity of Josh's parents and they would probably be happy to continue supporting everyone this way, but it is high time for Dani and Alex to learn how to contribute and take care of themselves.