I think my boarders days are numbered.
It really is a shame because we were all getting along so very well.
But she blew it.
We were going to bring her to Ottawa with us for the weekend, but when I was talking to my brother last week he thought it was a little strange for her to come seeing as it was sort of a family reunion and that she really wouldn’t be seeing much of Ottawa. To tell the truth, I wasn’t all that comfortable with bringing her along either, so I told her as nicely as possible that I was sorry, but unfortunately we couldn’t bring her along.
That turned out fine. She decided that perhaps she’d take one of the School bus tour trips. She’d taken one a few weeks ago, one that took her to Montreal, Quebec city and Ottawa. Now she thought she’d take the four day New York City trip. It sounded like a good deal. Travel overnight on Friday to New York City, see the sights and spend the Saturday and Sunday nights in shared hotel rooms, then come back Monday afternoon – well it would be late evening by the time she’d arrive home.
She signed up for the trip, but on Wednesday she told me that the trip might be cancelled as there weren’t enough students on the list. Then on Thursday she told me that there were enough students and that she was leaving on Friday at 7 p.m., and to the best of our knowledge when she left on Friday at 6:15 p.m. or so she was headed for the bus station and would soon be on a bus headed to New York.
Saturday morning Chris and I packed the car and headed to Ottawa. We had a great drive. It was hot but we kept all the windows down and the ride was tolerable. We arrived at my brothers and then went on to the party being held for my aunts 80th birthday. It was fun to see all my relatives again. Later, we went back to my brothers house, and my sister – who was also staying at my brothers was there too, and one of my other brothers and his wife came over as well. We all jumped into their great big hot tub.
Yeah, my third hot tub event in a month, only this time I got in. Oh, and yes, my husband Chris behaved himself this time round and was relatively sober. If you’ve read any of my past entries you’ll know that if my husband hears the word hot tub he usually jumps right in there and stays in for hours and there is often alcohol involved. Probably not a great combo, but he has fun … often too much fun.
The next day we went over to one of my cousins for a wonderful brunch and got to see nearly everyone all over again. Then we headed home. We took the long way home because I wanted to take some pictures along the way of the beautiful scenery – lakes, barns, fields of wheat, corn etc, oh and the beautiful rock cuttings along the highway. We left at 12:45 or so and didn’t get home until 7:30 p.m. Yup, we got caught in the “returning from the cottage” traffic jams.
One of our stops on the way home was at a Cheese Factory. We decided to stock up on some nice cheeses. It’s cheaper to purchase it there than in the grocery store and the quality and selection is much better too. We bought cheese curds – cheddar, white cheese, and roasted garlic curds. Mmmm. We also got some old cheddar, marble cheese, and some flavored cheeses – horseradish, vidalia onion, and roast garlic. $65 bucks worth of cheese and a jar of honey too. Our other stop was to buy some wild blueberries and some home made blueberry jam at a roadside stand. Yummy.
It was very hot on the way home. We ended up buying a bag of ice to put over the cheese to keep it cool so it didn’t go bad as we drove home. It survived.
We were exhausted when we got home and my right leg was extremely swollen. It had become swollen on Saturday during our drive to Ottawa and continued to swell at the party and throughout the evening. The hot tub didn’t help as I hoped it would, and my nights rest only brought the swelling down a small amount. So it was really ballooning out by the time we got home on Sunday. My foot is now bruised across the top and on the inner ankle, and my shin and calf are bruised as well. The knee still has a plum sized swelling below the kneecap. It’s just not getting any better although I can walk on it a little better these days. I’m going to have to have it looked at again sometime this week. I was hoping it was all that heat that was making my knee and leg swell, but it’s been swelling up since I’ve been back and I’m in air conditioning so it’s not the heat.
Anyway … we relaxed Sunday evening. Actually I think I fell asleep on the couch by 8:30, I was so tired. Monday came and went. By late evening we were expecting to hear Angela, our boarder, walk in the door but she never did.
She had told me on Thursday that she might be interested in staying in New York an extra day. I didn’t think she’d manage it – I mean, if she was paying a special price for a return trip and hotel stays etc why would she ditch her trip back that she’d already paid for just to stay one more day? Anyway, I told her that if she decided to stay an extra day to please give us a call. I even told her she could call collect if she wanted to. She didn’t call.
By 1 pm this afternoon we were getting worried. We realized that she’d probably stayed in New York an extra day, but we still worried. She’d been fairly responsible up until now and we were surprised that she hadn’t called us. So we called the agency that had brought her into Canada and connected her with us, her home stay “parents”. They weren’t too helpful … just wait and see what happens, they said. Uh, no.
So we called her school and they checked to see if she was in class. Nope. The travel co-ordinator for the school was there and that’s when we found out that she didn’t take the New York trip with the school. She wasn’t listed as a passenger, and all the students that the co-ordinator had taken on the trip had been accounted for and had returned home Monday night.
Now we were really worried. Did she go to New York at all?
We called some of her friends numbers that were on our phone display. We spoke to one guy who had said that he went to New York over the weekend and he had been expecting a call from Angela so that they could get together. He never heard from her. More worry, maybe she didn’t even make it out of Toronto? We called another friend and she too had expected Angela to be back by last night. Her friend did tell us that Angela had taken a bus on her own and was staying with friends in New York. A fact that Angela had neglected to tell us.
All in all we spent three hours taking to the people at her school, her friends, and the Agency that she signed up with. We decided to wait until about 9 pm this evening to see if she arrived home on her own, otherwise we were considering filling a missing person report.
About an hour after we had decided to wait, Angela called us. She was using a cell phone that had a Toronto area code. We still aren’t sure if she really was in New York. We told her that we were worried about her and that we’d been trying to figure out what happened to her. No sorry, no embarrassment that we’d called her school, agency and her friends. Just a flat response. She didn’t really sound like herself. She was only calling to let us know that she’d be coming home on a bus tonight and would arrive back at the house at about 7 a.m. Wednesday morning and would I please make her lunch for her and leave it in the fridge so she could pick it up.
When I said that we’d been expecting a call last night if she was staying over in New York she said she was in the Statue of Liberty until Midnight and couldn’t call. Uh, she knows I sometimes say up till 5 a.m. because I can’t sleep. There was no fear of waking me up. She could have called. I didn’t say that, but that is a fact and she knows it. Even Chris is still up more often than not after midnight.
I feel lied to. She led me to believe that she was going on a trip through the school. She said nothing about any friends in New York, possibly staying with them, or going there on her own. Chris is disappointed in her too, and it’s hard to make him feel bad about anyone … he just doesn’t hold grudges or have recentful feelings, but he feels duped too.
One other thing that adds to our disappointment. It’s a small thing, but for me, it started the ball rolling. Let’s just say it put my “radar” up. Last week one of our neighbors gave us some home baked Greek cookies. The cookies are something like biscotti. They’re really good. She gave us about 25 of them. She gave them to us on the one year anniversary of her husbands death. I don’t know if this is some kind of Greek custom, or if she was just keeping herself busy that day and ended up being nice to the neighbors as a result, but either way they were a special gift. The cookies are fantastic and she only gives them to us once or twice a year. We’re probably lucky to get them even that often.
I gave one to Angela after they were given to us, and Angela was aware of how and why we got them. Chris didn’t have any. I had one later that day. I think it was last Tuesday that our neighbor gave them to us. By Wednesday evening I noticed that there was only half a bag left. I thought Chris was eating all of them because that’s what he usually does. On Friday, I packed Angela a lunch for her long bus trip. I made a sandwich, a bagel with cream cheese, added in two banana muffins, two soft drinks, a bottle of water, an apple, and a peach and I was about to add a few of the Greek cookies but when I looked at the bag there were only four left.
Hold on a minute? Only four? I’d only had one, and there had to have been twenty or twenty-five in the bag when we got them on Tuesday. Did Chris put some in his and her lunch earlier that day? Nope Chris still hadn’t had any. Oh oh … that means Angela ate almost the whole bag of cookies on her own? But that was a gift. A gift for Chris and I … not our boarder. How rude!
Now, you need to know that Angelas rent pays for her room and three meals a day. In the agency agreement it does not include snacks or any extras. We’ve been generous with her … probably too generous and she obviously took advantage of the situation.
We asked her about the cookies and she said … oh yes I had two this morning. Two … is that all? The bag is almost empty. Oh I had two the other night. Yeah … 20 or so.
Now, I know that I’m only talking about cookies, and that it’s a small thing, but she’s done other things like that that made me feel that she was being sneaky and or that she only thinks of herself. When she first moved in she had the balls to call us and ask us to pick her up from her former Homestay. We did, and they told us that she was a handful, a “princess”, and wished us good luck. Guess we now know what they meant.
We are very generous people, and I think we usually treat others well. We are not “me me me” people at all. But it seems that our boarder is.
Are we wrong to be upset about cookies that were given as a gift being gobbled up by someone that is only staying in our home temporarily and who’s rent doesn’t cover extra’s like snacks … even though we’ve given her free access to all the food and other items in our home?
Were we wrong to worry about her when we didn’t hear from her on Monday, and then to worry even more when we still hadn’t heard from her by early this afternoon?
Would you feel lied to and deceived if you thought someone was going on a school trip and even told you that that’s how they were getting to New York, and only found out after you’d wasted three hours of your time worrying and making phone calls that she went to New York on her own and didn’t bother to call because she was busy? And didn’t apologize when she found out you’d been worried, and didn’t seem embarrassed when she found out that you’d called basically everyone that she knows in the city looking for her? I certainly would be embarrassed if someone went to that much trouble trying to find me when I was perfectly fine.
We’re really upset. She’s going to have to earn back our trust but I really don’t think that’s possible at this point. I think that when her month is up we’ll probably be asking her to leave.
One of the worst things someone can do in my books is lie to me and I feel that that’s what she’s done. Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s the way I feel.