I met Paddy’s mother, stepfather and niece on Sunday. Paddy’s mother and stepfather are recovering drug addicts. Paddy moved them to Denver when they were homeless in California. He paid for their stays in rehab. Both have been clean for many years. They now live in Reno, Nevada. Paddy’s stepfather looks like a former drug addict, or maybe he just looks haggard because cancer is killing him. You would never know Paddy’s mother was in recovery. She’s pretty, has a great haircut, and is warm and welcoming. Paddy’s nine-year-old niece was also along for the ride. She seems to adore Paddy.
Paddy’s friend, Erin, a lawyer, joined the group along with Joan, a friend of Paddy’s mother who works at a 7-11. Paddy’s mother works at Walmart while his stepfather recently quit his job at Home Depot due to his illness.
Paddy’s mother, stepfather and Joan are clear example of what happens to people who don’t pursue a trade or higher education. They end up working at Walmarts and 7-11’s living paycheck to paycheck. They talk of struggling to make ends meet but then want to show off their latest tattoo. It’s a matter of priorities. They rather get new ink than pay the electric bill.
I didn’t say a lot during brunch. I chose to sit back and observe the conversation and interactions. Erin was very articulate along with having perfect manners. It was clear she was an educated woman. Paddy’s family and Joan were not used to being in such a nice restaurant (Dazzle is nice but it’s not a four star establishment). They were amazed the waitress refolded their napkins when they went back to buffet for seconds, thirds, fourths and fifths. They considered Red Lobster to be a fancy restaurant.
Paddy picked up the tab for brunch. I offered to help pay but Paddy refused. Paddy’s unemployed stepfather told me pay the tip but didn’t bother to offer to help pay. Erin and I split the tip on the $300 tab.
Paddy not only paid for brunch but he has been paying for everything while his family have been visiting, including their airfare. His family seems to have no problem accepting Paddy’s generosity. I felt like they are moochers. Paddy’s parents gave him a less than desirable childhood. They used drugs from the time Paddy was in second grade until they want to rehab when he was in his mid-twenties. As a child, there were many times when the utilities were shut off and there was no food. Paddy’s biological father still uses drugs. Paddy’s stepfather has no relationship with his children. They want nothing to do with him even though they know he’s dying. He’s done irreparable damage to the relationship with his children. Imagine that!
Paddy is a self-made man along with being the caretaker for his family. He makes a lot of money which allows him to help his family. His family always needs something. Paddy raised himself. He knew he had to find a career that would pay well and college was not in the cards. He’s one of the top stylists in this town. He knows how to market and build a business. I’m so proud of Paddy. His life could have been a completer disaster.
Being neglected by his parents and growing up poor motivated Paddy to make a better life for himself. He knew he needed to make a lot of money so he could live comfortably and take care of his family. Paddy spends a lot of money on clothes, art, cars, entertainment and dating. I believe he lives well because he had nothing growing up. He’s achieved most of his goals. I think he needs to cut off his family. I also think he needs to start saving money and stop blowing through twenty grand a month. Paddy needs to think about the future.
There is no one to take care of Paddy. There never has been. He’s always taken care of himself. How sad is that?
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