an unlikely femme fatale

I don’t want to cause any panic or anything, but I think my mother might be befriending elderly men to get power of attorney, be added to their wills, and then killing them.

I’ve written before about my mom’s habit of meeting old men in grocery stores and forming a complicated relationship with them. For the sake of my own mental health, these friendships are wholly platonic, but inevitably result in my mother becoming a sort of caretaker for these gentlemen, who are always much older than her. She will be a companion and confidant, and as these men age (possibly faster than normal – I am not ruling out my mother being some sort of vitality vampire) she acts as an unofficial care-giver until the final curtain.

You may laugh at my overactive imagination, but this has happened three times that I know about – first my father (they had been married for 31 years when he died), then some guy named Frank (fell off a ladder, went into a care home, died), and now her current man-friend, Stanley (cataracts, still alive). These men ranged from 15 – 30+ years older than my mom (she has a type – geriatric), and when nature takes its course, my mom has been there to make sure they are fed and warm and clean and cared for.

This has been problematic since before I was born, because people are racist as fuck. My mother is Chinese, and as soon as she is introduced to the rest of the family as a companion to Gentleman X (first wives are always out of the picture, and all children are hella grown), everyone assumes she is a gold digger. They tell their father/brother/uncle to “be careful” and not let my mother out of their sight for fear she might .. steal their millions? There are never any millions. These are just old, lonely dudes who appreciate her company for some weird reason. If my mother was a gold digger, she’s terrible at it. She also has the patience of a saint, because there’s the long con and then there’s my mother being in a “relationship” with these guys for decades before there’s any kind of payoff (which doesn’t exist). It’s weird – these guys always have family, but they’re nowhere in sight to help care for their elderly relative. When my mom steps in, they’re suddenly all concerned about ol’ dad and whatever fortune he is obviously squandering on this gold digging temptress who wears men’s jeans and 5 layers of sweaters from 1983 because she is arthritic and cold.

Right, I was building the case against my mother, not defending her from suspicious racists. Where was I? Oh right, the femme fatale:

Mom called me a couple weeks ago and confided that her current companion was arranging for her to have Power of Attorney in case something should go wrong with his upcoming surgeries. This knowledge sent me on a wild goose chase to see of Power of Attorney stacked like Uno cards, because I have PoA over my mother so do I then get PoA over this other guy or earn Double PoA or something (answer: no). In between complaining about lottery numbers and asking about my cats, my mother mentioned that her companion was going to add her to his will and not tell the rest of his family about it. Oh, good. That won’t cause any potential problems AT ALL down the road.

While out for dinner with my mom and her friend this week, I asked if she had gone to the lawyer’s office as I thought the appointment had been earlier in January. I was only making conversation, but to my amusement and horror, mom started frantically WINKING at me and hastily changed the subject. I asked her about it when we were alone later, and she rambled some sort of explanation about how she wasn’t supposed to tell anyone and she doesn’t want to say anything until all the paperwork has been signed.

Bruh.

This is a new development in my mother’s (probably imagined by me but what if I accidentally Jessica Fletcher’d all up in this bitch) MO – see, when her previous companion finally had to go into a senior’s home because he needed more care than she was able or qualified to provide, his estranged family – already suspicious of my gold digging mother and the money they imagined their father squandered away on her extravagant lifestyle of clearance mushrooms from the Walmart produce section – swept in and shut my mother out in the cold, against her companion’s wishes. She wasn’t even told when he died, and found out when she went to visit him and smuggle in some forbidden fried chicken. They wouldn’t tell her when the funeral was held, and while she didn’t want or expect anything from his estate, she was shut out of that as well. What if she learned her lesson, and is working towards getting PoA and a shout out in the will so she legally CAN’T be kept in the dark this time? What if my mother has untoward designs on Gentleman 3’s vast, non-existent fortune? WHAT IF SHE’S KILLED BEFORE AND WILL DO IT AGAIN?!

I can’t help but worry about the clusterfuck of legal craptitude I will be forced to witness from the sidelines. Don’t get me wrong – I am willing and able to throw the fuck down if they attempt to sue my mother for anything she might inherit from her companion as a gesture of appreciation for the decade + of friendship and support (like, literal sponge baths and adult diapers kind of support) – but man, to piece together what little information I have from someone who doesn’t really speak in complete sentences and has the attention span of Dug from Up, it sounds shady as fuck. Maybe I watched too much daytime crime TV during my formative years, but there’s a distinct possibility that my mother has a secret underground life as a Kuala Lumpur Rose or venerable Mata Hari, carving her fortune from the elderly with Depends in one hand and Ovaltine laced with arsenic in the other.

I can’t wait to mysteriously attend some funerals from afar, carrying a black lace handkerchief and a white rose to leave on the coffin when everyone else has left.

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it will look a lot like this. so mysterious!

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