Saturday, February 21, 2009

Weird Encounter

I ran out to the grocery store after dinner for a couple of necessities: FAGE yogurt, Sauvignon Blanc (sadly, no Kim Crawford, so I got Brancott instead), milk, etc. The Peeps stayed home with Brendan and tortured him had quality time together, while I had a nice 45 minutes all to myself.

Do you recall a post of mine from last November, in which I had just found out that our homeowner's association president had been arrested for stealing approximately $600,000 from our HOA over the last several years?

Would you care to guess who I ran into at the store tonight?

I haven't laid eyes on this woman in about a year. They still live in our neighborhood, but are rarely out and about. Not too surprising, given the circumstances, but what a difference from even a couple of years ago. This is a woman you'd often see gardening in her yard (which was gorgeous, but not anymore), chatting with neighbors, picking up litter around the pool, planting flowers in the common areas.

She did all of these things at the same time she was dipping into our money.

I was very surprised at my reaction to seeing her and her teenaged daughter tonght. Well, not really my reaction, but the strength of it is what caught me by surprise. I felt just incredibly disgusted mixed with no small amount of pity for her kids. I found myself avoiding aisles they were in, so I wouldn't have to see her.

She really looked terrible, and I'm not saying that to be ugly. She used to be made up and "together" and friendly; tonight, she seemed a shadow of herself. Her daughter looked nervous and sad. When we inevitably crossed paths, she said hello, and I said "Hey" back. We used to stop and chat when meeting under such circumstances. I might not have returned her greeting if she had been alone, but her daughter looked so sad that I couldn't be rude.

I'm still thinking about this encounter and it really makes me feel awful. She has admitted her guilt, from what I last heard, and will certainly go to prison at some point. I still don't know how much, if any, of the money she'll be able to pay back. I'm so mad that she did this, and just want to smack her!

Anyway, weird. Just had to get it off my chest.


Rachel said...

That poor kid. How can you move on when something like this happens so early in your life?

Not that I don't feel badly for you, but I really pity her daughter.

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

Oh, I always hate those stories.
You would think that the parents would think about the repercussions for their kids before they do such things.

I do feel bad for you, and the others who paid their HOA dues every year and received nothing for it.

But my heart breaks over the pain of the innocent child! I hope she is the strong type that can grow up to understand that she is not her mother, but that she can learn from her mother's bad choices and become a good, decent neighbor and citizen in her own name!

Rational Jenn said...

Rachel and Elisheva, I hear you.

I'm pretty irritated about losing about $2500 of our own personal money. That is VERY true.

But I am also SO sad for her kids. The next few years are going to be very difficult for them. I can't even describe how sad that makes me, because I know them to be good kids.

I think that added quite a bit to the intensity of my emotion last night. As a mom, I don't see how I couldn't NOT be sad for her kids. It's just a shame that she didn't consider the repercussions of her actions on her own family, let alone our whole neighborhood. I just want to shake her and say "Where was your head?" you know?

Very sad.