"Well that's not good enough, Greg! Just not good enough!" she said.
I told her that I knew the Home would always dress Mum and that, at the moment, it didn't seem a good idea for me to go and spend any more money on clothes when I was really struggling to make Mum's monthly payments just to keep her there. Mum's pension income falls short of her Care payment by about £600 per month. I've successfully applied for a Government allowance that covers a little more of the ground but there's still a shortfall and, until I've sold Mum's old apartment we're down to our last couple of thousand pounds.
D absorbed this and said, "Well, what if I were to buy your Mum some clothes?"
I told her that I'd be very grateful because we could use the help and, particularly since she would have a better idea of what to look for in skirts etc. I thanked her over and over for her generosity.
D rang me today to say that she was heading back to see Mum on Sunday and that she'd been shopping. She listed a few items that all sounded good. She kept mentioning how much she'd spent (£107) and how well she'd done to get this or that discount. It's no coincidence, I thought to myself, that the wealthy have a zest for a bargain. Finally, she told me that she'd bought some perfume for Mum, too, and said "I mean I bought it - that's from me."
I got a sinking feeling.
She asked me how I planned to "settle up" with her for the clothes.
[pause for breath]
I'm lucky it was a relatively small amount, I suppose. I counted to 5 in my head and told her that I'd send her a cheque right away and I asked her please NOT to buy any more stuff for Mum as neither Mum nor I can really afford it.
I'm thinking of writing a parable where someone's "help" ends up putting the benefactee out onto the street.