So here we are, poaching advice column nuggets of gold. Never ceases to amaze me the kind of mind-bogglingly solvable quandries people find themselves in. Read on:
I just graduated from college, am living at home, and started a year-long position as an AmeriCorps member. I'm paid a stipend set at the poverty line. Two weeks ago, my parents told me they expect me to pay them $80,000—half of my college tuition. We had never discussed splitting costs when I was applying to schools, and they discouraged me from considering state schools. If I knew that I would be responsible for half of the cost of my education, I would not have attended a private school. Still, I realize the value of education and want to take responsibility for my college costs. My parents recently sold their vacation house to help pay off my college costs and to celebrate the sale, they want us to go on vacation together in the fall. They expect me to pay $1,300 and take three weeks off from work for this "once-in-a-lifetime" trip. I can't. But they said that if I don't go, then they won't go. How can I meet my parents' expectations to be both financially responsible and supportive of their desire to travel?
I don't even know where to begin. I want to dispense advice, but wow, this may be beyond repair. First thing, she works for AmeriCorps. AmeriCORPSE LOL. Second, the parents are batshit crazy.
Weird, so let's recap: the parents appear to be in dire financial straits after apparently telling their daughter to spare no expense at college, planning on paying it back no problem. Then something happened. The husband's crippling gambling addiction. The wife's monstrous credit card debt. The stepbrother's untold thousands dropped on internet porn. Their American desire to spend beyond their means. Who knows, who cares.
Strange though, after the sale of property to pay off debts, profit (presumably best put toward the debt) is being used on superfluous celebratory vacations. Something is awry.
So Shawtie graduates, and her parents just out of thin air ask for half her tuition bill? I can't help but think that there was a huge miss-communication somewhere along the line. Either way, we weren't there, so we're gonna have to make some assumptions.
I guess from her perspective, she probably thinks she's getting owned, and it appears she is. Most likely, the parents took an oh we'll take care of it, don't fuck around with that pov state schools approach to her tuition. I can't believe that in 2011 anybody actually gives a shit where you got your undergrad from, unless you're going into grad school or something - state, private, online (lol), it doesn't matter, for the most part (YO WHERE MY U of PHOENIX PEEPS AT LOL?!?!)
While we can take solace in the fact that due to inflated egos or a sense of disbelief - their own fault -another family seems to have financially fucked themselves, we still have some advice to share.
Here's what you do, Shawtie, word for word: sit your parents down and have a discussion.
"Mom and dad. You told me to attend private university. To, in your words, drink and drug with the pious pupils at private school rather than the poverty at State U. I believed you. I trusted you. I slept with a good three quarters of the football, rugby and baseball teams. I believed in you, and the advice you gave me.
And here we are - you expecting me, probably not on any legal grounds, to pay you around eighty thousand dollars for my collegiate experiences and a couple STDS. For merely following your advice. As a minor.
You're getting older and as you try to fuck me now I will surely fuck you in the twilight of your lives. And I'm not talking about the good kind of fucking. You're my parents, gross. Ewwww. As senility, incontinence, dementia and various other all-but-guaranteed afflictions begin to take their toll, you will begin to wonder whether it was worth it to attempt to take advantage of your daughter during your vulnerable, mortal years.
With that said, let's work out a plan to help you help me, so I can in turn help you when the time comes. I believe that a good starting point will be a sincere apology to me, for your financial incompetence. And most likely it will end with contractual divorcing of me, Shawtie, from the consequences or your financial liabilities."
There you have it, a reasonable solution.