Friday, December 24, 2010

Holiday Spirit lost...

I usually have LOTS and LOTS of Holiday Spirit. My H.S. comes not from the Christmas celebration of Jesus, because you already know I think that religion is hokum and bunk.

When I was  young and still a believer, my Mom and Dad did OK making the holiday season fun. Post divorce, my Mom had little to no spirit, and really I think she still doesn't. Generally speaking, from the age of 16 if I did not go get a tree, there was not going to be a tree. My little brothers deserved better than that, no matter how my parents relationship went. Mom would grump her way through the decorating process, until good spirit was unavoidable. Every year it became  more and more difficult to get her into the spirit. When I was out and married and the boys were not home to do the Christmas stuff, her bff and I would often -- separately or together -- go decorate for Mom. This made her mad because she felt that she had to pick up after. I had no problem with helping take it down if she wanted, but she only asked me to do it once.

With my kids, I wanted it to be a big production and make them feel special and important and loved. So, from the early days of my motherhood, I made it so. It has become quite the production! The other day, I told a neighbor who was here that Christmas is not a holiday in my house... It is a disease! It just keeps spreading and spreading. The thing is that decorating makes it feel warmer and there is so much too look at and it makes people smile. What could be better than making people smile and feel good?

Until this year, I can think of only one year when I had a really bad Christmas. That was 1997 and it is not a time I choose to talk about with anyone for any reason. It needs to stay in the past.

This year has been a rough year. We have had so many kicks in the teeth and it feels like we have little to be positive about.

The state of IL changed the rules relating to paying state taxes when you work out of state and it took them nearly 10 months to give us our refund, even though there was no way we could have done anything about the way the employer collected the taxes for the past tax year. Better yet, the change was not reflected in the Turbo-Tax state edition updates when we filed in mid February never knowing that a nightmare awaited us! They had the money the whole time, they ignored ALL the multi-state tax return information included with our submission and waited 4 months to tell us we needed to make amends in 10 days or else, including telling us they intended to charge us interest! Once we proved to them, in less than the 10 days we were given, that they had made an error, they still held our money for another 5+ months. After all the hassle and waiting after they screwed up, we got pennies in interest for our troubles and the long delay.

You already know we had the ridiculous nightmare of a property dispute that dragged on for months and months and THOUSANDS of dollars just to get our land returned to us from an unscrupulous neighbor.

We had friends who turned out not to be friends if we were not there to babysit their kids or feed their families. Friends who said they would do things but never did and other friends who only made half-hearted attempts to do what was promised, yet caused more problems by doing so.

My oldest's Bio-Dad once again dropped the ball and hurt her tremendously -- shocking I know. She went off to college and that was hard to deal with, though that has smoothed out after surviving the first semester.

Tuesday night, the whole family went up to get haircuts. All the kids went first and we sent them home with KC, because we were going to run errands after we had ours. Minutes after they left, KC called to say the they had been hit by a truck. So, we abandoned the salon and raced down the few blocks to check on what was happening. Apparently a UPS driver in a Budget Rental box truck turned onto the merge lane from the side street, merged into the right lane and then proceeded to merge into our Trailblazer which was in the left lane. All I can say is that it amazes me that the glass held and E, who was riding shot-gun was not hurt. T and C were in the back and also unhurt. KC was surprisingly collected and impressed me throughout the whole ordeal. As it turns out the accident was the least of our problems!

The police officer on scene designated the other driver at fault, which was evident by both the glass in KC's lane from the truck's mirror shattering and the fact that the impact is between the front and rear doors. Said officer collected all the information and gave us paperwork. Unfortunately, he neglected to give us the other driver's information as required by IL law! Attempts to get the police dept to get us the information have gone unanswered! Our insurance company told us that they only advocate for their clients if we file a claim through them and fork out the $500 deductible! When the other driver's insurance contacted us they flat out refused to tow the car to the shop. They refused a rental car while the car is being fixed and told me I would have to incur all the expenses and then apply to be reimbursed! HELLO??? That is totally defeating the purpose of having the insurance companies! I should not have to pay the fees up front! They already admitted liability! They should have towed my car to the shop of my choice and processed a rental for me immediately!! Instead I was told that applying for a reimbursement does not mean I will get it! What the fuck kind of shit is that!!?? I mean seriously? I have a bunch of kids, it's days before Christmas, their client wrecked my fucking car AND I am being given the run-around? Oh can I tell you that I am soooo pissed!!!!!!! This morning we had to file through our insurance in order to get the situation dealt with and now it's going to cost us $500 -- just great! Our insurance gives us a rental car, but if we need a bigger car to fit the size of our family of 6 then we have to pay the extra! That just ticked me off no end, because I should at least be entitled to a vehicle that is the same as the one I drive every day. So far the claims adjuster has not bothered to call here, so now late in the afternoon I still have no rental car because I cannot get one until they process the paperwork and then clear it!

This is NOT a nice way to go into Christmas! My Holiday Spirit is in the shit-can and if Santa comes or not I could care less. The whole process has left me raw and numb and without any confidence in the system. We pay the insurance company thousands of dollars every year, we've never had a claim with them at all and when we really needed them, they threw us under the fucking bus! State Farm is definitely NOT going to keep us as a client. As my husband said, what happened to their motto "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there"? Any insurance company that only advocates for you if you file a claim is not worthy of my business. This has NEVER been the case in all the years dealing with other insurance companies in the past.

Bah friggin' humbug!

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