My father has been a spendthrift all his life, but when it comes to me he behaves like a miser.
He left my mother when I was two and my brother four and rarely paid maintenance. He saw us occasionally when he didn’t have anything else to do but never managed more than a card for our birthdays. Nor did he give either of us a present when we got married, saying that he was ‘absolutely broke.’ Instead he relies on a practiced wink and a certain charm to win everyone round.
For the last thirty years he’s lived abroad and been looked after by one young woman after another, but he’s getting on, has various health issues and none of them are now prepared to look after him for nothing.
As a result he’s decided to return to the UK and has asked my brother and I to pay his fare, find him accommodation, fill it with furniture, get him a TV, computer and car and provide a weekly sum for ‘extras.’ I mentioned his pension but he dismissed that as being pennies.
He, just like I’ve read about Meghan Markle’s father Thomas, believes we should keep him in the luxury he’d like to get used to. What’s more he wants to live very close to me so he can come over most days explaining it would also be ‘easier’ for me to get his shopping and cook his meals.
My brother and I are both work for charities so neither of us are rich. I’ve told him I am prepared to help him a little. I have also insisted on various boundaries including that he can only come over once a week. He was shocked. I know I am right but I feel both guilty and resentful.