This is the email that was on Doris' computer:
I know that somehow Goldie and Stephanie correspond and have a relationship. But I don’t understand why, because they have absolutely nothing in common unless it is gossip about our family. Goldie, by so coldly rejecting me and your mother, made it clear that she doesn’t want to be part of our family. Please let her know that you don’t want to hear any of the gossip she gets from Stephanie about our family.
Stephanie is our daughter-in-law and the mother of our grandchildren, so we have to get along with her even when we disagree—sometimes strongly—with some of the things she does, especially with the children. I don’t know if she can bring it off this year with [her youngest child], but she has ALWAYS had the children on the dole for free food at school, which here, anyway, includes breakfast. The program, of course, is for children who live in poverty, which certainly does not describe their household.*
The main reason we have been unable to penetrate the cocoon they live in has always been how closely Stephanie ties them to her apron strings. Consequently, the children, particularly the girls, depend on her for everything. They have never yet taken any kind of pill (medication)--another way for Stephanie to control them.
No one from Stephanie's family—and apparently, none of her “girlfriends”—had gone to college before Michael and Maria, and Stephanie doesn’t know how to deal with that. Maria needs to have an opportunity to learn how to be independent; even Michael criticizes her for her lack of independence. Stephanie was aware that Maria's friend drove home every other weekend, so there was no need for Stephanie to go to visit her (the money is a factor to us, but not the only one). As long as Stephanie has lived here, she has always driven fairly long distances very often, as if gas is free. Recall that she had already exceeded the mileage warranty on the Mazda van before the month was up, and the place where she bought it was initially not going to honor the warranty when she took it in for whatever problem it had. I don’t know if Stephanie knew that Maria was coming home this weekend.
Doris: re Stephanie driving long distances: for frivolous reasons. She often travels to [out of town] stores to select clothing items and other “bargains.” How she paid for Maria's Junior and Senior Prom gowns, I’ll never know. Stephanie also seems to have eaten at every restaurant in the area (except for the very highest priced ones). From the outside, the kids have enjoyed all the luxuries associated with upper middle class to affluent families.
Remember that before the kids were working part time, she often paid for movie-going at $20ea. She is a true shop-aholic and appears to have no self control about her buying mania.***
Maria had only been gone 5 weeks before Stephanie visited, which required a hotel and gas for 520 miles, plus the shoppin’ for other of Maria's needs/wants. She had also prepared food to put in Maria's freezer (meatballs, etc.).**
* I don't even know if that's true. But if it is true, then I want to know how Stephanie ripped off the school district. Oh wait. You have to show tax documents? Then I am guessing that if the kids were on free lunch, it was because Stephanie met the income requirements and nobody else in the family said, "Hey! We can afford to buy lunch for our own children! We will not participate!"
** What a BAD MOTHER - to visit her child in college and take her food?
*** And yet Stephanie has always worked, always paid her own way, and has bought a house since her divorce. She helped her children as much as she could for college. She never asked Sly and Doris for anything. I doubt that she is the spendthrift Sly and Doris claimed, because I know how much she makes and I know she just didn't have the cash.