Tuesday, July 24, 2007

You Can't Pick Your Family and Other Blather

My mother called me this afternoon, which was good because I overslept on my nap and I had stuff to do around the house before it gets dark. She gave me an update on my redneck brother. More on this later.

I got dressed and proceeded to go downstairs so I could get a jump on my afternoon activities. The backyard was starting to look like a rain forest, not to mention Sam started disappearing whenever I would let him out. So, I needed to mow the grass. I figured I would do some touch-ups on the deck and finish staining the railing.

Anyway, as I was going downstairs, I slipped on the top on and slid on my butt all the way down. Thankfully, it was only six stairs. Unfortunately, instinct made me grab the rail in a vain effort to save myself, and I felt something pull mid-back. As I lay there at the foot of the stairs, taking inventory on the status of my bones, Sam comes over and thinks this looks like a fun game to him. Meanwhile, I decide that while nothing is broken, my back certainly hurts. I walked around the house, decided it was just muscle pull, and mowed the grass anyway. Starting the mower was an effort, but thank goodness is it one of the front-wheel drive mowers, so that part was easy.

My back still hurting, I took a long hot shower. The deck is going to have to wait. I might be dipping into my special meds tonight. So much for going to to the gym.

Back to my brother.

A while ago, when he was working one of his jobs in a long succession of jobs he worked after he got married, he managed to fall into a small hole in a client's front yard and injure his ankle. I'm real certain how bad it was injured, but apparently it was enough for his former employer to give him a settlement. Not to the degree that my settlement was from my car accident, but a couple thousand dollars to keep him from suing later. My brother, who manages money poorly, and never met a dollar he couldn't blow on meaningless crap, has already taken to task of spending this small windfall.

Mom: He bought a tanning bed.
Me: You're joking.
Mom: No, I guess he found one for a couple hundred dollars.
Me: What the hell does he need a tanning bed for?
Mom: I don't know. It's in his basement.
Me: He's got two small children, and his first priority is a crappy tanning bed? Did is ever occur to him to save it?
Mom: He says they are doing better (financially) now.

To my brother, doing better financially means living from paycheck to paycheck, as opposed to not having a paycheck at all. Saving is a foreign concept to him. Heaven help him the next time he calls me wanting to borrow money. I'm going to rip him a new one. I'm certain that it hasn't even occurred to him to pay back all the people who has loaned him money.

I told Mom that I should call him and give him some cock and bull story about how I am entitled to half the settlement for some asinine reason. It would serve him right, he did the same to me.

Meanwhile, his brother-in-law and some girl who is not related has moved in with him and the family. Mom grilled my brother further about if they help kick in financially, to which my sister-in-law sniffs, "Everyone contributes in their own way." Which means, "They do the dishes sometimes because neither is employed."

My brother definitely comes from my father's side of the family. I've been estranged from my father's side of the family for about 15 years now , but I'm sure nothing has changed with them. "Dueling Banjos" is their family anthem and if I looked it up, I'm sure the family crest has a trailer on it. This is why I sometimes wonder if I am adopted. To my Mother's credit, her family isn't from the same stock. Well, not all of them anyway.

On a side note, my other brother (the cooler and now seemingly smarter one), has been offered a choice job working for Harley Davidson. He'll be coming to be my roommate in about three weeks or so. Meanwhile, Mom is already thinking about what color bike she wants. God help us.


Mark said...

You are not alone. I can match you story for story in this arena.

I've always maintained that family reunions serve only to remind you why it was you left home in the first place.

Xavier Onassis said...

Yeah, um, me too.

Our family gets together exactly twice a year. Thanksgiving and Christmas. Each gathering lasts a couple of hours, tops. And it's enough for everyone. More than enough for some of us. During the rest of the year, not so much as a phone call or a visit unless it is to relay tragic news.

I could go on, but it ain't my blog.