brother

Cheaping Out

Weird things irritate me.

Tags on shirts and pants?  Are stupid in this day and age.  Get rid of them.

Asking me for a favor then bitching because I didn’t do it just right?  Get bent.  And the next time you ask for a favor?  I’m going to be busy.

Whinging about how you can hardly make your mortgage payment with an iced-quad-venti-no-whip-skinny Caramel Macchiato in one hand and smoke in the other while leaning on your new car? Forgive me if I roll my eyes and give you the finger while I suggest you sit and spin.

And the one I just encountered while on a call with my mother:  Inviting me over for dinner and then telling me what main course I can bring?  That not only irritates me, but falls into the realm of completely obtuse and extremely bad manners.

Apparently my sister-in-law has decided that she and my brother are hosting Easter dinner this year and called my mom to have her phone and ‘invite’ us (I put that in quotes, because it’s only an invitation if you can actually turn it down).

You’ll have to excuse me while I try to contain my annoyance excitement.

And of course, this dinner will be, for the sole convenience, as always, of her family, on a Sunday.

Which will mean we have to cancel V’s respite for that day in order to drag her to a house she’s never been in,  full of people she doesn’t know.

Doesn’t that sound like FUN???  icon smile Cheaping Out  <insert fake enthusiasm and some rah-rah pom-pom cheers here>

And all of that?  I could deal with.

But the fact they have gleefully announced that they are providing turkey AND a ham (wow! <more eye rolling>) but are expecting the rest of their guests to provide the remainder of the meal, irritates me.

I’m sorry.  It does.  And I know it’s stupid to get irritated about something like that.

But I we (because Bil agrees with me on this one wholeheartedly) believe that if you are going to host a dinner that means more than just providing the location.

It means providing the appetizers, apéritifs, main courses, desserts, and a few good bottles of wine. If people *offer* to bring something? Well fine…especially if it’s their ‘signature dish’ or something. But I would NEVER be so bold as to expect my guests to provide their own meal.

Yes. Hosting a dinner can be expensive. That? Is not an excuse. If you can’t afford it? Don’t insist on offer to host the meal.

Have manners really degraded so much over the years that this is now an acceptable form of entertaining?

If so, take me back to the days of genteel society and finishing schools.

 Cheaping Out

Guest Post: Afraid

We’ve all been through stuff with our family when we just needed to vent and get it all out there.  Unfortunately, if you have a public blog that your family knows about, it’s not always the best place to do it (unless you want to cause a lot of family tension, drama, headaches…)

So when my good friend Lu told me she needed a place to ‘throw her dirty socks around’, I told her to come on over and let it all out.  I have enough dirty laundry posted on this site; what’s a few more socks?

After reading her story below, I can totally understand why she would need to get this off her chest and blow off some emotional steam.

So, without further ado, the lovely Ms Lu….



So I got the call yesterday.  the call that I was expecting to get actually.  It’s funny how just because you expect a situation or manifest it in your mind, it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with or understand.

My brother and his wife are expecting.

Again.

After giving two other children up for adoption.

****Some history is probably in order.****

My brother, G was in 10th grade when my parents moved our family (not me I was already out) from our home town to a new state.  For a high school student something like that can be hard and for my brother it was the beginning of the end.  Without 5 pages worth of information to say it shortly my brother is a hippie, a drifter, a musician,  a dreamer, not much of a do-er.  He met A, his now wife, a few weeks after starting school in the new town.  They began dating and also an intimate relationship, rather quickly.  A was actually there the morning some of my family died, and was caught “fleeing the scene of the crime” which of course, she was cleared of any wrong doing.  Well, except she was 15 and had no business being in my brother’s room overnight. (Letting your HS son have a room in the basement was NOT the best idea Mom, shit.)  Given that she has been with my brother through all of this they have an unbelievable bond, which I can understand.  They also really love each other and always have.

When they were just finishing their senior year of high school A got pregnant.  When this happened I think it was just over a year after dad and the boys died and the prospect of a new baby brought a swirling of emotion to our family.  We (mom, me, hubs, and sis) said we would back them, help them, and support them emotionally and financially.  For a while there they had decided they would marry and keep the baby.  My brother was entertaining ideas of joining the military so he would have a way of immediate support and medical care.  We said we would support whatever they decided.  Then A’s family started convincing her that this baby was going to ruin her life and had she even considered any other options?   Her mother made her go to a meeting with an adoption agency and shortly after that they decided she would give the baby up, to an open adoption.  So G & A could pick the family and have some involvement in the baby’s life.

Now I can not even begin to imagine what this feels like.  Especially now as a mother myself the emotions are a thousand times more intense.  I can not imagine how hard it is to carry the child full term and give her away.  At the time this was really hard on our family.  Especially my mom.  Who was immediately accused of “trying to replace her sons.”  Anyone who is a parent knows that if you lose a child they can NEVER be replaced.  Just typing that out makes my stomach turn.  You can not replace a child, even with another child of your own, much less someone else’s child.  It is not possible.  Yet they accused her of it.  Repeatedly, because she wanted them to keep the baby.  I was just supportive of whatever they wanted to do because I was young myself and although I was married I wasn’t “ready” for a baby either.  However I really struggled to understand how G & A could honestly let the baby go.  They both  come from decent families who would have helped  them through and teach them and support them.  But they were both in the time of their life where freedom was finally theirs and ultimately the baby would cramp their style.

G finally let me in on his view.  Since they were working with this open agency they would be able to see her and have some involvement, but still get to be kids themselves.  The agency would also be paying them enough money that him and A could move out on their own.  So not only would they not have the “burden” of the baby, they would be able to get some free money.  From the agency AND the adoptive parents.  The agency & adoptive parents paid their rent and utilities and any other expenses to make sure their baby would be in the best healthy environment possible.  G & A were “hood rich” and loving it.  At this point they pretty much quit communicating with us for the most part, but especially in regards to the baby.  They felt guilt or ashamed I guess.  I don’t know.

So a beautiful little girl was born.  A little girl who I have never met.  A little girl who not only has my blood running through her veins, but also strongly resembles me.

G & A went on with their lives which includes a horrible cocaine addiction and a stripping career.  Two years went by and A gets pregnant again.  Oh and guess what?  The adoptive parents of the first child would just love to adopt this one too. So yeah, my brother and his wife basically sold them the baby.  It was through the agency…but still, we all saw what was going on.  I never came out and called him a baby seller to his face, but we a knew it.  It was just too painful to address correctly especially with still feeling the pain of losing the first one.  So here we go again.  Except this time, the never even considered keeping it.  Ever.  He later admitted to me that the adoptive parents had been asking for months for another baby.

Fast forward a few years and G & A get their life somewhat on track.  They aren’t hooked on drugs anymore (just a little lot of pot) and decide it’s time to get married.  I mean they have been together forever anyway so why not.  Soon after they figure out another way to get free money, school grants and loans.  They rack up thousands of dollars in loans only to have that idea fizzle out as well.  They both struggle to maintain school, jobs, and their hugely important social life.  Soon after the money runs out they find themselves in despair once again.

Once again my mom opens her arms and home to them.  During that time they are trying to figure out what the hell they can do with their life now.  They literally have nothing left but some personal belonging and each other.  So how can we get money again???  HMMMM.  This time it was the military.  During a time of war.  They are so desperate to get something for nothing.  So A joined but G was denied.  A has worked her butt off, and it turns out, it wasn’t something for nothing.  I will give her credit for that, for sure.  All along though, I just keep wondering what kind of scheme they will come up with to get her out.   So the first thing they did to keep her from getting deployed was sign her up for bunion surgery.  Then they tried to deploy her again, so she signed up to have her other bunion removed.  They were here for a weekend in between the surgeries.  During a casual conversation about what would happen after that, how long she would recover before being deployed my brother pipes in with, “well if she gets pregnant, she won’t be deployed.” AH HA.

So it begins, again.

So now you are caught up.

She went in yesterday for her second surgery only to find out she is pregnant.   My brother called me and said, “I am going to be a father.”  My natural reaction/response was, what does this mean?  He was like, what do you mean, what does this mean?  It means I am going to be a father.  Of course I am thinking, um, you already are, so what the fuck does this mean??? Now I never said, so are ya keeping it?  I guess he just thinks I am supposed to know they are.  I mean, what is different now that I am supposed to be anymore happy about this than the last two times you “were going to be a father.”

My mom and I are literally afraid to get invested.  Afraid to get excited.  Afraid to love.

We have been beat up emotionally a million and a half times by my brother and his wife.  For way more than the two other babies.   G & A are the type of people who if you piss them off they will use this baby as a pawn to get what you want or make you feel bad.  I am so afraid.

I am afraid for the other two babies to ever feel like they came from a family that didn’t want them, but then we wanted this baby.  We wanted those little girls, they were loved before they were ever born.  We would have loved them forever.

I know that my brother can be an amazing father.  I just hope he follows through this time.

Happy Birthday Little Bro

Happy 30th Birthday to my ‘little’ brother.
Hope the next 30 are just as wild.

(and in case you were wondering… yes he’s single, never married,
and great with kids.  Nope, not gay either. Oh and eyes…they’re green.  heh)

DSC 0206 731x1024 Happy Birthday Little Bro

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