Friday, November 10, 2006

Jerk of the year

My friend Julieanne and I grew up in families with amazingly similiar dynamics. We both have fathers who are wonderful sweet, mothers who are controlling and somewhat disappointed that their daughters see being mothers as a career and younger bothers that although they were the "golden child" of the family tend to be asses! We have a running competition to see who brother is being the bigger ass, and her brother was winning (with his refusal to show up for his own birthday dinner at her mom's house) UNTIL my brother sent the following email to my dad in response to an invitation to Thanksgiving dinner:


Unfortunately both of us work this day. I no longer get any holidays off. Also, I regretfully report that due to personal financial issues and decisions, that we will not be exchanging gifts this season. We also do not want nor expect anything either. I know this will not be a popular decision, but it is unavoidable. We wish everyone the very best.

Love Always,

Steve & Carolyn

Now don't get me wrong, I suppose my brother COULD have to work on Thanksgiving, but my understanding has always been he starts work at3 PM (he is a cop) then why can't you respond with something along the lines of "well I need to be back on my side of town by 2:30 so would it be possible to eat at noon instead?" or even "I can't make lunch but I would love to stop out and spend the morning with you" The jerk hasn't seem my parents in almost a year (last Christmas Eve for less than 2 hours to be exact), my father is dying, and he has no kids of his own...what the HELL is his problem? Oh yeah, I remember, his wife.

OK, now the second part about the gifts doesn't really bug me as far as it relates to me and my family....two less people for me to buy for, but it bugs the heck out of me where my parents are concerned. From what he wrote you would think he spends HUNDREDS of DOLLARS on each of us, not the case. He probably spends about $50 on each of my parents and about $75 on my what $175? You need to come up with $175 between now and Christmas? You both work FULLTIME and at least one of you have a decent paying job, yet you can't figure out how to save $25 a week between NOW and Christmas?????? Hell, he had almost 2 months (dad invited them the beginning of Nov.) that would be $200? He could have emailed me and said "I don't want to do gifts with your family, it is just too much" and I would have been fine with it (like I said, 2 less people to shop for!) but why did he have to do that to my parents? $25 is just one less carton of cigarettes or 2 less cases of beer a week...doesn't seem like a HUGE sacrifice now does it? And if he doesn't buy for us, he only needs to save about $15 a week......3 less trips to Wendy's. Yes, I am slightly PISSED....doesn't help that I now have to listen to my dad lament about it every time I see him. It is just crushing him.

When my husband read the email, he said "You realize that this means he isn't coming for Christmas at all" and I said "Of course I do. He put HOLIDAYS in there, not just 'I have to work Thanksgiving', I'm not stupid".

It just frustrates me. Yes, my mother can be a bitch (it is a family trait I wear proudly!) but if nothing else other than the fact that she gave birth to you, can't you show up for an hour? It isn't like she abused him as a kid, we both got whatever we wanted, went on nice vacations, she showed up at any sporting event we participated in, ok she isn't the most lovely dovey person in the world and she can't always keep her opinions to herself, but we all have our flaws. Is an hour of his time too much to ask? My dad shouldn't have even made it this long, statistically speaking, this may be his last holiday season with us. I guess what burns me up the most is that I KNOW they will spend time with her family over the holidays (and guess what, they have to drive right by my parent's exit to get to her parents house!) but they can't stop in an say HELLO???? Of course it always IRKS me that ANY time he spends with them, even a phonecall to my dad, is RAVED about, when I am the one there 2 or 3 times a week helping out, but I will take being IRKED if it makes my dad happy!

I guess I can just hold on to the old saying "what goes around, comes around". My brother's wife is significantly older than he is (think like 20 years) so chances are he will outlive her. He has no children. By then dad will be gone, most likely mom too (since she is almost 60! now). I have a VERY LONG MEMORY!

No comments: