In the Family Way

While mulling over the tension filled holidays, a friend clued me in to a brilliant new blog:

“In my family, we’ve got a few, but my brother is the special case,” the website reads. ‘The rest of us don’t know what to do about him. In 2004, after Bush was reelected, he and I didn’t speak for about five months. In 2008, when our mother told him that she was going to vote for Barack Obama, he called her ‘an idiot’ and then yelled at her for a while. That didn’t go over well.

The facts are:

1.  I love my brother.    2.  My brother is a crazy right wing zealot.

It’s a paradox. And it’s hard to know how to proceed. So I started this blog.

Mission: Reasonable

In our endless dialogue, I work tirelessly to persuade My Crazy Right Wing Brother toward a more reasoned politics.’

I hate when people steal ideas that should have been mine ages ago. I also have a crazy right wing sibling, who, though there was a brief flirtation with hippie-ness years ago, is actually a conservative reactionary. So, the Crazy Right Wing Brother blog got me to thinking.

Like most families, my siblings and I are micro-examples of status and birth order in the family, our educators, in what state the parents’ marriage was at the time. Totally different people with the same blood.  We all get a huge kick out each other and if left to our own, sans parents, children, spouses, we’d probably do just fine after a week, or so. I think. But in the meantime, I have a confession.

For a very long time I have been emotionally torturing my elder sibling. The following are my foul-ups admitted with an open, though at times a bit tetchy, heart:

  • There was the day I was born. Oh! Ill-timed. Sorry!
  • The day I walked/rode a pony/had a poo/said boo. Stairs?! Of course Your Majesty, I will throw myself down these. My apologies. What was I thinking?
  • Did I apologize yet for being born? I did? Jeez. Well. Doesn’t hurt to feel bad about it again.
  • Your music, your friends? I was wicked to like them. I am deeply sorry for the hurt I must have caused by being pleasant to your stoned friends, and also for liking Hendrix.
  • My off-spring? It’s true I had them to torture you more, which is why I kept them alive when really I just wanted to do away with them. I knew Mum would gift me more if I selfishly bore and raised two children. Please do excuse.
  • When I invited you to stay with us, and you took over my house, slept with an in-law, and disrupted my life. Mea Culp, dude. Unforgivable that I let the door open that wide. But I noticed that on your way out it hit you hard. Sorry. Redux.
  • Everything that once was yours is now mine and my daughters’. We are Shakespearean villian-nesses who steal with cunning from our beloved family.  Pardon me this failing. I was just written this way.
  • My house is a palace. It’s mine and so is everything in it. Never mind the lack of insulation, the peeling paint, cracked linoleum, the drafty old windows and doors, the old carpet. You are not the Queen. So sit in the corner and pout. I am not….damn. I meant to say. I humbly apologize for putting a roof over my’ daughters’ heads in whatever fashion I could.
  • You know what’s the worst crime of all that I did to you? I loved you and kept hoping that someday you’d love me with an open heart in return. Sorry about that too. My expectations were unreasonable.“Our siblings push buttons that cast us in roles we felt sure we had let go of long ago – the baby, the peacekeeper, the caretaker, the avoider…. It doesn’t seem to matter how much time has elapsed or how far we’ve traveled.”  ~Jane Mersky Leder
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2 Responses to In the Family Way

  1. Hayley says:

    Words from a broken bond. Don’t forget this family deeply loves and admires you. In your daughter’s eyes you are a goddess. Also, if it wasn’t for your relationship with Z, Piper and I may never have seen exactly what we never want to be. ILY

  2. danadugan says:

    you are a dear heart. I waited a long time to put up that post. But at some point I felt I had to, to get it off my chest. ILY 2

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