“Care For Some Crumbs?”


Two weeks back, on a Friday morning, I awakened to an email, posted by my brother on Facebook (which I don’t use except to post these posts) that my mom was in hospital. I learned later that day that she had actually gone in on MONDAY. My younger sister and I, who live at opposite ends of the country from her and my dad, talk with her on the weekends. Why would my older sister, who lives a half-hour away from them, not phone one or both of us the day she went in? I don’t want to think for even an instant it was because she didn’t want either of us flying out there just now:

Meg: Has Macy Girl called you yet?

Me : No…why,do you ask, my loving dimestore sister?

Meg: Because she called me yesterday to ask me if I wanted a setting of great-grandmother’s china, or a lamp. I told her I have no use for either, but that you really have a bad jones for lamps.

We both laughed. (One of my ideal jobs would be to rescue beautiful or interesting lamp bases which are horribly befouled by mismatched shades. I’d have my team of crack lampshade fabricators create the perfect shade for each base, and sell the resulting perfect lamps from my perfectly-named store: The Perfect Lamp.)

The Perfect Lamp

One Of My Perfect Lamps

Me : No, Macy Girl hasn’t called. So she and brother Paul have finished divvying up the folks’ goods between them?

(My elderly parents haven’t died: They’re moving from their house to a small Assisted Living apartment.)

Meg: Not just between THEM. This is what she said to me:

I took what I wanted, and Paul took what HE wanted, and (Paul’s wife) took what SHE wanted, and (my daughter) took what SHE wanted, and (my son and his wife) took what THEY wanted, and what was left over was the china and the lamp.”

 

Burnt Pizza Crusts

They Saved the Best For Last.


 

Sounds fair. After all, Meg and I, for good reasons, chose not to pay for flights and hotels to go pick through the loot (my mom is currently in isolation with an infection–there’d be no visiting). I’m sure that, had we done so, an equitable system would have been devised so that we got our turns somewhere among our siblings’ spouses, and their children, and their childrens’ spouses.

 

Red Me and Yellow Them

“But: How Are We Gonna Make It LOOK Fair?”               “I Can Still HEAR You, You Know!!”


 

Me : Well, Meg, it’s not like Mom would’ve felt any differently. Remember, she put even the dog ahead of me.

Meg: And who could blame her? I don’t remember you ever fetching a thing.

Me : That’s because you never scritched me between the ears.



Macy Girl and our brother are the co-executors of our parents’ will.

(My dimestore sister and I are the co-recipients of our parents’ won’t.)



ADDENDUM LONGER THAN THE POST

Am I hearing something different than what you are hearing?

Is Macy Girl conscious of how she sounds? One hopes not. Does it come from the fact that she was raised by a family, and we were lowered by one?

 

I'm Brilliant

Hey! That’s pretty good! Did I just coin that, or has it already been done? Don’t want to google now and find out I’m not so clever after all…


 

Macy Girl acknowledges that she was (and is still) highly favored by our parents, but says it wasn’t her fault that this occurred. Meg and I agree. We hold Macy Girl responsible only for her behavior as an adult.

Macy Girl has expressed great resentment that she bears the brunt of helping our parents as they’ve aged. Meg and I feel that Macy Girl is an adult and makes her own choices.

Meg and I choose not to live near to, nor enable, our abusers. It is only due to our geographical distance that I have managed to establish a relationship with my mother.

Louis Sachar Holes

Even After Long Separation, the Parental Soil Remains Low-Yield and Weak


 

We would assist them as they age by providing information on how to obtain non-family members to assist them. (Meg’s career was helping seniors.)

If Megan and I WERE the type to weigh and measure rights to resentment, or entitlement… Well, let me just say this:

WHO has borne a greater burden from these folks: The favored, or the abused?

 

Cat B#tch Puh-leeze

Puh-LEEZE.


 
ADDENDUM TO THE ADDENDUM
 
This post was not intended as a statement of support that Meg and I have a right to our parents’ things just because they gave birth to us. If the post succeeded, you won’t have even thought about that 🙂
 
CODICIL TO THE ADDENDUM

Macy Girl and Paul are actually the co-executors of our parents’ will and trust. Macy Girl was named first. When Meg and I gave our opinions that she wouldn’t follow our parents’ wishes to divvy things up evenly four ways, my father added Paul.

Per the will, all of the home contents are to be divided when they die by us taking turns and pointing to what we want. Now, there is no need for that.
 
 
Next post in this Mommy Hyde series: Hateful Mommy Hyde–Part 1
 
First post in this Mommy Hyde series: Dinner For Seven
 

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25 Comments

  1. RR

     /  2014/08/09

    Thank you for sharing. I have many siblings. I speak to none.
    My husband is an only child. The dynamic you have described is why he says he his grateful to be an only child!
    In my opinion this was a most successful post. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Thank you, Rebecca. That means quite a lot to me.

      I like to think that I wrote it mostly because I wanted Macy Girl to see her actions as others do, once she read negative comments about her actions. But there have been none. Yours is the only comment (thus far), and reading it, I realized that fair-minded folk wouldn’t think to explicitly say “Yes, she acted wrongly”. That is too obvious to such people to bother stating.

      Today, a friend HERE asked aloud: “Why didn’t she Skype you guys while the belongings were looked at? Or take photos of them and text them to you?”

      Perhaps she just didn’t think of it.

      I am sorry you are now sibling-less, but glad you preserved yourself from unnecessary stress by making that choice. I do understand why your husband feels the way he does, although some siblings are very close and supportive of each other–like my dimestore sister and I.

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  2. Paul

     /  2014/08/09

    When I read the post OB, it never even occurred to me that it was about the belongings – even though those were the words. There was no sense of desire or wanting – it was obviously the lead up to a much more important problem. The problem that it was important to your sister-perhaps. A sense of indebtedness borne from giving in expectation of return. The martyr system – look at poor me and the burdens I carry.

    I am an only child and wasn’t abused. I really don’t know what it feels like. And at 240 lbs and 6’3” , I don’t get much guaffe from others as an adult. But I can certainly imagine and I would think it would only be a long-suffering martyr who would in any way assist those who had treated them so poorly. Those who are spirtually oriented would likely preach forgiveness, but I don’t do that much on abuse cases. I would think revenge would be hard to resisit once the abusers became vulnerable, which we all do at one point or another. It’s just a matter of time.

    But I guess the best story that I have ever heard as an analogy is about the Man that finds a Snake laying in the pathway. It is a cold day and the Man.is wearing a coat. The Snake sees the man coming and says: “Excuse me sir, would you be so kind as to put me in your coat for bit to warm up? It is so cold that I will die if I stay here.”

    Man : “But you are a Snake and if I put you in my coat , you’ll bite me.and I’ll die.”

    Snake: “No, no if you save my life by warmimg me up, why would I bite you?”

    Man; “Are you sure? Everyone says that your type of snake is poisonous.”

    Snake: “Of course I wouldn’t bite you if you warmed me up in your coat. I promise.”

    Man: ” I suppose, just for a few minutes.”

    Now the Man, he was trying to think the best of everyone and everything, as he had been taught, and was willing to give anyone or anything at least one chance, so he lifted up the Snake and tucked it inside his coat and continued to walk. The Snake carried on a conversation as it warmed up and relaxed. Then suddenly it bit the Man. The Man screamed, reached in, grabbed the Snake and threw it down on the ground. “You said you wouldn’t bite me! Now I’m going to die! Why did you do that?!”

    Snake: “You knew what I was when you picked me up.”

    .

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • 6’3″ and 240, huh? Tryin’ to make this dateless girl swoon? (Although Fang is close to my height, which was fine, too : )

      Had never heard the snake/coat version. Like it much better than the other I’d heard (a river crossing one…), with its added possible Eden tie-in.

      The difficulty is that, for those of us who grew under severe emotional abuse, our instincts are so damaged that we do not recognize snakes as snakes, even after seeing them time and again, wearing their same bright danger stripes, biting us every time. We instead see snakes as potential providers of the love we crave: We were constantly seeking that love from the snakes who gave birth to us.

      What may seem to be martyrdom may be blindness, Paul. It took me DECADES to awaken to the profound level of my abuse and the effect it had had upon me. Even today I am occasionally brought up short when a new connection is made between childhood events and current actions; e.g. self-defeating behaviors.

      If you are raised (lowered) as an unloved beaten dog, you buy into that.

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      • Paul

         /  2014/08/09

        That’s a tough road OB. I don’t know what to say. You sound pretty together here.It must be getting better?

        Like

        Reply
  3. Oh, yes, Paul, I am Jane Cool now. The banter between my nestmate and me is an accurate portrayal of how we chat about this stuff. We get a LOT of laughter out of it.

    My situation is SO much better now–not financially, but in all other respects: Abusive spouse: gone. Abusive male parent: gone. Abusive mom: under control, and often expresses affection. Ridiculousness of siblings? Whatever.

    The fact that I was able to leave Fang when I still love(d) him, and he me, is another sign that I am more my own person, as I was prior to my abusive marriage (I Freud-ily married a copy of my male parent), and as we are all meant to be.

    Now all I need for perfect contentment is the perfect partner for the rest of my life–and perhaps a few dozen more perfect lamps 🙂

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  4. Paul

     /  2014/08/09

    You mean perfect lamp bases that can be OB’ed.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  5. M-R

     /  2014/08/10

    Owing to the fact that you have turned out to be the … oh, about fifth person from whom WordPress has severed me, recently, without notification or explanation, here I am back atcher.
    You may be sorry, for I shall comment in my ancient and respectable way upon future posts, with the intent of our arriving jointly at some possible reason for your angst re numbers. [grin]

    Like

    Reply
    • First, so glad to have you back, and I’ll pretend not to be offended you didn’t miss that you were missing me 😉

      Angst? Nah. I have an ego. Sometimes I read back through my old posts, and I feel proud of my small body of work. The only thing I wish is that my writing stood better alone, minus the pictures and cute captions. Many of these pieces were written first, and then edited and illustrated for the blog. They are far richer now, which does make me realize I am not as strong a writer as I had once thought and certain hoped. I had dreams of a book (I have three small ones drafted), and the blog has taught me that those will remain dreams.

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      • M-R

         /  2014/08/10

        Well, that’s an example of what I meant re not accepting what I’ve been told to do when blogging. Forget all that shit about images: you only need one – IF you can find a goodie – per post. And often not. They really do distract, and they also create a “here, this is for you” feeling.
        SORRY ! – I should’ve prefaced all that by saying THIS IS MY OPINION, and not written as if I think it’s fact.

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        Reply
        • Hah! Caught you! You WERE hinting before…

          Was never told to do anything when blogging. Just blogged. About a month ago, though, I heard and saw my first advice: I watched a video by a Joe Seeber. He said to break up big paragraphs into much smaller ones (visually, not by changing the syntax) and to use a big font. I finally did those things, and he was right. My posts are now much easier to read; especially on smartphones.

          Regarding pics, you could well be right. But I also know that several of my core fans–the ones who stay through to dessert–have told me how much my pics and captions “make” my posts.

          What’s a blogger to do?

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          Reply
  6. Yemie

     /  2014/08/19

    First, I totally dig that sarcastic title! Its ‘crazy cool’! Crumbs indeed! You couldn’t have said it any better! What a distasteful joke! They did a mighty fine and very thorough job of saving the ‘best’ for last! Like seriously, who does that crap?! The nerve!!! I thought sharing of properties should first and foremost be restricted to members of the nuclear family before the extended family’s called in?! Its such a shame! Well, they may as well just choke on it! Psst!

    I find it very condescending of Macy girl to act like she’s the victim in all of these! For Petesakes’, to whom much is given, so much more’s expected! She didn’t beg for no one to shower her with love, but newflash! They bloody heck did, so its payback time! She should just brace up and get with the programme, while you and Meg look on!

    PS: Every child has a right to their parents properties! Its called inheritance, and its an age-old tradition that’s been since the foundation of the Earth was laid! You do have a right, ESPECIALLY since they gave birth to you! Period!!! LMAO!

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  7. I honestly can’t figure out why so many people are taking your side on this. Didn’t you say you would have wanted the lamp anyway, and you previously agreed to as much?

    Sounds pretty petty to me.

    /troll out

    Like

    Reply
    • Y’know, Joey, I never DID include that important part of this post: That Macy Girl never phoned to offer me that lamp. I waited four days after Meg called me, waiting for M.G. to call me and make that offer–but knowing she wouldn’t–before deciding to go ahead and do this post.

      Like

      Reply
  8. I am very sorry I come from that particular gene pool.

    There. Now I’ve apologized.

    Like

    Reply
  9. I agree with your readers who enjoy the images you place in your posts, Babe, they enhance and do not distract. And often are what cause me to guffaw, chortle, and snort. How about that for imagery? But if you were to take them out, your writing would stand proudly on its own. Parents are hideously flawed, aren’t they? There are no favorites in my family, all five of us were pretty much treated the same: benign neglect. Sounds worse than it was, actually, we were taken care of, just not tenderly. We were treated sort of like wild animals which needed taming. Which come to think of it, might have been the case. In any event, I will continue to explore your archives. May or may not leave comments every time….depending on whether I grow homicidal enough at how poorly you and Meg were treated.

    Like

    Reply
    • You just keep complimenting me like that. I am soaking it up like sunshine, and starting to believe you, too. Thank you ever so much, Barbara.

      For part of our years, my brother was treated the worst. My male DNA donor expected him to be born perfectly tool-ready, able to gap plugs or use a circular saw at the age of four. (slight exaggeration) Mercilessly critical.

      My mom’s abuse worsened over time with each child. Why? More unwanted children? More drinking? More time isolated and emotionally abused? More finding out she could get away with it, and more so with younger victims? Who knows.

      Later, though, his natural gender protection kicked in, and Meg and I remained.

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      Reply
  10. Ugh.
    It is now almost sixteen years since I married, and just the other day, my mother gave me some unpleasant news about my evil aunt from those 16 years ago. It seems my parents were contacted by my evil aunt the summer I married, writing, “I’ve heard Joey’s getting married, and I know you only asked for Mom’s rings, but I now want them back, because I don’t want Joey to have them.” My mother replied, “Joey is not using those rings, she hasn’t even asked for them, she is using (other grandmother’s) ring which is currently at the jeweler, because X and X (cousins) are changing two settings as a gift for her.” Then my evil aunt replied, “I do not care, she’ll get them when you die and I do not want her to have them.”
    Evil aunts are a real thing. Per the usual, I will not blog about my evil aunt, but I feel fine telling you this much about her here: I wouldn’t treat a person the way she treated me, and I would report anyone for treating a child the way she treated child me. That’s the kind of person she is, I think it’s pretty clear.
    I wanted a painting. I never asked about jewelry. (see post here http://jolenemottern.com/2015/02/10/finding-the-painting/) I’m not much on material things.
    Given this conversation about my grandmother’s rings, I felt it was necessary to mention that my mother should leave a note on her Pyrex, so I can have it, and not sell it, as children of my stepfather certainly would. I finally got some confirmation that they are aware of the situation and that they understand my feelings. Let them have really valuable crap that can be bought anywhere, or a share of the sell of the house, I don’t care, I want the specials. They’ll view it as me getting crumbs (love the pizza crust photo) but I’ll be getting the good stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • I loved your painting post–your children are so very cute–and am happy to my toes that it had a happy ending. Here’s how happy:

      Your evil aunt was indeed evil.

      What I wanted badly of my mother’s was her button box–I used to love to finger all her different buttons when I was a little girl–and her pincushion elephant–an old velveteen elephant she used as a pincushion. I don’t know what happened to these.

      Regarding labels placed by the living on items for wishes to be honored after their deaths: My father’s mother had every item in her apartment labelled in this manner. I was in love with her Young Folks Treasury books, and these were labelled for me. When she died, rather than give them to me, my parents gave them to the three-year-old daughter of my younger sister.

      Sad to say, unless something is named in a will, and the will is air-tight, AND locks are changed the instant death news travels (oh, how rapidly folks stop by who “hadn’t heard–no one answered my knock–wanted to make sure everything was okay”), labels are meaningless.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      • Oh I know the labels are for crap, but I did succeed in making my wishes known, and I was so glad to have the satisfaction of knowing they understood. Given the circumstances where family fought for everything my grandparents owned, my parents have been wise enough to give quite a bit to me already, but they’re still using that Pyrex, dammit! lol

        Liked by 1 person

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