Rumors of the Recalcitrant Brother

Supposedly, if he can okay it with the kid’s mom, the recalcitrant brother and my oldest nephew will be here in Nashville at about midnight.

I am excited, don’t get me wrong, and I’m looking forward to spending some quality time with him this weekend, but America, I remain as tired as ever of the way that the drama between my dad and brothers remains so central in my life in ways I can’t figure out how to control.

I mean, of course I want the recalcitrant brother to come and visit. But it pisses me off that he doesn’t call me or the Butcher to make plans. No, he calls my parents, who don’t even live here, and makes all these arrangements and no one sits down at any point and even bothers to say “Here’s the deal, he’ll arrive at around midnight… blah, blah, blah” let alone “Hey, B. It’s your recalcitrant brother. I’m thinking of coming up there next weekend (or tomorrow, or today) and I’m wondering if I can crash on your couch.”

I have to find out what’s going on at my own house by osmosis. And there’s never any consideration of whether or not I already have plans. There’s just this assumption that my life can be and should be rearranged in ways that they never ask of the boys*.

It goes back to my continual complaint. In my family, girls take care of people. There is no way that I can see to escape this dynamic without ceasing to take care of at least the people in my house which would mean that there would be no one to pay the bills, which would mean we’d live in a box under 440 with the rest of the hobos. Not that the cats would mind this…

I mean, folks, get this. I caught my mom on the back porch talking on the phone to her Insane Friend. (And when I say insane, I mean this woman’s husband cheated on her repeatedly and left her for another woman and she still let him have their house because his new woman had four kids still living at home, so they would need the space, and the Insane Friend thought that if she only sacrificed enough, her husband would realize what a good wife she was and come back home–to a house she’d given him, I guess. Who the fuck knows?) And they were discussing how sad it was that both me and Insane Friend’s niece had been living in Nashville for a while and were so lonely.

And then my mom is like “How can we get them together?”

Yes, America, my mom is trying to make friends for her 31 year old daughter. I am ashamed to admit that I lost it at that point. First, I have friends. I tried to make a great show out of letting them meet in person a couple of my friends, so they know I do have them. Second, do you know how old this girl is? Twenty-two. Yes, nine years younger than me. (But only, for those of you wondering, two and a half years younger than the Butcher.) So, there I was yelling at my mother about how my house is not a fucking Home for Wayward Socially Awkward People and that it’s not her fucking job to make friends for me and not my fucking job to befriend every lost soul who makes her way to Nashville.

I am about ready to send the whole lot of them home and here they are inviting more people up. Well, what the fuck, America? Come on over. Just bring your own towels, because we’re out of clean ones. It’s easy enough to find my place. Just get on 440, head towards Memphis, and when you see the remains of a beer chicken failure, just climb over the retaining wall. Ours is the place with me sobbing quietly outside on the front stoop.

*I know I promised no more feminist crap for July, but I’m a liar. Sue me.

7 thoughts on “Rumors of the Recalcitrant Brother

  1. You can come stay with me until they go. We’ll see how they and the Butcher handle him as host. You even have the spare key – come over while I am still at the library. There’s lots of food in the fridge today. Help yourself, if you can find a clean dish.

  2. Aunt B, you crack me UP! This reminds me of the time, when I was about 26, that I got a phone call one night that went like this:
    Him:”Hello, is this Yankee Transplant?”
    YT:”Um, yeah…”
    Him:”My name is BIGGEST DWEEB IN THE UNIVERSE and your mom told my mom that you’d go out with me.”
    YT: “Sorry, my mom’s a liar.”

    You are a riot.

  3. Haha! My mom was always trying to make me new friends too. Apparently she didn’t like the friends I had. She didn’t really get the fact that HER kind of people weren’t MY kind of people.

    Luckily, my family never wants to stay with me. Well, for one thing I’m in Greece, so they have to pay some serious money or stow away in baggage to get here. But even when they do come, they don’t like staying with three cats. So they always get a hotel.

  4. Oh, it’s happened to me, too. I used to babysit two little twins. Apparently they grew up (who knew) and are now in medical school. One goes here. She’s lonely. My mom told her mom that I’d be happy to introduce her around town and hang out with her…uh, mom? I used to BABYSIT her? Not so much fun for me. Sigh. I wish parents would eventually give up on arranging play dates.

  5. That whole scene would infuriate me–and it is very difficult to infuriate me.

    Best of luck. Shall I add a whimsical “And this too shall pass?”

  6. Ryan, I’ve imagined you in a lot of ways, but never whimsical. Hmm.

    I normally don’t advocate drinking as a solution to one’s problems, but I can’t help but think that much of the tension of these visits could be alleviated if we could all just sit down and have a beer together.

    Or maybe it would just make things easier for me…

  7. Maybe a gentle suggestion to the brother to call you first next time, so that you could be sure to be free? Why are boundry issues so much harder with family?

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