parens binubus

more than you want to know about a law school graduate/bar examinee who is also raising two children and doing her best at being a partner to her love.

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  • Sunday, November 26, 2006
    why there were only 14 items
    last night, at my parents' house, my brother and his wife decided that my children, my parents, and i were worthy enough to be graced with 2 entire hours of their time. that in and of itself was amazing, and i am not sure it has EVER happened before. he lives literally around the corner from my parents, and rarely ever has time to see them .... unless he needs money or some other favor. several times my family has come from the Boston area, and he has been "too busy" to come by and say hello. or he'll come in the house to ask my father something, and then leave without saying a word to me or mine.

    but last night, he was there.

    the girls were coming from the place that their father is living this year, but they had gotten stuck in traffic. so us adults (brother, mother, father, sister-in-law and myself -- beloved had stayed in boston this time) had dinner while we waited for the phone call that i was to go meet the schlurg.

    my brother started discussing a cousin of ours, who just left her husband for the 2nd time, and hopefully for good (yes, those of us who share blood make bad choices for first husbands, what can i say???). my brother started going on and on about how we needed to call her and to go see her, b/c she is our *family* and it's so important to support our *family.* he truly would not quit. my mother was kind of poo-pooing him, and my father was oddly silent (oddly b/c it seemed as though my brother's tirade was actually focused at my father, sort of reprimanding him for not calling my cousin already, and telling him all the reasons why he should).

    the phone then rang, and it was time to make the 5 minute drive to go meet my ex and get my kids.

    my dad came with me.

    this is also odd - my dad has many many many feelings of dislike - even hatred - for my ex. why would he choose to come and be in close proximity? i am in zero danger from my ex - we didn't have that kind of marriage. so why is he coming?

    we got in the car:

    Me: man, i love the way my brother is so concerned about supporting family now. where the hell was he with all his phone calls and "support" when i left my ex? or when [sis] left hers?

    Dad: nowhere, that's where he was. and he's not interested in family now, all he wants is a reason to get in a fight.

    Me: i think he likes the romantic notion of being a chivalrous cousin.

    Dad: he doesn't give a shit about family when it's about speaking to your mother like she's a human being, or about spending some time with your parents who live around the corner from him. i'm telling you - he wants to get in a fight.

    apparently - my cousin's husband is believed to have been abusive. no one really knows, though. apparently, also, my brother has already said that he and my father should show up at the husband's door and "beat the shit out of him." my father, apparently, thinks my brother is pretty much an ass, and would rather find a way to crawl under a rock and claim that, despite the fact that they have the same name, my brother is not his son.

    then i got my kids. we came back. the girls were sitting next to me, eating their dinner. my brother was sitting across from me.

    brother: so where is [ex] working right now?

    me: [place closer than he used to be]

    brother: so is he teaching there?

    me: no, he has a research fellowship.

    brother: [snort, laugh, guffaw] a research fellowship? what the fuck is that? it sounds gay. how gay is that? jeez, that's gay.

    me: [brother], do not say that - this is inappropriate.

    brother: no it's not inappropriate - that's gay. what a gay job. he is so fucking gay.

    me: you need to shut up [also making faces and hand motions toward the girls - at which he laughed].

    brother: well, it is gay, and you know it.


    my KIDS!!! i *never ever ever ever ever* talk negatively about their father.

    i also *never ever ever ever ever* talk negatively about homosexuality - b/c here, to my brother gay=stupid. it has nothing to do with homosexuality. apparently, it's just this random insult which he feels is appropriate.

    my kids don't know it that way though. they were confused as to why their uncle thinks their father is gay, since they know he is a man who is married to a woman shortly after dating another woman, shortly after being married to another woman, who is their mother.

    i needed to go back over the issue with the girls later:

    "remember all the times i've talked about how obnoxious your uncle is? well, this is an example of that, and has nothing to do with your father. your father has a very good job, and it's something to be proud of. also, when your uncle says "gay" - he does not mean "gay" - he means "stupid." It is wrong of your uncle to use that word in that way, it is not stupid to be gay, and using one word for the other is disrespectful and hateful toward those who are gay."

    j. was very sad and had tears in her eyes, and e. shrugged and said, "yeah, i know" and left.

    my brother is having a baby!!! how can this be? how can his wife DO this?

    oh, and the final irritating thing, him and his wife sitting at the table (before the kids got there), blatantly making fun of me for being a lawyer, and talking about me in the third person in condescending and fucking obnoxious ways. his wife is not the mean bully that my brother is, but she's made out of nothing but surface-stuff, and she has little of substance to add to any conversation.

    my brother went from talking about my cousin (or something else) to looking at me and saying, "that's a nice sweater. you look like a lawyer" (with a weird baby-talk tone). his wife says, "oh, i know, doesn't she look so good? i love her haircut, and that is such a nice sweater she's wearing" (she was sitting 2 feet from me). my brother went on and on about how even though i haven't graduated law school, i'm still a "lawyer" to him.


    Labels: , , , ,

    posted by Zuska @ 2:51 PM  
    • At Sunday, November 26, 2006 3:48:00 PM, Blogger She says said…

      Dang. I too have a brother with whom I have very little in common. I think the ony thing we share is our last name. Amazing how DNA can go astray, eh?

      Sounds like you handled the situation with grace and maturity in the moment and even better later with your kids. Did you ever talk to your brother and tell him that it is NOT acceptable for him to bad-mouth the kids' father in front of them? I guess he doesn't understand that tearing the ex- down like that makes him look like an ass and only hurts your girls.

      Good luck with that...

    • At Sunday, November 26, 2006 3:52:00 PM, Blogger Zuska said…

      i guarantee you that if i tried to have that conversation with my brother, he would either: 1) walk away shaking his head saying that i, too, am "so gay;" or 2) tell me that i just think i'm better than him b/c i'm in law school and am going to be a lawyer, and if i wasn't so full of myself, i, too, would talk bad about my ex.

      i would rather just never be around him.

    • At Sunday, November 26, 2006 7:02:00 PM, Blogger Law-Rah said…

      MY GAWD I feel your pain!!! My younger brother is about as much of a jackass. His wife is not 8 months pregnant and I FEAR for that kid.

    • At Sunday, November 26, 2006 9:56:00 PM, Blogger Butterflyfish said…

      My younger bro is a bit of an ass. Ok, understatement. Quick to temper, starts family arguments, selfish, etc.

      But when I see him at holidays, he GETS the fact that he can't yell and use swear words in front of my kid.

      So, I guess I am really lucky. My, what high standards.

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