If You’re Family, I’ve Gone Fishing…
I’ve mentioned before that I have a crazy-ass family. My immediate family is slightly quirky, but it’s the extended ones on my mother’s side that cause me the greatest concern.
My mother was the eldest of 8 brothers and sisters and this is likely the reason she only had one child. I understand that now – they are freakin nuts.
For as long as I can remember, there has been in-fighting between them. At any one given time, no more than 2 would be on speaking terms. It’s been going on forever and I’m pretty sure they’ve actually forgotten what they’re fighting about.
The majority of them live in another Province, with a handful within an hour of me. I’m not close with any of them. They don’t send holiday wishes or call just to say hello – unless of course they want something.
When my mother passed away, they surprising all came together for her funeral, but still were separated into their respective “factions”. Certain groups would speak with all groups, while others preferred the solitude of their own company. It was ridiculous behavior. That was 4 years ago.
Three years ago, my aunt sends me an e-mail asking for help preparing her wills. I tell her that I haven’t prepared wills in years, but would help her – begrudgingly. She hounds me relentlessly via e-mail for two weeks until I get them finished. I don’t hear from her for almost another two years.
Two years ago, my cousin calls me asking for help in getting a court order dismissed. I spend an entire Saturday filling out the paperwork and coaching them on what they need to do. I don’t know if they were successful - I haven’t heard from them since that day.
A year ago, my aunt calls asking for advice on her will that I prepared for her three years ago. She wants to know if her will can be contested. I tell her that yes it can be and most likely will be – that’s what you can expect when you leave your three daughters and grandchildren out of her will. She didn’t like what I told her and hasn’t “spoken” to me since.
A couple of months ago, the same aunt did send me an e-mail berating me on going on a Caribbean vacation when I haven’t visited my family in the east coast in over 12 years. This is the SAME family that she doesn’t speak to. She’s the “one” that doesn’t speak with any of them…
Three months ago, I get a call from my uncle, who needs help with a collection matter – from his daughter and ex-son-in-law. He wants to know the best way to collect $35,000 from them. It’s only been outstanding without a single payment being made since 2003, but now that the two have separated, he’s looking to collect it. I’ve spent well over 48 hours of my time in the last two weeks, preparing documents, explaining what they can’t and can do to collect the money and basically “listening” to how they’ve been used and screwed over by their own daughter.
After 2 hours on the phone last night with my uncle’s wife who tells me that she doesn’t like the way I prepared the documents and that she’s wants them redone to her liking - I totally lost it. I’ve never really liked her and now she knows exactly how I feel about her and her messed up family. She is the main reason all of the other aunts and uncles don't speak with each other. I like to call her Yoko Ono...
It’s official, I’ve gone into retirement and my “free” services are no longer extended to family members. For people I don’t see, they cause me great amount of grief and guilt. If I want grief and guilt, I’ll go talk to my mother-in-law – at least she sends me birthday wishes.