2005-11-28

Family Reunion Part 1.5

It was a lovely Thanksgiving, if you must know.
It had everything - stoner cousins, drunken parents, a screaming banshee of a grandmother, and food that, when it became "left-over", was poured into freezer bags and therefore looked as masticated and inedible as anything Rosie has ever eaten and later regretted by barfing it next to my bed. And some sweet, sweet drunk dialing wherin remarkably, I was the object, not the subject.
I know!
Go me!
Restraint when others lack it!

I wasn't all that tempted to over-eat on the leftovers, either. You know... it just looked... chewed.

Family reunions are a trip, to say the least. I have to field shit like, "Well your dad was a big drinker", "You're not REALLY going to go OUT, are you? (at 8:15 pm)", and "Will you be the guardian for my children?"
Bitch, are you insane? I can't even afford a house for me and my effing pets.
I have $19 lucky little dollars in my checking account.
You have spent 38 minutes recalling an 18th of my dad's life by basically calling him a drunken oaf. Over and over. And you want me to sign some paper napkin saying that I'll be the guardian for your children?
Excuse me, but I need a beer.

I have this distant cousin who floats in and out of reality and her someplace doesn't even BEGIN to rival my mother's assessment of my own disconnect. This cousin, she is not young. She's well into her sixties, minimum, and she had two children whom she adopted from different Eastern European locales. The kids are adorable. They are regular little girls, you know?
Their mother... not so much.
So a couple of years ago, my mom and my aunt and I got to thinking about who will care for the girls when the cousin is gone.
I came up as the obvious choice, natch.

And yeah, I am considering the whole thing. I would be good for slightly messed up girls. I do know how to nurture, sort of, and I totally believe in those kids having a family they can count on forever.
But the cousin?
I think she would make it impossible to do what she is asking me to do. I would need full histories - medical and biographical. I would need full financial disclosure on her - life insurance, assets, will, etc. I would need to know a lot and this woman?
I remember one time my dad innocently asked her where she worked.
She refused to tell him. She got belligerent about it and my dad, never one to back off of the opportunity to poke a little fun at someone, especially when they aren't smart enough to realize he was doing it... he backed off. It was just so weird, you know?
I guess the cousin is getting him back now because her constant "joking" commentary about my dad's enjoying a beer was irritating in the way that razor blades scraping paint off of a window is irritating. It was irritating in the way that some bug bites won't stop itching until you have dug so much into them with your index finger's scratching that you bleed the mosquito poison out of your suffering little ankle.

So while I am a willing and serious potential guardian for these gorgeous girls, there's so much that I would need from her and I'm just not sure that I would be able to get all of the available information before she becomes incapacitated or dead.

These girls would need special attention and I know that I can do that part, I truly do know that at an instinctual level. But there are enough surprises and misunderstanding and communications in a situation where two adopted girls get left to a young, new-agey distant cousin that there's no way I would do it without eliminating all of the potential surprises that I can get rid of. I would not want to NOT know their biographies. I would not want to NOT know what, and where, their college funds have been set up.
And the cousin? When I mentioned that I would need to look at their full histories and future plans?
She said to me, "Well, you'd get their Social Security, you know."
Yes dear, I know. But these questions are not about money.
This is reality.
This is little girls who will need me to NOT be freaking out because I don't know anything about their financial, medical, and academic situations while I AM freaking out about their bedtimes and their making friends at a new school and their outfit choices and the general stuff that I consider to be the important parts of motherhood.
Or very special cousinhood.

Yeah.
I was meditating last night and I couldn't get those girls out of my meditation.
I know what's the right thing to do.
I know what I deeply, truly want to do.
I have no idea how to deal with a distant cousin who is "hard to communicate with (Lunatic? You decide.)" and how I could possibly do what I believe in, and do it well, without her willingness to give me every detail of information that I request.

If I do this, I need to have as much room for loving them and supporting them as I can. I can't be sorting through the messy details of the financials of death and the discoveries of allergies, anxiety, and braces all at the same time.

Gawd, my grandmother… not good.
And a nameless member of the family calls a frickin' family meeting about it, conveniently after my aunt and myself left. People?
Bob's dead but I carry on, mother-fuckers.
I get consulted just like every other branch does and the next time there's a family meeting?
It seriously needs to be the family, not one person raising some valid concerns but not offering solutions.
I've always learned that if you raise a concern, you better have a solution ready to offer to get the ball rolling on brainstorming and creative problem-solving.
I also have always learned that family meetings include capable, agreeable team-players. I've got options, ideas, and concerns and leaving me out was acting a lot like a spoiled little child would play divorced parents in order to get 4 new iPods and a ride to Boston.

That's not how I do business in any area of my life and I sure as hell hope it's not the direction that this family is taking. Bitching about things without taking care of them is not acceptable to me, and neither is leaving out AN ENTIRE BRANCH OF THE FAMILY.

With that, I bid adieu.
Now I'm all ticked and I'm going to take it out on my desk by working through the enormous piles of duty that were left for me while I was staying with my grandmother and then being left out of crucial discussions about her future.

For the record, who has the insurance that would cover grannie-poo for what we're discussing?
I dunno, who, Sarah?
Straight up, bitches.
S a r a h.
Leaving me out now, are you? Yeah, like the jerks who meet you when you're fat and then later when you're not and claim to have a crush on you when you're not fat but who aren't that interested when you're fat. And no, I'm referring to someone TOTALLY different than the person you think I'm referring to. He's still golden. The other stone-cold mf? Not so much golden as…
rusted.

arizonasarah at 11:15 a.m.

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