Thursday, June 02, 2011


I've got myself in a fine kettle of fish. Or maybe porcupines; yeah, with cactus.

One of my siblings was incredibly helpful when Mom X had heart surgery and during her long, difficult convalescence. My other sib travels on business a lot -- routinely -- and I work awkward hours. So a lot of it fell to her: taking care of Mom's devoted doggie, hospital visits, evaluating and checking up on nursing home staff, transportation and so on and on.

In the course of this, my sibling's car went wonky in an expensive way (my siblings and I share some traits; one of them is, we're not especially car-proud and are like as not to be driving near-clunkers. We're no great shakes with money, either; and we're effective and devoted procrastinators). But that was no problem, since most of the transportation duties involved Mom's larger sedan anyway. The broken car was parked, to be dealt with later.

So later came and sib had been whacked hard with heating bills (Um, renting a place with an ancient thermal/gravity furnace? Not a good idea. At 65F, it can't move enough air; at 72, you'll go broke. Live and learn). So it had to wait; then a lump-sum check was late.... Hey, I've been there, maybe not as bad or as long.

And after a month or so of this, with Mom home now but generally carless, I had to go and suggest sib and I meet up at a nearby car-repair jernt and I'd pay for it -- no-interest loan, however long it took. (Yeah, even forever. Remember, none of us are all that good with money). Given the other loans, etc., probably a good idea if no extra funds passed through my sibling's accounts.

The reaction was...less than positive. As in, there was no way sib would ever wanna be beholden to me, didn't want me to be in a position where I could dictate her activities, yadda-yadda-yadda. --Some of that's on me: we're not close, I have refused to loan money (when I didn't have it -- I don't have it now, either but I'd've paid credit-card rates to resolve the car tangle).

All I wanted was to remove one of the impediments to Mom's getting into physical therapy. I've had to do PT and it's hard to make yourself do it, very easy to find reasons not to.

But all I managed to do was make the mess a little bigger. That'll learn me.


JohnMXL said...

Just remember: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.

Roberta X said...

So right.

Robin said...

Ah, family.

Drang said...

I believe it was the great sage Jimmy Dean who observed that you can choose your friends, but not your family.
Really, the biggest reason I'm so distant from my family these days is that it's literal as well as figurative--thousands of miles apart. That distance has allowed time to make a lot of differences be forgotten.

John B said...

Friends welcome anytime.
Family by Appointment!

Sorry! went through a tourist trap in Montana.

I never dictate family's actions.
I do suggest they eff off quite often!

Roberta X said...

I feel like I totally mishandled it. Mind you, we are not friends; but my only motive was to sort out the car thing. In this, I have failed; we went off on unfriendly tangents.

Robin said...

Sometimes you just can't empty the baggage all at once.

Stranger said...

You have my sympathy, for I have done exactly the same thing. Now every time a generous impulse hits I try to remind myself that a shut mouth gathers no flies.

Since that usually fails, I try to get the victim of my generosity to agree with me a few times before I try to "help." At least it keeps the racket down.


Drang said...

I doubt all mistakes or mishandling were on your end.

Justthisguy said...

Ah, humans! Ain't they the most annoying kind of monkeys?