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Why I Don’t Blog About My Family That Much!

November 11, 2007
I do not blog about my family because I write in order to escape from them and it would be too mentally exhausting. My family, well not my immediate family, even though they can be at times, is like a run away train. Honestly. First, allow me to discuss the less dramatic segment, the immediate family, meaning Mr. Glendower and child. He left last night to visit his mother some 2500 miles away. There are no hard feelings involved with him going alone. I like it like that because I am not open to adding his family drama to my family’s drama. In addition, right now his family is in the middle of some monumental drama. Let’s just say it stems from his nephew running his car into a police cruiser then brandishing a knife all while he was off his medicine (needless to say, my sister-in-law who the car was insured by, insurance company dropped her!) (Sadly, it made the local papers). I’m afraid Mr. Glendower’s mother thinks he will be able to come and save them all.

Anyway, back to the immediate family. Mr. Glendower has a brand new Honda Civic. I know we can analyse the fact that he bought another brand new Honda Civic eleven months ago but we will not. An uninsured illegal immigrant hit him from behind while Mr. Glendower was stopped at a red light. The driver, after digging around for something in his car, did a runner. The body shop sanctioned by the dealer and the insurance company did a lousy job on the ten-month-old Civic. Mr. Glendower was restless and could not stand it. He works hard and expects his money to get him its value, I understand. It is not a Mercedes but still I understand. Finally, the situation got the best of him and he traded that 2007 Civic in for a 2008. Must be nice, as my trifling family would tell us if we were to listen. All is well. That and this new car has a sunroof and all the other little things he regretted not getting the last time. And he got a good deal. Okay. Therefore, I must antagonise him because I know the history of the Civic. Two months now and I have never driven the Civic. Who cares, my 2003 Toyota is fine. Nevertheless, he wants me to desire his Civic. But I don’t and it bothers him but we live with it. When it came time to go to the airport, a drive some hour or so away, I informed him that we were so going to take the Civic, that my fuel is my fuel and cannot be wasted on his errands. Ah. This means I must drive the Holy Civic back home. As we were approaching the airport with him driving, he informed me about the brakes. Something about them being some kind of brakes that I must not expect to stop immediately or on a dime or whatever. It is a new fricken car, I know how to drive. Was this a passive aggressive way of reminding me to take care. I mean what kind of brakes do I need. They work or they don’t work. I’m not told how to brake in my Toyota that I drive every day. He was off-loaded and we left. Me driving. HEY!!!!! The girl laughing because I told her, “look at me I’m driving the Holy Civic.” By the way, as he was making his way to the skycap I so hollered to him that we would be running the streets in his Civic! (We have so many laughs at his expense, his anxiety). Another thing, before he was dropped off I asked the girl if it would be nicer for us to take the freeway back home or the PCH. He interjected the PCH! I suppose I could not be trusted on the freeway, all those cars bumper to bumper and everything. After we left the lights of the big city behind us things started getting serious, a huge mountain range to the east of me with road signs warning of falling rocks, a sixty foot cliff leading to the ocean to the west, late and dark with light fog, those irritating electronic signs that clock your speed posted every ten or so miles, the thought of those brakes swirling in my consciousness, with on-coming cars who forget to dim their bright lights, the child playing Come and Get Your Beans, Boys on her flutophone, an irritant that I try to drown out because I don’t want to stifle her creativity, she is actually good and learning notes quite well, and the steering wheel hitting my knees because either the seat is as far back as it goes or I’m too much of an idiot to figure out how to push the seat back or lift the steering wheel up, something we have always dealt with because even though he is five inches taller than me my legs are two inches longer. When we got home, I parked the headache car in the garage where it will stay until he gets back (or course I will make sure we did not leave any debris or belongings inside).

About two hours after we were home my oldest daughter called. Her first complaint was that we were avoiding her. How dare we not be at home when she calls. Apparently, she needed to talk about my niece, her cousin, the daughter of my sister. My niece’s husband is in jail in another state, failure to pay child support to his ex-wife and something to do with drugs, I don’t ask, nor does my daughter, we cannot handle the particulars. My niece (26 years old), Jennifer is living with her father (my B-I-L), James, and her sister, Tiff (23), and Tiff’s live-in boyfriend, Scott, and their three Bébé kids (badass kids with no direction but feel shame). Yes, they are Bébé kids. I know this even though I have never lay eyes on them in my life, because my sister and brother-in-law’s children were/are Bébé kids. Anyway, Jennifer is fooling with another man and her imprisoned husband Todd found out about it and told Jennifer that when he gets out he is going to kill her and put her body in a manhole. Not just anywhere, but a manhole. There is something symbolic and telling in his choice of location and its name in disposing of her body. My daughter was shocked but Jennifer was flippant about it, perhaps because Todd will be in jail for a while still. I assured my daughter that she was right in being alarmed because to me Todd did not just say out of anger he was going to kill Jennifer but revealed through his words that he has been actually thinking about it enough to the point a plan has been formed. I feel it is Jennifer’s obligation at this point to get a divorce from Todd because I cannot trust the authorities to prosecute Todd fully if he does in fact murder Jennifer. Because once it is introduced that she was legally married to him while she was cheating his attorneys will be able to find a few sympathetic judges and/or jurors. My daughter reminded me that was not the case with the woman who ran over and killed her cheating husband, however, I had to let her know that comparing a woman avenging a man’s infidelity is not treated the same as a man avenging a woman’s infidelity, not in a system dominated by men.

Then there is Tiff who has the three Bébé kids that I mentioned above. Her boyfriend, Scott (baby daddy of all three) lives with them all. Both Tiff and the boyfriend, work at Wal-Mart. James, the father of Jennifer, Tiff, and a nineteen year old boy, Jason, half built a house in the middle of nowhere. One could say it is a shell of a house. James had a heart attack three weeks ago while he was at work (a good job of more than thirty years that pays very good money). Had surgery the next day and is now home recovering from that heart attack. My daughter took two of Tiff’s children home yesterday after a day at the park. She said she asked what was for dinner, wanting to know now more than ever since James had an heart attack. Tiff, engrossed in television and hugged up with Scott (who never talks and never does a thing but grunts) on the sofa said, “We have decided on this,” and pointed to a huge bag of Doritos. There was a can of carrots and a can of green beans on the kitchen cabinet. The house is a mess. My daughter says everyone there is always buying crap and bringing it home because after all it is just a dollar. Stuff is piled up everywhere including on top of a pool table that has been abandoned because it is not leveled. I asked where the youngest baby, the one born in August was and my daughter told me that I did not want to know. After prodding, she said the infant was in a swing in front of the television because Tiff said that is the only way the baby will tolerate the swing. Fortunately, Tiff was granted a Tubal ligation after this third child because I know Scott was not ever going to wear a condom or get a vasectomy. Jennifer takes care of Scott and Tiff’s children when they are at Wal-mart working. When a local bar needs her, Jennifer tends bar at night. Jennifer (the oldest of three) has no children. My daughter discovered that the state would pay Jennifer between three and five hundred dollars a month and subsidise food for watching Tiff and Scott’s children. She picked up the paperwork and took it over to their house. Some type of program that is designed to pay family members for caring for other family member’s children. Everyone in the household is absolutely against it because it may invite the government to come in occasionally and inspect the house (in reality a low probability because of the number of caseloads). I don’t blame their suspicions however, I do blame the reason for their resistance. Their resistance does not have anything to do with the potential tyranny of the government but the refusal to be held accountable for not maintaining a clean house or adhering to a healthy and disciplined diet for the children.

The third child belonging to my sister and her husband is Jason, a nineteen-year-old high school drop out and aspiring rapper who also works at Wal-mart. He is supposedly marrying a sixteen-year-old girl next month who is/was pregnant. My daughter inquired about her pregnancy and how it was coming along because the girl does not seem to be exhibiting signs of pregnancy after all of this time and there was something mentioned about having a history of five miscarriages (remember she is sixteen). Not sure what is going on with that just know that my sister is planning a big to do wedding next to a pond on their property. My daughter wanted to know if the girl thought she had to say she was pregnant in order to live there because apparently that is not a requirement. Speaking of my sister, she is not living in this mess, her mess, her and her husband’s mess because as of four years ago she took off with one of our illegitimate half nephews, son to my dead brother, on a crack adventure. Her husband is waiting for her to come home when she gets it out of her system. She does pop in periodically as I mentioned she is claiming to be planning the wedding, I just hope no one is giving her money because if so they will be disappointed.

Interestingly, when speaking to each member individually, each claims a force is causing the others not to care, not to clean or eat healthily and they claim that they are the sole initiators of a better situation, that they tirelessly attempt but to no avail. My sister wonders to my mother (who incidentally is the same as my sister but without the crack addiction) and anyone else willing to listen why “no one over there bothers to clean up” and my brother-in-laws rants “no one cares but me” and all of the adult children claim they are routinely willing to work together but it is the others who will not.

The above is just a small overview of one of my sibling’s life. I have many siblings along with quite a few uncles and aunts. My daughter is in the stage of her life that she wants to help, wants to try to get them to turn to another direction. But all I can do from my experiences with the same people and of wanting to be the saviour for so many years is to tell her to run, not walk, not dawdle, not skip and look back but to run as fast and as far as she can away from those people. Hence, is the reason why I do not blog about my family that often and is the reason why I do not fault Colette for writing Gigi while the Nazis were carrying off her Jewish husband.

*All names are fictional to protect me from the wrath of my family, that is, if they ever actually got on a computer.

  1. Professor Zero permalink
    November 11, 2007 3:46 am

    This is hilarious and it should be a movie script or something. I have a professor friend who also has a family like this and describes them with similar verve. Her sister cannot take care of her own children because she is “layin’ up with Clyde” … so her mother has to deal with the kids while her stepfather, a PhD and a professional, keeps K’s of MJ in the cooler for his own use, unconcerned that her actual father, a D.A.R.E. cop, might find these but very concerned that Clyde, a meth-head, might. Meanwhile the “Killadelphia” [as FN would say] lawyer who gets them out of their legal scrapes is rich but nothing is in his own name and he uses only cash because he is on the run due to defaulted student loans. [Details have been changed for purposes of anonymization, but you get the idea.]


    OT: I have found a new food, frozen edamame. Those are the soybeans in pods they serve as appetizers in sushi bars. You can get them in the frozen vegetable section and steam them. You have to put on a lot of sea salt but then, for a mere 1.79,
    you have a whole elegant appetizer or snack. And right out of the freezer bag. You can eat them with miso soup, mixing the paste with hot water and presto – an ultra-healthy soy lunch, I am very pleased. (Of course you can get fancy and put tofu, mushrooms, green onions and seaweed in the miso, too.)

  2. Kitty Glendower permalink
    November 11, 2007 4:53 am

    Clyde is such a redneck name. LOL! You could have just as well said Bubba. I tried to make the names I use names that may not infer any particular characteristics. LOL! I knew a Clyde. He was my mother’s hairdresser through out the 70’s. He was transsexual, although I’m not sure if he ever actually transitioned or if he survived the AIDS epidemic of the 80’s. Almost everyone I knew who was male and gay died in the late 80’s to early 90’s. Anyway, the last time I saw Clyde was around 1984. He had just done my hair and needed a ride somewhere downtown. He was cursing a van that my father had sold him as is. Yet it kept breaking down and he kept calling my father to come and fix it until my father told him no more that he was not obligated to keep getting him for a $250 van that he sold as is.

  3. Verging Writer permalink
    November 11, 2007 2:37 pm

    Kitty – I’m very sorry to say this but – great post! Sadly amusing – ain’t families great?

    And the Honda tale – you have a flare for writing! Don’t tell your husband this – but I believe H Civics are one of the most stolen cars in the country. Lock the garage!

  4. momo permalink
    November 11, 2007 2:47 pm

    I have a Honda Civic, but it has hail dings, several paint scrapes (I have no garage, so it lives on the street) and always looks just a little shabby. But it has served me well. Nothing special about the brakes though!

    Your last line about Colette is priceless!

  5. CountryDew permalink
    November 11, 2007 5:18 pm

    Wonderful post, although I got a little dizzy in the middle of it from all of that … excitement. I suppose Honda’s are good cars but like you I am highly partial to my 2003 Camry.

    Family can be sooo frustrating and entertaining and amazing, among other things. Yours sounds like it could fill a couple of novels.

  6. Rent Party permalink
    November 11, 2007 6:54 pm

    Yes … are you sure you don’t want to go for the M.F.A.? Dissent, the blog, which is based in OC, has a writing colony somewhere in the northern Sierras every summer and I am thinking about going.

  7. Liz permalink
    November 11, 2007 9:10 pm

    Love your blog and reading this I began to wonder if we have family members in common. I have run as far away from my family and their dramas as possible. I suppose it’s partly what keeps me in LA. But even if I’m not around them, just knowing about their craziness still has an impact on me.

  8. Not Your Mama permalink
    November 13, 2007 12:01 am

    Sounds not-so different from the average American family these days.
    I could write a pretty funny one about the foibles of my own relatives & offspring except for the slight possibility one of them might read it in some misguided attempt to locate me after I leave the country and leave no forwarding address. Also not sure which bugs me more: clueless, irresponsible wonders with substance abuse issues or stuck-up, narcissistic wretches with too many credit cards.

    I have a beagle named Clyde. He is not transsexual but he does eat his own turds which makes him at the very least, more efficient than most humans.

  9. Kitty Glendower permalink
    November 13, 2007 3:49 am

    Thank you everyone for your compliments. I do worry about my writing a lot, especially if I’m saying what I mean to say and never really feel like I’m saying much.

    Not Your Mama, I hope they are not typical of the average American family, if so America is worse off than I assumed.

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