Thanks everyone for your kind words about my whole weird brother situation. That post was prompted because I was having dinner with him, his wife and kids. My sister in law particularly does not like me and will rarely talk to me. Every Christmas my mom has her family over and it is the one time each year when I see my SIL. In years past I have been looked down at by my SIL and brother to some extent, because I chosen a path in life that is different than theirs and therefore, not as good and not acceptable. I stayed single and lived a very care free existence when they got married and started their family. I was jetting off to all corners of the world while they worried about what mini van or Suburban they should have. I had boyfriends and fuck friends while they dealt with an affair that almost torn their marriage apart, but resulted in an even bigger and shinier diamond. I scrapped enough money together to buy my first small house, in the not-so-good neighborhood, while they gutted their kitchen and put in stainless steel appliances in a house in the "right" neighborhood.
But those things have come crashing down on them this year, and bigness and glitz have started to crumble and tarnish. This economy has been particularly brutal for my brother and his family. He's in the mortgage business, which a few years ago offered them a lifestyle they can no longer afford. They have stopped making payments on their vacation home in Hawaii, as it sits for sale in this stagnant real estate market, they have sold cars to come up with more funds, they have gone through all their savings and have now started digging into my brother's retirement accounts. After that, I don't know what will happen.
As hard as it is on them, and as trite, mean or uncaring as this may sound, I don't feel particularly bad for them. There were so many times when I would have to listen to them about how I "should be" doing things, how I'm not doing things "right" or listen to them rattle off about the biggest, best, shiniest new toys and gadgets they bought. I watched as my mother cried about being pushed aside because they were too busy with their decorator. I watched as my father was only called when they needed his help doing something, not calling just to say hello. I watched them build themselves up to become people I hardly knew and philosophically had very little in common with.
And now I watch as they figure out what is really important and I can't help but shake my head as they talk about how hard it is to live like the rest of us.