Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Coming Home to be Housekeeper

I kind of feel like I have accepted a job as a live-in nanny/housekeeper. I knew that part of the reason my Mom was so accepting of Mike and I moving in, with all our dogs no less, was that she wanted help taking care of the house and my siblings. I guess I just didn't realize that by help she meant do everything while she stayed with her new boyfriend three states away.

It should be noted, as well, that all my siblings should be able to care for themselves by now. Should be able to and able to are very different things, however. None of them can hold a job, and they have no way of earning any income, so my mother supports them all. This is not really something she is able to do easily either. They are under the impression that my mother is a bajillionaire. In reality, we are lucky to be considered lower middle class on a good day.

I moved out originally when I was seventeen, partially because I wanted to live with my boyfriend at the time but mostly because I couldn't stand living in the mayhem that had become our life. My parents had just got divorced and my Mom was a basket case. She didn't know what to do with the three teenagers and one pre-teen she was left to raise on her own. She was overwhelmed by all the responsibilities of caring for an enormous, old, falling apart Victorian home. And her heart was broken on top of it all. So it's not surprising that we were all, very suddenly, left to our own devices. And perhaps due to the fact that my parents had, for a time, fancied themselves ritzy, they had taught us shockingly little that would come in handy in the real world. And we all know that the school system doesn't do any of us a lick of good when it comes to filling out job applications or opening a bank account.

I had been lucky in that I had both parents in my life for the longest amount of time. I had also been lucky in many ways (although also unlucky in many ways) because my parents were able to send me to boarding school for most of high school. So I was super fortunate to gain skills there that my brothers and sister just didn't learn. For instance, I have a lot more discipline than any of them because I had to live by very strict rules and uphold firm expectations that taught me perseverance. They are still under the impression that everything should be handed to them on a silver platter, literally. But I really feel like we all didn't learn many skills which could have proved useful when it came time to make lives for ourselves. Our parents were terrible with money, and so are we. Although, I really believe I am accurate in saying that I am the most frugal and thoughtful when it comes to finances. That's really not saying much when the people I'm comparing myself to are members of my immediate family.

For example, my brother owes my Mom a ton of money. He has been living off her with no job for months. He was arrested in Virginia right after Christmas carrying a sawed-off shotgun (long story. But it sounds worse than it was. He was hiking part of the Appalachian Trail and he was in town waiting for a package and he didn't know his gun was a couple inches too short. What an idiot, I know). So he owes my Mom for the lawyer and travelling expenses, the whole lot. And finally he gets his taxes back, and what does he do? First thing, he goes out and buys a PlayStation Three and a bunch of new games. And then he wants to sit three feet from the T.V. in the living room and play video games all day. My Mom is furious, to say the least, and he has no idea why "she's being such a bitch". Can anyone believe that? I find it difficult and I witnessed the whole thing!

Anyhow, back to the overwhelming amount of responsibility I have just recently had dumped into my hands. My Mom opened a household bank account from which I must purchase groceries and any household supplies or necessities. I have to help my brothers get to their appointments and pick up their medication. I have been doing most of the cleaning and cooking when my Mom is home and all of it when she is away. I stacked the wood we just got, and the pellets - after we called around for the best prices. Holy Shit, it's never-ending. If I thought I was a maid to Mikey before, I just didn't know the half of it.

Anyhow, enough bitching and moaning for now. I'm making a pot roast and I'm worried it's not going to be juicy and tender but dry and tough. Oh, I hope not, it's taken hours! And I'm also trying to assemble a cream tart that is going to be done around two a.m. if I'm lucky. Oh, sad you, I'm sure everyone cares just so much about my disastrous life. Not. Until later.


Jeannie said...

Maybe you can get them doing stuff?

Sarcastic Bastard said...

I care, Nellie. My life is boring to me. Anybody else's life is interesting.

Great to hear from you.

Love, SB.

Nellie said...

Jeannie - I wish I could get them to do anything. I don't think I can accurately explain just how horribly lazy and delusional they are. Stay tuned if you can stomach it and maybe I can paint a picture of what we're dealing with here. A little sample: My sister was sent to an institution for emotionally unstable adolescents when she was about fourteen. This was at a world renowned mental health hospital, mind you. And they kicked her out because she was too volatile for them. They said she was just plain mean and nasty and they were unwilling to work with her. Getting booted out of a mental institution is pretty bad, yeah? Anyway, it's always so good to hear from you and I hope you're doing well.

SB - Thank you for your ever-present kindness to me. I always feel uplifted after reading your blog - laughter is such good medicine. I guess I have to admit that my life may be many things but boring isn't one of them. Thanks for always being around.

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