Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The Butcher Blues

Nothing makes blogging harder-with the exception of having your fingers broken--than being sure that you are, yet again, about to embark on another two or three months of being the only income in your household. The feeling in the pit of my stomach is like that moment when the roller coaster starts to move and you know in your head that it's going to come back to the station, but at that second, you don't quite believe it. Sometimes, not very often, I take to my bed. It's the one really indulgent self-pitying thing I do whenever the Butcher quits his job. I go upstairs and lay down and just succumb to every fear I have and then fall asleep and get up and go to work and figure, well, I'm not dead yet. The Butcher has not, as far as I know, quit his job, but the day is still young and he has it in his head that that's what he's going to do. I am sad, folks, that I don't have enough money to not care whether or not he has a job.


Blogger Twyla said...

I don't get why The Butcher can decide on a whim not to be responsible for his part of the financial needs of the household. Why does he think that's OK?

6/22/2005 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger Yankee T said...

OOOH, Aunt B, this is a tough one.
Sorry. I know it must be hard.

6/22/2005 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

Because, in my family, the women take care of them men and though I always thought I would never do that, here the fuck I am.

Because nothing bad will happen as a result of this. I won't kick him out because I promised my dad I wouldn't. Because the women take care of the men and I agreed to keep the Butcher for as long as necessary in order to take care of my dad.

Jesus Christ, the thing that really depresses me and makes me angriest about this is seeing the ways in which I am trapped in the very gender dynamics I've insisted will never ensnare me.

Well, here I am, poised to take care of everyone, yet again.

The worst part is that I really like having him around. I don't want him to move out. I want him to stay and keep me company and such.

I really, really want him to find something that makes him happy and I want him to be willing to be daring enough to do it.

But I want him to do it. I want him to want something bad enough that he's willing to risk succeeding.

And I guess I feel like he's not going anywhere--that's not an option--so how can I both provide him with this enormous gift (the space and time to get his head out of his ass) and provide myself with a feeling of security without, most importantly, me being put in a position of mothering him, which is what my parents really want, for me to take him by the hand and lead him to do the things they think he should do--go to college, get a better job, etc.

I have no answers. I'm such a fraud.

Ah, well, what can you do? No one is quite the person she wishes she were.

6/22/2005 01:21:00 PM  
Blogger Twyla said...

You're too hard on yourself. That's part of the big sister thing. I know. I have 7 younger sibs. And one of them lived with me on and off for several years. Thankfully, she finally came into herself.

Your love for your brother is touching. And it's hard to be tough, I sure know that. Even when we know that is exactly what will help them the most.

I'll be sending prayers/good thoughts your way.

6/22/2005 01:37:00 PM  
Blogger Twinkletoes said...

OH. MY. GOD. Let me tell you about my brother. My older brother. (I'm the youngest of seven kids--four girls, three boys). Very patriarchal household, except my dad split when I was 13. ANYWAY, my brother, the baby boy of the family, came to live with me in DC when I was 23 and fresh out of college with my baby bureaucrat job. He came for a week and stayed in my one bedroom apartment, sleeping in the living room for six fucking months. I finally kicked him out. During this time he didn't get a job for quite awhile--starbucks was too fancy for him with his college degree (even though I worked months as a temp typing and answering phones because I had to pay rent). My freeloading brother then freeloaded on my father, then fifteen years later here he is in Oregon. There's more to this story, but what is it with freeloading brothers and male-worship-rescue culture in general?

6/22/2005 02:09:00 PM  
Blogger Alia Arcane said...

ok so heres your answer: let him quit his job, then make him wish he was anywhere but at home. boys dont like discomfort - it will work.

6/22/2005 03:11:00 PM  
Blogger PPB said...

Oh, my. This sucks. I'm so sorry.

6/22/2005 03:45:00 PM  
Blogger Cindy St. Onge said...

Aunt B, I can relate. I live with my little brother-(he's 38). And I have to be the grown-up. I'm responsible for the bills, making sure the cat is fed and watered, replenishing toilet paper and laundry soap. His money is for his expenses. Child support and chocolate milk and cereal Yes, you read that right: he's 38.

I feel for you B. It's hard being responsible for the coddled boy(s) of a family. I refer to my brother as my retarded foster child.

I'm glad you at least enjoy the Butcher's company. Once I unload my little brother when we sell this house, I have no desire to remain in contact with him.

I'll pray for both of you to be liberated. Good luck.

6/22/2005 04:29:00 PM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

Y'all are so great. I'm glad to know that others have been through this and worse--38, that's scary.

At least when I got home from work, he was not here. I'm going to believe that he is at work.

6/22/2005 07:11:00 PM  

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