Thursday, March 23, 2006


Here's the Family Knowledge Answer 1...
Ok.. so your mother says it's your brother who gets the picture you both want. IF you have a FNQ lesser than that of a piece of concrete, which by the way never talks and so has not that bad a FNQ, you cut dead all you believe have insulted you which includes bad mouthing them.

If your FNQ is cosi cosa, you accept the decision, but not really, and in your heart you harbor resentment toward both your brother and your mother and anyone else who sides with them. This makes for awkward silences at family barbecues and the occasional nasty crack that comes out of nowhere, but not really.

Here's the deal. RULE OF FAMILY #1 is that you can never get in between someone and their mother. Which means that your mother and brother have their own thing between them, and very possibly he has paid for the picture in ways you have not, and probably don't care to. You just don't know. So you keep the gracious heart and let it go. Your mother however may have broken Rule #1, since she got in between you and herself unless she had good reasons, which she could have.

There is something to keep in are under no obligation to be a doormat,so when it turns out that the picture is A. stolen property, B. worth quite a bit, so it means the government is taking a huge bite out in taxes, or C. Radioactive so it's making people who own it sick, you are under NO obligation whatsoever to post bail, contribute any money to the Feds, or pay hospital bills for your brother and his family who must take radiation therapy for ten years.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Madrone,
I've been reading you all afternoon, being very entertained, even laughing out loud. But, I suddenly realized, joke's on me. You've opened my eyes to the heart of a decades-old family problem that revolves around one of my sisters, the true middle child of a big Irish family (3 up, 3 down on either side of her). Oh, we've all had our "troubles" w/ each other (I mentioned we're Irish, right?) but 99% of the time, actually like as well as love each other...except for that mid-kid, who's been involved in some big serious feud or the other, on and off, with one or more of the rest of us for...all her life, actually (our youngest sibling is inches away from 40, to give you an idea of the time involved here). Thanks for the lightning bolt--I see now how most if not all of it stems from a consistent breaking of Rule of Family #1--she's done it constantly; I'm sure any Freudian would have a field day dissecting the drama of the middle child struggling to assert herself by claiming the mother or whatever--but when the rest of us reached our limits of pretended acceptance (we definitely harbored resentment!) or if someone was just in the mood to fight, we've all returned the favor to her, one at a time, or double- and triple-teaming. Last year, a family catastrophe-- though initially bringing us all closer in our grief--served to exacerbate and underline our problems. Simply being able to pinpoint just what she & we are doing to each other is a big relief and gives me hope to prevent the eventual disintegration of my family.

Don't worry, though it took me forever to figure this one out, I am smart enough to know there's only person whose heart I can clear of resentment and only one person I can prevent from breaking RoF#1 again. I can't believe I've written a letter like this, and I hope it's not too weird, but I wanted to thank you for dumping a little unearned grace on my head. And God bless you.