Monday, August 24, 2009

Ties That Gag

Perhaps you need some levity after that last post. (I'm still wiping my smarting eyes after reliving the last few days.)

For reasons I can't explain, at some point during this medical emergency we said we'd invite FT's other sister and niece for a final familial send-off barbecue last night.

Now, I am pleasant with this SIL; we get along all right. But she has a sense of entitlement to FT's home and belongings that I, only child that I am, do not understand.

Yesterday, after arriving, she and FT engaged in semi-kidding -- and I mean semi- -- banter about a chalk landscape in our living room that SIL has, more than once, indicated that she intends to confiscate in the case of FT's departure from this mortal coil. But then she proceeded to take herself on a full visual tour of our home, noting and evaluating our collectibles: their mother's Brazilian iced tea samovar (I'm sure there's some special Portugese term for it, but that's what it is); our living-room lamps; my glass collection; our everyday dishes; our dining room table ("It has such a nice surface"); my great-grandparents' steamer trunk from The Old Country, which is now in our front room. On and on went the verbal inventory of our things.

I experienced flashbacks of the family broughaha that ensued after my paternal grandmother died, when the siblings all fought like cats and dogs for photos and Christmas ornaments, and FT's description of her former in-laws, after her partner died, backing up to her house the very next day with intent to load up pretty much everything that wasn't nailed down, before she stopped them.

"I almost asked your sister to empty her pockets before she left," I told FT, trying to inject some levity into what had been a generally un-funny day, let alone week.

I guess the moral of this story, kids, is to make your wills now. And to periodically change your locks. And that sometimes being an only child feels really, really good.

1 comment:

Kirstine said...

Ah yes!

As an only child without my own children (but also with stepchildren) I feel that being able to leave your stuff to people you actually like is a kind of reward for having to clean out all your parents' stuff on your own!