You were made for something bitter, bitter, better

One of the things that has always aggravated me about my chaotic family it that it is so hard to get to the factual truths of things. Misstatements of fact abound. One moment we are of pure of Irish stock, the next moment our great grandmother was a Dutch factory worker, and then later we have Native American blood in us. I take everything that is said with a grain of salt.

I have recently reconnected with a cousin who is going through a hard time. He filed a lawsuit recently and it was emotionally difficult for him. He was telling me that he had thought about asking my brother, J, to look over his claim for him.

Why? I asked. J doesn’t know anything about the law?

Isn’t he a lawyer? He responded. His mother had been going on and on about how J had turned his life around and was an attorney in Denver.

I lost my sh*t at this.

Background. I have some real issues with my brother. He has always been the golden boy of the family. He is very handsome and very popular. The phone rang incessantly at our house growing up. The rest of us stopped answering it.

The Women’s Movement did not reach our house. My brother was given a car at sixteen, and his college education was paid for. The rest of us schlepped around on the Phoenix Public Transit and took out student loans.

But this is the thing, J is very abusive to us. He charms the pants of others, but he is mean and cruel to us. He cannot talk to us with out sharpening a verbal knife and plunging it in. He is like Jekyll and Hyde. And despite my parents giving him preferential treatment, it took nearly 7 years to graduate college. He has spent most of his adult life as a bartender.

Do I sound bitter? Yes love. I am.

So when I heard my aunt had been raving about J’s law career. I lost it.

He is not a lawyer. He is schmaltzy sales guy. He is lucky he graduated college. He has NOT cleaned his act up.

All right. All right. My cousin laughed. My mom had some bad info.

I think what happened was news of me going to law school percolated into news of J being a hot shot lawyer. Its just so infuriating that even my accomplishments get attributed to him.


8 thoughts on “You were made for something bitter, bitter, better

  1. Heh – I hate lawyers so much I think I’d rather have people assume I was a used car salesman! Plus I don’t want to have to give out free legal advice. But I can understand where you’re coming from – I had a friend who was like that growing up except HE was the golden child. This was epitomized by the way his parents commissioned a portrait of each child and his portrait was literally a 6′ life-sized portrait whereas the other kids were just head shots!

  2. OMG, sibling rivalry or not- that would drive me nuts! When I was little I wanted to be an astronaut, and my grandpa said “girls aren’t astronauts, they marry astronauts.” I was so angry that I went to space camp that summer to prove him wrong…well, the story ends with me NOT being an astronaut but that’s beside the point right?

    down with “golden child syndrome”!

  3. I am not from a big family, so I am totally mystified as to how something like this could happen. I mean, how did you being in law school in MA translate to your brother being a lawyer in Denver? Nevertheless, it’s totally and completely crappy. I am so sorry.

  4. But I don’t doubt for an instance that you regain your balance quickly when knocked askew!! It takes years of practice, and a blog for therapy, but you know you’ll always be stronger than those that lie to bolster who they are. I almost pity him! 🙂

  5. Sounds familiar. Recently my father told me he would consult my sister regarding medical advice. She was a freaking CNA, you know, a whole two weeks worth of training?

  6. Yikes – what a pain in the *ss to deal with. My family is not near as bad as that, but my folks definately have a fascination with my brother’s career. It’s gotten to the point where if they ask us out to dinner, Ty says she’ll only go if they promise not to talk about him.

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