By: Revanche

Remember that old game of slaphands?

March 26, 2008

I think I should tell my brother that that’s what’s going to happen every time he puts his hand out and asks for something else.

The latest request: to let him use the truck, sans insurance, for a month if he brings me the equivalent of a car payment. Oh, and uh, he could help ferry MaDucky around whenever needed, if he could use a car. It’s just that his former manager’s promised him a job, and he needs a car, and and and and …..


Do I even need to count how many ways this is a bad idea? After paying two sets of deductibles for car repairs? And cancelling his insurance because I can’t afford it? And having paid thousands in car payments by now so as to spare my credit? Really, dangling the carrot of “I’ll actually help the family out” in front of me? That’s just playing dirty.

I’d just walked home from the train station so I was tired, grumpy and a little sweaty, and startled to find him sitting in my house when I got home as I’d been pesty-guest-free for about two or three weeks now. That makes me grumpier. Rather than biting his head off, I told him that I was tired and needed to think about it. But … in the words of Bill Engvall: Nooooooooooo…..!!

*sigh* If he actually was reliable, if he was actually trustworthy, if I had the energy to worry about one more stinkin’ thing, maybe. But bejeebers, already!

I will offer this: I will help him save his money for his own car by holding cash for him, if he wants. But I’ve already taken too many risks and taken too many falls for them, collectively, to stick my neck out one more time. Nu-uh.

5 Responses to “Remember that old game of slaphands?”

  1. Ms. MiniDucky,

    I think this is a good step in the right direction. It’s important to set boundaries in a relationship, especially one in which you want to trust someone, but you’ve been burned before. You need to look out at what’s best for you and your parents, rather than trying to enable your brother with help he’s likely to take advantage of. It’s also good to think about and set boundaries before you really need to use them (e.g. think about how you’re willing to help him before he asks for the help; hold money for him to help him save is a good example).

  2. SavingDiva says:

    I agree with calgirlfinance. You do need to set boundaries.

  3. Seriously. If he can’t help the family out financially, he could help out emotionally. He is doing neither! At the very LEAST, he should be taking care of himself so you guys don’t have to.

    He seems like the type that will only learn to take care of himeself when he can’t get anyone else to do it for him. You’re doing him a favor by saying no now instead of when he’s 40. You did good by cutting him off.

    I would be ashamed to go to my parents/family like that…if you are able-bodied and mentally healthy, you take care of yourself. It’s ok to go to your family for help in emergencies, and if you are making a real effort to make it on your own, but have, say, alot of student loans or something, it’s ok for them to help you out if they can afford it and want to…but other than that, no excuses!

    Sorry for the rant, but I have family like this (they are aunts/uncles), and their behavior disgusts me. I may have to write a post about it.

    (and how’d he get in the house, anyway? I thought you changed the locks?)

  4. 1001 Petals says:

    Yay 🙂

    So glad you didn’t let him take advantage.

  5. ~calgirlfinance~ Good to see you back! I appreciate the comments. Despite the aggravation I’ve already experienced with him, I have to remind myself “no is good. saying no is good. just don’t yell.” each time.

    ~savingdiva~ You know, I wish they could be more like physical boundaries: if you’re going to ask for a favor, here’s the wall of NO.

    ~sense to dollars~ Honest to goodness, I think he’s delusional enough that he thinks he IS being there for the family simply because he says he’s around now. Never mind that he’s been futzing around for how many years at this point, it’s just supposed to be enough that he’s around them more now. As if that’s not just enlightened self-interest, or that it wasn’t because he needs them more than they need him. *sigh* Rant for a a rant 🙂

    He was in the house because Pa made him drive Ma to her medical appt, and he had to wait for a ride home because he’s not allowed access to the family car for personal use. He doesn’t have keys to the house, this was a situation where Pa had to work all day and couldn’t take her.

    ~1001 petals~ 🙂 Thanks! I’m glad to see you back as well, I went to visit you the other day and your blog was locked.

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