Favorites

Everyone has them – a favorite outfit, favorite book, favorite song, favorite place, etc. But what about favorites in your town, school or within your own family?

Pouchoey and I were having this conversation today in relation to our siblings. Both of us come from a family of three children and both of us are the oldest of the three. Both of us have had or are currently having issues regarding our parents and their treatment of our siblings. Some siblings get all the breaks – the extra financial help, the better presents at the holidays, etc. Do those siblings need them? Maybe. Is it fair to the other two? Not at all.

Now, I don’t want to sound selfish here. My parents have done a lot for me. As most of you know, I’m living at home, rent-free while I save money to eventually buy/furnish a house. My mom and I go shopping for clothes and she will periodically pick up the tab. They bought me a car when I was sixteen. The list goes on and on.

But sometimes it just feels unfair. Pouchoey mentioned that just because she decided to get married shouldn’t mean that she doesn’t get as much face time with her parents as her one brother. Just because I made the decision to live at home both immediately after college and when I got laid off a few years ago does not mean that my parents can go spending that money everywhere else.

Thank heavens Jeffrey doesn’t really care because he gets the raw end of the deal most of the time. He doesn’t ask for much and with his Asperger’s, sometimes it’s hard for my parents to give him what he wants because he gets so absorbed in it – forgetting to tend to important things like eating and personal hygiene. He’s normally unfazed by our parent’s spending. As long as he has food and cable, he’s good to go.

Yet because of his disability, I will most likely become his primary caretaker when my parents die. That’s a hard reality to face when I don’t know if my parents are saving for his future as well as their own. He currently has a job, but I doubt that it’s enough to pay rent, electric, water, food and cable bills. Even if it is, unless he somehow acquires money-managing skills in the next ten years, I will be managing his finances and, quite possibly, his living situation.

Nettifred just moved to North Carolina. She did not have a job there, she just went. This alone makes her a braver person that I will ever be. She’s been that way since she was young – she just did her own thing. With her move, she required all the post-college amenities: dishes, silverware, interview clothes, etc. My parents gave those to me when I made my entrance into the “real world”, too. But somehow it felt different. I’m still figuring it out – whether I’m jealous of her ability to pick up and go wherever she pleases or nervous that my parents will end up supporting her, leaving me with less amenities for my eventual caretaker role.

In our conversation, Pouchoey pulled the, “you know we’ll end up going through this same thing with our kids” line. And it’s unfortunately true. Parents want to provide their children with everything they didn’t get to have. They want to see them succeed and will help them get there in any way they can.

The theme of favorites is also the driving theme behind Our Guys. I just started the book this evening, but am already hooked. The book explores the 1989 rape of a retarded teenage girl by a group of “jocks.” The book explores the theme of favorites – how people are treated based on their sociological and financial upbringing. It raises some great questions about American society and I’m super excited to read further. Not to mention that I get to discuss it with a group of teenage boys and hear their thoughts. Should be interesting…

In both of these situations, it’s easy to just go with the flow, accept the “normal” behavior and move on. Sometimes, though, you can’t help but wonder who’s the favorite…and why.

M.V.B.

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