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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What Am I'm Going to Do?

Hold onto your Deal-a-Meal cards, my little kitty-cats: both of my sisters are looking for houses.

Sister #1: 33, Recently married, has a baby, is a total fucking trainwreck.

Sister #2: 42, Unmarried, has lots of stuffed animals with unusual names, is a total fucking trainwreck.

Sister #1 has practically no money. Her husband makes a decent living, but a significant portion of his monthly doughage gets forked over to a Baby Mama.

Sister #2 has an appreciable amount of money and is a very smart shopper.

Guess who just got their offer on a house accepted?

You got it! Sister #1! You're SO SMART! Look at you. Somebody get you a fucking ribbon or something.

Now, of course, Sister #2 was the one who started looking for a house first. See, she was living in a very expensive condominium favored by elderly, widowed Jewish ladies, recent divorcees, pricks with neckties and male-pattern baldness, and the QVC-obsessed.

Oh, and mice.

Now, a normal person would do something, well, normal-- like call an exterminator, insist that the mice be eradicated as part of the exorbitant condo fee she is paying, or purchase a Vietnam-era ex-Army flamethrower and deal with the mice herself: Rambo-style.

Sister #2, however, did none of those things, though I could picture her one-day wigging out with loads of big bullets strapped across her chest. She moved in with my parents. At first it was "temporary." That was in February. And, as Joan Baez so wistfully sings, "And February was so long, it lasted until March..."

And April.

The way the real estate market is going, don't count out those languid summer months either.

After spending several fruitless and futile weeks being depressed and looking at real estate porn, she finally put her condo up for sale last week.

All of a sudden, Sister #1 was inspired, and contacted my father.

"Daddy, I want a house."

Veruca Salt, anyone?

Well, as is his way when she calls him with a polite command, Daddy hit the ground running, only ceasing briefly to fly to Israel to carpet-bomb his Great-Aunt Twat. Even while he was thousands of miles away, he was texting Sister #2, making sure she was dutifully schlepping Sister #1 around to look at houses.

You know, because Sister #1 has a baby, and is, therefore, more important.

My father got back from Israel Saturday morning. On Monday morning, Sister #1 put a low-ball offer in on a house. On Monday evening, it was accepted.

This is how we fuckin' roll, 'Cuz.

Don't ask me where the money for the down-payment is coming from. My father swears up and down that it's not coming from him, and that his name isn't going on a single mortgage document. I suspect the Mexican cartel and/or generally unshaven men in overcoats and sunglasses.

My father called me this morning to ask me questions about short sales, since, having been through one myself, I am now, apparently, the Grand Vizier of Short Sales. I told him that it was absolute Hell. Our closing date was postponed no fewer than six times, sometimes postponed on the afternoon of closing-- that the sellers threatened to call the police on me, that township inspectors threatened to take the roofer to court, that the sellers were deadbeats and owed thousands and thousands of dollars in back taxes and repair fees to people who had done work on the house.

I told him that, had I to do it all over again, for the sake of my physical and emotional health, I would have walked away. And maybe the yellowed scotch tape that is holding the various components of this house together will all simultaneously disintigrate when I write this: but I probably should have.

The fact that the house Sister #1 will be purchasing is in short sale is the least of the problems. The fact that she's going into this with a guy that she mercilessly complains about and cuts down every day is perhaps more unsettling. I discussed this with my father on the phone.

"Look-- if they stay together, the house is theirs, and that's great. If they don't stay together, well, then we're going to have a big fuckin' problem, okay? Is that what you want to hear? I know. I know! But what am I'm gonna do?" he yelled. His Israelisms always come out when he's excited. You should hear him when he's stuck in traffic.

"I'm just worried that, when this whole thing gets fucked up and all-of-a-sudden she doesn't want the house anymore, it's going to become your problem," I said to him. There is ample evidence of a pattern to suggest that this would be the case.

Daddy, I'm sick of:

my college #1

apartment #1

condominium #1

my car #1

my car #2

my car #3

my business

And he's gotten rid of all of them for her. *Poof!* as if they'd never existed. By taking care of her kid all the time, they're basically, in my opinion, doing the same thing with him. I know that's not nice to say, but give me a break-- my family's in crisis.

"Mummy," he said, "I know you're worried about me, that it's going to be my problem. What am I'm going to do?"

What am I'm going to do? The emotional death-knell of my father. A man who is trapped by his ability to see the future and his intense love for his oftentimes misguided, foolish, impetuous, bull-headed children. (Mr. Apron included, batteries extra.) The difference, I suppose, between me and Sister #1 is that, all the messes I have ever made in my life, and there have been a good many of them, I have cleaned up on my own. You know, like a reasonable impersonation of a grown-up.

It's none of my business, of course, and, when we're all having dinner at my parent's house, my mother "doesn't want to talk about it," so we gossip about it with Sister #2 in hushed tones in the dining room while my mother is doing the dishes in the kitchen and my father is doing stomach-crunches on the floor of the living room. We never have to worry about Sister #1 hearing us, because she never comes over to my parent's house for dinner anymore. Just to drop off her son, and pick him up. And complain about her husband. And wash her hair in the sink, leaving copious mounds of black curls all over that she doesn't clean up.

It's okay, though. Daddy'll do it.


  1. Sister #1 sounds like brother #1...

  2. What an interesting slice of the Apron family life. It's so similar to my own family, and also distinctly different. We (my family) can all be brats, and I feel like you. When I mess up, I get myself out of it. When my sister messes up, the whole family has to swoop in to save her and she's the oldest!

    I didn't think Isrealis and Greeks were so similar.

  3. Your poor Dad,. My ex brother in law is the same way with all of his kids too. Not just one.. but all three. Total trainwreck.. They are all going to be living in cardboard boxes a mth after he dies. But that's just my prediction about him.
    I have a blog request! I want an Israelisms blog.. just quotes of your Dad! The guy kills me whenever you write about him! I am sure I am not alone in (in? with?) this request!
    As usual a great blog Mr Apron!

  4. i generally hate reading blogs where people write about private/family drama, but for some reason you make it interesting.
    i have a collection of voodoo dolls that i invariably stab as i concentrate all my energy on a specific individual. i could lend you one in the likeness of sister #1 if you'd like. spoiled freaking brat.

  5. take it easy on us daddy's girls... ;)

    but i get your point. my sister has a tragedy, and we all fly in.

    my husband of ten years cheats on me, and i kick him out in july (which takes thirty days to take), and it isn't until september, wherein i call my sister drunk, hysterical and on the edge of insanity that anyone bothers to show.

    though, to his credit, he had written several checks previous to that.

    but yes, my daddy is the very same way- he kills himself to do the best by his daughters, even when he is essentially buying himself a future heartache.

  6. This sounds like the relationship my parents have with my sister. They've gotten her out of so many sticky situations. It used to really piss me off, but I've learned to just ignore it. My parents will never change.

  7. My SIL has the same relationship with her family. They take care of EVERYTHING for her. She makes more money than my husband, but they bought her a car and are making the car and insurance payments for her. We don't ask for anything, but she asks for, and gets, everything.


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