Wednesday, January 18, 2006

My brother and his wife are great people.

Last night I had nice long chat with my SIL, whom I adore, currently living in Shanghai. She's got near-black hair that forms perfect ringlets all over her head and a husky (she calls it man) voice that makes everything she says funnier. We were gossiping like hens catching up on a few mutual friends and a couple interesting and not-so-funny stories came out. Stories that made me miss my brother and SIL immensely, and love them even more...

Story 1) My oldest brother is the kind of guy that makes friends easily, life of the party, popular kid, and so on. But not in an annoying way, because he has a serious dork streak that makes people laugh at him, not with him half the time. His address book is the size of a James Clavell novel, and he does his best to keep up with everyone in it. Whether or not he should, but that's a different story. So anyway, he has this friend from college (TF), a big fat funny guy, with a wife and three kids, and my brother sees him often to play basketball, go out for beers together, etc. This guy's wife is an idiot and a lush, but attractive (therefore, socially acceptable?). Last week my brother was back in the states and went to visit TF and found that Lush Wife had gone beyond alcohol and was nearly strung-out on painkillers and was looking bad. Really BAD. And TF, who never could kick his pot habit, had his head burried in his stash and wouldn't acknowledge his wife's problem or the fact that their three neglected children were having major issues. My brother spent the night there, put all the kids to bed, and stayed up with TF almost all night trying to make him wake up to his screwed-up life. The next day my brother called two of TF's brothers and told them what was going on. Apparently TF's brothers knew something was up, but were so thankful to my bro for bringing it to a head so they could respond as a family and try put things right. I love my brother!

Story 2) SIL closest friend from college, AL, moved to my brother and SIL's town several years ago, and it seemed to be the perfect solution for my SIL, as she was feeling homesick for southern California. With AL and her husband and their two kids in town, my brother and SIL had an instantly expanding social life. Great. But AL grew up on a commune, followed the Grateful Dead for two years with her baby and husband selling bead crafts while her husband sold pot, and therefore was infinitely different from my fairly conservative SIL. But, they had those college times in common, and AL finished her masters in Early Childhood Development (therefore, socially acceptable?), so the friendship held into adulthood. After a couple years AL's husband, P, went to work for a very-high profile ad agency and AL and P started collecting very fancy friends like trendy jewelry. This was still okay with my SIL, because she's hip like that, but AL and SIL drifted apart a little anyway because AL, full of it with her ECD degree, tends to tell SIL how to raise her kids, despite some questionable parenting choices of her own.

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago. AL's oldest son is now 13 and definitely a cool kid (I like him, he's smart, but his parents do nothing but talk about how well he's going to do at Stanford and what position he's going to play when he's a professional soccer player. Bleh! ) AL checks the kid's cell phone history and she sees four text messages from another boy, asking her son if he can get some pot. AL's husband has been a pack-a-day pot smoker forever, but AL thinks the other boy is so naughty and only trying to get her son in trouble, because her darling would never! ...Huh? you say. Yeah, huh? I say too. So to cut this off, my SIL notes that P has been smoking pot in the house for the entirety of this boy's life and what did she expect was going to happen, the son wouldn't figure it out? He would learn on his own that it was not acceptable for 13-year-olds to be dealing? Anyway, SIL acknowledged AL's poor (oh SO poor!) parenting, and AL raged back at her, and SIL now thinks the friendship is over. But Dammit, SIL finally stood up to this preachy woman, pointed out the obvious and cleared the air. I love my SIL!


Blogger The Gradual Gardener said...

Please tell me AL doesn't actually teach early childhood development!

1/18/2006 10:23 AM  
Blogger wordgirl said...

The truth hurts, and I'm glad your SIL is tough enough to care for the friend enough to withstand the criticism that is sure to follow. I can see why you like her.

1/18/2006 10:45 AM  
Anonymous TB said...

All that and they are good looking too? Some people have all the luck!

1/18/2006 11:44 AM  
Blogger Arabella said...

What a with-it, attractive couple!!! You've got good genes.

1/18/2006 12:42 PM  
Blogger Mignon said...

Haha... were you guys really serious with the with-it and attractiveness comments? Oh, wait - I haven't told you the bazillion stories about when the two of them have been extraordinary fuck-up! I'll get to that later (with photos). For now, I'll let them shine.

And GG, no she doesn't teach (but I really wanted to use that line, Those Who Can't, Teach), but she is a pre-school teacher. Don't you think I should alert some authorities somewhere?

1/18/2006 1:18 PM  
Blogger Tink said...

LOL You have this whole "As The Blog Turns" feel kickin'. I love how you narrate.

1/18/2006 1:35 PM  
Blogger Shrinking Violet said...

Oh my God, there is a TV commercial just like the pot scenario with AL. DUH! That's bad if the DARE program thought up a cliched campaign that you don't even recognize in your own home. And, yes, they are a very atttractive couple!

1/18/2006 1:47 PM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

I agree with Tink -- it's like a soap opera coming here. I love it! (had to re-read a couple of times to make sure I got all the acronyms though.) ;-)

1/18/2006 3:25 PM  
Blogger DebbieDoesLife said...

Are you sure you weren't watching a movie or reading a book?? Wow! Props to the SIL though - for standing up to the dumbass AND for kick ass cute hair!

1/18/2006 5:40 PM  
Blogger Ditsy Chick said...

Let's hear it for great in laws! Hooray for your bro too! Too many people sit by and let things happen and they shouldn't especially not when kids are involved!

Your SILs friend it completly screwed up. Letting hubby smoke pot and then thinking the kids don't get wise to this...gah, people, pull your heads out!

1/18/2006 10:19 PM  

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