Family Woes

Sometime I really despise my family.  Like today, when my aunt Lulu sent me a SEVEN page text message asking why I hadn’t left any money for my grandma.

So first a little bit of background:

Last week my grandfather passed away, he had been in and out of the hospital for a couple of months but after this hospitalization both he and my grandma asked everybody to come to visit as soon as possible.  As a graduate student who is trying to get a graduate stipend to cover costs for myself and my mother who lives with me, the plane ticket cost of $800 is more than a little bit out of my reach.  But my grandmother called and offered to pay for me, my brother and my mother to all come (it was that important). Though only my brother and I ended up going my grandfather passed away before we got there unfortunately.  It was at this point that Lulu started commenting to me about how tight things are for my grandma right now, how she doesn’t have a lot of money right now and making sure that my brother and I weren’t buying any extra things with grandma’s money.  The last of which is patently ridiculous, I purchased airline tickets with the money my grandma had offered, and not a single thing more.

While we were there, Lulu continued to make remarks about the lack of money, though my grandmother didn’t seem especially perturbed, and never said anything to me or anyone else that I knew about.  However, I left $300 for my brother to give to grandma (I left the day before he did) and he left money as well.  Lulu also told me that my grandfather had elected not to have his retirement benefits pass along to my grandmother after his death, which seems strange (but not beyond the realm of possibility, my grandfather could be a very strange man).

So today, I get a text from Lulu (shortened to preserve your sanity):

You forgot your ramen!

It was really good ramen that I can’t find around here anymore and Grandma had already agreed to mail it to me instead of trying to fly back with it.

Try and get a complete refund of your airlines tickets because of APEC and berevement fares!

APEC – large political gathering that made traveling absolutely horrendous for this trip, but planned in advance, so why exactly we would get refunds for this is beyond me. And are you talking about the berevement fare that I TOLD YOU about???  After spending a whole day on the phone to find out that largest discount we could get would be $100 for each ticket that we would have to provide a death certificate.  You don’t get to just travel for FREE because it was for a funeral/family illness, just a small discount is all you are going to get.

Did you leave money for Gma?  Your brother did!  I did!  And I’m sending more next month!

I can almost here the hysteria in her voice “I’m making this huge sacrifice, what are YOU doing???”  And YES I left money, as much as I could afford, after finding the cheapest tickets possible and working to get the biggest discount possible based on the emergency nature of this trip.  I’m not a miracle working and my comments about how I’m excited to finally be paid and making money instead of just taking out more loans each year does not mean that I’m rolling in cash, in fact I’m still barely getting by because I’m trying to pay off my loans as soon as possible.

Did Mike talk to you yet?  I gave him your number.

I don’t know where this came from, because I talked to his wife last night.  I also don’t know why he needs to talk to me that bad, the distant son of my grandfather’s half-sister who wasn’t present in his life until the last 15 years and not present in my life until last week.

There was more babbling and useless exclamation marks.  And you can probably tell that I’m rather frustrated as well, I used CAPS, exclamation marks !, and multiple questions marks ??? just to vent my anger into a keyboard.  I hope that I don’t have to do that again soon, I find reading it ridiculous, but today it was needed.


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