Friday, November 5, 2010

Problem Solved: Why My Sister Hasn't Thanked Me

I complained earlier today that my sister hasn't yet thanked me for the box of baby clothes I sent her.  I believe I (with the help of my mom) have pinpointed the situation.  She is mad at me.


A little background is required, some of which I've shared, but I'll briefly repeat for purpose of ease. 

I have two younger sisters, M and H.  (Note:  I know way too many people with a first name that starts with M, and I never realized it until I started this blog.  However, I don't want to start assigning fake initials because then I will get all confused later on when I want to complain about these people.  So, I have Crazy Drama Friend M and Sister M.  This post is about sister M.  I will be sure to clarify always.)  I've posted about H before, and I've randomly posted about M, but I don't think I gave her an initial.  M is four years younger than me, and H is seven years younger than me.  M and I graduated from law school at the same time.  (She went straight to law school from undergrad, whereas I worked for almost five years and then went.)  H has recently completed her associates degree, and just started nursing school in the fall.  H has worked as a waitress since she was about 18, and only recently realized that she should probably figure out a plan for the future so she isn't forty years old and waitressing at a shit bar.  Hence, nursing school.  And she's doing well and has had to face the horror of bathing old people, so yea for her.   

M married her college sweetheart J (god, another fucking J, too.  I'm renaming H's boyfriend C for future reference; I don't know why I gave him a fake initial.  I can't keep track of all that) right after law school graduation, and moved to BFE Michigan because J likes nature and hunting.  She now works as an assistant prosecutor for a BFE county in Michigan.  (Cool for her, because she has way better law stories than I do.  No one wants to hear about how I called a technical expert on his mispresentation of a circuit diagram during a deposition.  She also has a ton of trial experience.  I never get to go to trial.)  

Anyway, J got his Master's degree a year or two ago and kind of works, but his company lost some funding due to the economy, so he's kind of part time at this point.  There aren't a whole lot of job opportunities in Michigan right now, particularly for the Fisheries and Wildlife major types.  So, M is the big breadwinner in their family, and when I say big, it probably isn't a lot, although my mom and I have no idea what she is making moneywise.  I figure it's got to be at least $50,000, but maybe not much more than that, although I truly have no idea.  What we do know is that she is making nowhere near what I am making, since obviously I chose to go into a high demand field (patent law) in private practice in a big city.  You can't compare government work in BFE with private practice in a big city when it comes to law.  Private practice  in big city salaries always win.  M could have done this, but she chose to move to BFE with her husband.  And she's chosen to stay there, although with all of her trial experience (albeit in BFE small courtrooms), she could get a job at a big firm around a major city.  I mean, she was on law review, for God's sakes.  I didn't make law review, and it rankled the hell out of me that she did, but I guess apparently that doesn't matter much.  M has a son who will be two around Thanksgiving, and she is due to have a daughter around Christmas.  Thus, M is obviously the sister who got the package of baby clothes from me (on October 14, according to my FedEx tracking), which I bought from Macy's.

I have a 2001 Jetta, as I think I've mentioned before.  (I swear this is all going to come together in a minute.  M, H, and Jetta are the key players here.)  I bought the Jetta new back in 2001 in California, and it's been a great car, and only has about 46,000 miles on it, even though it's nearly ten years old.  And since I'm a fanatic about maintaining my car, it's in pretty good shape for its age.  I took it to the dealer this week for a checkup, and he told me just that.  However, he also told me that it's still almost ten years old.  Regardless of mileage, cars get old.  It is what it is.        

Okay, done with the background.  Quite a bit, but necessary for the story that is about to unfold.

M is having her son's second birthday party next weekend.  I've never been to her new house (which she will never sell since she lives in BFE), so I was tossing around going in my head.  She lives about six hours away from me, driving.  I've also been tossing around the idea of getting a new car by the end of the year.  I love the Jetta, but it is time.  I know I won't get much for it on trade in, despite the low mileage, and I don't know that I want to deal with the pain in the ass of a private sale, so since H is driving a car that has around 150,000 miles on it, I asked her if she wanted it.  (For free, basically.  I'll sell it to her for the token $1.)  She, of course, wants it.  And I'm happy to give it to her.  I'm happy that she's finally in school, and she's my sister, problem.  Since I'm about ready to get a new car, I figured I would drive the Jetta to the Detroit area where my mom and H live on the 12th, and then my mom and I would drive the three or so hours to M's on Saturday for the party, and I would leave the Jetta with H, sign over the title, and fly back to Chicago Sunday night.  That way, I'm rid of the Jetta and free to buy a new car when I feel like it.  (I can live without a car for as long as I need to, since I'm close to the train and there are plenty of taxis.)

My mom then called M and told her our plan to come to her son's birthday party, and mentioned that I was giving the Jetta to H.  This is what ensued:

M:  Why didn't she give the Jetta to me and J?  We could really use it.

Mom:  (speechless)  Um...because H doesn't have a law degree like you do?

M:  (no response, subject changed)

Of course my mom relayed this conversation to me this afternoon.  Our conversation went something like this:

Mom:  (tells me what M said)

Me:  (explodes)  Are you kidding me?  Didn't they just get a new SUV?

Mom:  Remember, it's not new.  J won't buy a new car because he thinks they are a waste of money.  That SUV has 60,000 miles on it.  More than your Jetta.

Me:  (still exploding)  That's her problem that she married a guy who won't buy a new car.  (Note:  I like J a lot and I think he and my sister are good together, but man, is he cheap!)

Mom:  I agree with you, and I think you should give the Jetta to H.  She needs it more.

Me:  Of course H needs it more!  That's why I'm giving it to her.  My Jetta is so bad in the snow.  It's terrible, mom.  Why would M want it up north?  They get like three feet of snow and don't plow the roads up there.

Mom:  I know.  I can't believe she even had the nerve to ask me why you were giving it to H instead of her.

Me:  Why should I, one person, have to supplement two people, M and J?  Two people who both have advanced degrees?  As opposed to H who is just now trying to get her bachelor's?

Mom:  You shouldn't.  She could've gone to work at a big law firm in Detroit area, but she chose to go to go up north for J.

Me:  I know.  She could be making big money, but she chose to go up north and work for the government.

Mom:  You shouldn't feel guilty at all.

Me:  I don't.  It never even occurred to me that she would want the Jetta!  (Note:  It really didn't.)

Mom:  Well, don't feel bad, but she was upset.

Anyway, that pretty much explains how I feel and the situation.  So, she's mad at me because I'm giving H my nearly 10 year old car instead of her.  She, who has the same degree I do, gotten at the same time I got mine, and she, who has a husband with a Master's degree, while H is single.  I'm really sorry that they are feeling pinched financially, but that isn't my fault.

I have to be honest, it's bizarre to me that she is pissed about this.  My mom thinks that's why she hasn't thanked me for the baby clothes, because she feels that I sent her $100 worth of clothes but gave H a car, so it's not fair.  Well, life isn't fair.  And why am I all of a sudden put in the position of having to support people?  Jesus.  I just wanted to do something nice for H, who is super grateful, and M has to go and ruin the whole thing. 

Anyway, I haven't talked to her, and I'll get to see her next weekend.  Oh, and I'm going to go and spend more money on one of her kids tomorrow when I go pick up her son's birthday gift at The Land of Nod.  (Nothing about this is being held against him!  Nephew is getting a great gift!)  God, I'm such a terrible person.  I guarantee you she will say nothing to me about this issue.    

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