20 April 2009

So this is you being 'helpful'?

I was online doing some banking when the phone rang. I considered ignoring it but it was 7:43 pm and I had shows to watch starting at 8. If I didn't answer, they'd probably just call back during my shows.

I walked into the next room to grab the phone and saw that it was my parents calling.


"Hey, honey," Mom said. Then she started sobbing, "I just thought I'd call to give you an update. Your brother has been thinking about his mortality a lot."

My heart dropped to my stomach and I wondered if I needed to get on a plane.

Still sobbing, Mom went on about guardianship for my niece in case anything happened to both my brother and his wife. Mom said she wanted to forewarn me that he was probably going to call to ask me.

Time ticked by as she talked and I tried to read a disclosure agreement so my banking window wouldn't time out. She still had yet to update me on his condition.

When she finally paused from crying and talking, I said, "So he's all right then?"

"No, he feels really terrible." She sounded surprised. "He has pneumonia and is going to have to stay in the hospital three or four more days. He's really not happy about that."

"But he's going to be OK?"

"It's going to take time for him to recover, but yeah, he should be fine."

"'Cuz you made it sound like he was going to die tomorrow."

Somehow this had not occurred to her.

"I just wanted to forewarn you that he's going to call about guardianship. I didn't want you to get hit out of the blue."

"Yeah, thanks. This has been so helpful: you in tears telling me my brother's thinking about his mortality. So much better than getting 'hit out of the blue.'" The sarcasm needle maxed out the gauge and broke it.

"You know how I am."

I did. She tears up at the most inconsequential things at times with no warning. If something actually seems legitimate, forget it: there's no stopping that wave.

She apologized and later Dad sent me an email apologizing again. He'd heard her side of the conversation and said it sounded pretty scary. What the fuck, dude? Take the phone out of the sobbing woman's hands next time.



  1. Oh wow. I would be so frustrated after that!!! This is not the same, but my sister has been contacting me all last week with all of these self-created dramas. It's SO DRAINING. It's hard when there are family members like this!

  2. To be fair, it wasn't intentional, but yeah....not ideal. She called the next day to apologize.

    Self-created dramas are draining, particularly the occasional ones of my own that crop up. ;)

  3. Crying wolf in the wake of an actual close call is extra stressful on those whom wolf is cried to. (Hmm...would that make you a sheep? A villager? My folklore is a little rusty.)

    Glad your brother is doing okay!

  4. Pretty sure that'd be a villager. ;)

    The docs have yet to say what's going on with my bro but at least he finally got to go home yesterday. Once he's better, I think he goes back in to get a biopsy or some surgery on his lung. Uf.