Thursday, January 15, 2009

Life With Brothers

Monday is MLK Day, and I have it off. So, I am flying to Florida Friday afternoon to see my mother before my scheduled surgery next month--just in case.

Yesterday I was talking to my youngest brother, who is a sports columnist in Florida. Obviously, he's very busy right now with the football playoffs.

He'll pick me up at the airport on Friday evening, I'll spend the night with his family, and then drive him back to the airport on Saturday morning because he has to fly out to cover a game on Sunday. I'll use his car to drive to my mother's where I'll spend the weekend, and then return the car to the airport on Monday when I leave. My brother will pick it up when he comes home that evening.

During our conversation, he was describing his travails with keeping an eye on my mother. He and his five-year-old son stopped by her house last Friday to check on Mom before he flew out for whatever playoff he covered last week (Can you tell that I know NOTHING about sports?).

J told me that my nephew said he'd found a beehive the size of a football (note the metaphor; he is his father's son) in the orange tree in my mother's backyard.

I immediately said, "Tell me you didn't spray the hive and kill the bees. They are endangered these days."

He responded, "No, I didn't have time to deal with it. I needed to get the kid home and make it to the airport."

Me: "Please say you didn't tell Mom, and she went out there and killed the bees."

Him: "My son showed her the hive, not me."

Me: "Damn it. Was the hive there when you got home?"

Him: "Nope. I asked Mom what had happened and, of course, she didn't remember anything. I looked in her checkbook, and she had paid an exterminator $100 to remove it."

Me: "You know, a beekeeper would have come and taken a hive that size away for free . . ."

Him: "So I'm trying to figure out how she got it together to call an exterminator . . ."

Me (talking at the same time): ". . . Of course, maybe the exterminator took her money and then sold the hive to a beekeeper."

Him: ". . . I checked with the next-door neighbor, and she called the exterminator for Mom."

Me: ". . . I'll bet that's it. The bees ended up with a keeper."

Him: "Will you shut the freak up about the frigging bees! The bees are living on the farm with the dog Dad sent away when you were five."

Me: "Hey, I just needed to get my mythology about the bees in place so I could move on. Okay?"

Him: "Jesus. No wonder you're not married."

Me: (ignoring him because of long experience with three brothers) "Okay, I'm ready to talk about Mom now."

Him: "Ten minutes on the phone with you, and my head is throbbing and my eye is twitching."

Me: "I'll bet a spoonful of honey would help."


Sharon said...

So funny, and even more so because it's true. Your story put me in mind of the last time I was at my mother's house, where she hasn't lived for five years which is another story, we discovered that the 60 year-old furnace was not working. She called her furnace guy who came right away to tell her what she needed to do to replace it. When I talked to each of my brothers about it, they questioned why a 60 year-old furnace needed to be replaced when it probably could have been repaired. After all, they remembered my father repairing the furnace twenty years ago!

Maya Reynolds said...

Sharon: What would we do without brothers?

copper said...

I find myself getting so angry with my little brother, who is 35, that I have to stop talking to him in order to avoid yelling.

Last week I saw him for the first time in a year and he started an argument about the color of a wallpaper sample. I am a designer with a bachelors degree in art who works with color every day. He is an assistant at a plant that assembles air conditioning units and is color blind in the blue-green range, as many men are.

Yet he felt qualified to tell me that I was calling a color by the wrong name. When I disagreed he said, "Well, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree." Clueless can be a very insufficient word in dealing with brothers.