Sooooo many titles I could come up for with this one. "The Prodigal (GAY?!?) Son" "A (terrifying) Weekend With Family" "What A Perfect Mormon Family Is Like" "Diverging Details of the Secret Life of Siblings" "How NOT to Be Mormon" "A (Small) Fight With Some Sister Missionaries" "And so, the Black Sheep Became the White... and Vice Versa" "Roommate, Stop Touching My Sh*t."
I mean, how could I choose? (I will admit, however, that my favorite is "What A Perfect Mormon Family Is Like") (And, after writing the post, I think the appropriate title) (And I left the title as it is because the list of possible titles gives you an idea of how crazy my weekend was)
I went home for the first time since April. Expected a nice, but a little tense, vacation. But, as should have been hinted when my mother tells me that there was some intense fighting at the house during Christmas, this vacation wasn't tense at all. Because tense makes it sound like things were not the best but still okay. And what really describes how my house is currently can't be called tense. Something more like "bad" or "heartbreaking" or "complete disharmony" might work.
Where to start? I don't even know... So much.
My brother (Ted, we'll say) is a pseudoscience major. (For those who don't know, that conventionally means "psychology" but I tell it how it is). He has a wife ever since he started college and has four beautiful kids, ages ranging from 2 to 8. He worked a full time job and went to school for six years while still raising a family. (I would say "damn he's busy" but then people might get the wrong idea about pseudoscience). Big problem with getting a Master's in pseudoscience though is that you have to do complete an internship for a year on a no pay salary. So, to help with this problem, my mother offered them a place to stay (rent free) during that year so he could complete this internship without his wife working, him working two jobs, ect.
The terms were this. Vacuum and dust once a week. Help in the yard a little. Help with the house a little. Let my mother play with the grand kids.
Trust me. With six people moving in the house and the fact that I had to grow up with those terms makes this the most (un)reasonable yet kind-hearted thing my mother could do. Especially since she is trying to send my sister on a mission which she will be paying for. And isn't asking them to pay ANYTHING.
One week in: house gets dusted. house gets vacuumed. All good in this happy family.
Three weeks in: house doesn't get dusted. No vacuuming takes place. Family still happy because anyone could forget, right?
Four weeks in: still no dusting. Still no vacuuming. So, confrontation. And we learn that Ted and his wife (Mary, maybe) have decided that they don't want to keep themselves as busy as my mother is, and that isn't right for their family, so they aren't going to help.
And just like that, Ted and Mary have decided to not help. At all. My mother ONLY works a full time job and ONLY has to put up with my overly dramatic sister who has decided she is "anxious" and thus incapable of doing to much. (At least she seemingly tries, though.)
So, what do you think Ted and Mary do now with their self-proclaimed lack of responsibility?
Fight with my mother. Play video games. Curse at my Mother ("Could you please not use that language in my house?" "Stop F***ing telling me how to live my life"). (To be fair, they do help pay for food and they do take care of their kids).
When my other sister and her husband came to visit this weekend, a couple that Mary disapproves of, Ted and Mary didn't say one word to her. At all. For four days. But it is okay. Because they disapprove of their parenting style (and let's face it, it is true that my sister and her husband's kid is more misbehaving prone than Ted and Mary's kids) and so, being rude to them is of course the natural way to respond.
But guys. Ted and Mary's kids are SOOO cute. And well behaved. So, they must be the perfect Mormon family. I mean, Mary even read her scriptures in a public place for a couple hours while I was visiting.
I haven't (and can't due to fear of this being an insanely long post) go into too many details. However, I will try to sum up the remaining facts without too much backstory.
My dad and mom slept in separate beds for the first time EVER. Why? Because my dad wants to kick Ted and Mary out and my mom is trying to keep her family intact.
Now, to top it all off, Mary did something I NEVER would have seen in any ideological Mormon family. She threatened that if my mother kicked them out or continued to try telling them how to live their Goddamn lives, she would not let her see her grand kids. Which, to my mother, would be devastating.
My family situation is this. Ted and Mary are clearly mooching off my parents and since no one in that household will help with anything (my dad is legit really busy and works 50-60+ hours a week), the house looks worse than I've ever seen it and my yard (MY beautiful yard) looks like Hell. Oh. And my "perfect" Mormon sister-in-law is a manipulative bitch.
My mother's best friends (all three of them) are telling her to kick them out. I told my mother they need to be kicked out. My father is fighting with my mother because he believes they need to be kicked out. And yet, even with logic on her side, my mother continues to let them stay. Because the threat of family disharmony and losing her grand kids is too much.
This, to me, is truly heart-breaking. Because maybe my mother is the bad guy. Because, sometimes, the bad guy is the one is letting people take advantage of them.