Originally posted July 8, 2007
In the fall of 2006 dad offered me “all the money I have in the world” to go and clean my sister’s apartment for her.
He sounded desperate. Said he would have done it himself except that he was old and sick.
No matter how many times I explained that a cockroach infestation required fumigation and should be done by experts, that neither Mike (I will not be alone with my sister) nor I could tolerate her cigarette smoke, and Mike couldn’t be around her cat, it wasn’t sinking through.
He’d repeatedly sent her money to get professional cleaners. Each time it was set up it would fall through. I never knew what happened. I can guess that she cancelled it or told them off or accused them of hurting her cat.
Anyway he sent her money for months, and it went to whatever. She complained to me at his funeral a few months later that he kept sending her money and she didn’t know why and didn’t want it.
Back to the call: dad begged me and he seemed quite upset that I was refusing. He went so far as to suggest that if I did it that sometime down the road I’d be happy I’d done it.
No, I’d resent hell out it and probably him, too. I didn’t say so, but I certainly thought it loudly.
He was so upset I told him I’d think about it.
That’s the absolute truth. I couldn’t help but think about it. It annoyed me for days that he thought I should go clean up my sister’s mess and be happy to do it.
I understand why I was asked: dad was plainly desperate to help Dawn even as she’d kept him on the edge of a sharp, thin emotional wedge for years. She complained constantly and blamed him for every little thing that was wrong in her life while simultaneously begging for money.
Did I resent the request?
I’m not a martyr and I am not going to put myself in any situation where my well-being is at stake. Heaven only knows what else might have been incubating amongst the cat hair and ash trays. The worst part was dad’s unwillingness to accept that I didn’t want to do it and had good, solid reason for it.
Max Brand, Destry Rides Again (1930)
11 minutes ago