When I was a child, tween adolescent, teenager, college student — well, let’s face it, my whole life-long — my brother has bothered me.  However puerile and low-hitting I may have been (or continue to be), his brand of humor never fails to sink lower.  I recall my mother’s futile advice to ignore him and he’d just go away.  He never followed that rule.  Ignoring him just made him try harder, till he knew he’d hit his mark.  One time specifically, I’d taken a nap on the couch.  He and a friend had discovered one of the assorted keyboards we had around the house.  This one actually had batteries and a volume adjustment.  It probably had synthesized “guitar” “cymbals” and “accordian”, too, if I’m remembering correctly.  They started by playing in my ear at a moderate level, just for kicks, to try to wake me up.  When I feigned continued sleep, this only instigated them further, till they were blasting at full power horrid strains of adolescent angst.  And it actually hurt.  I’m not sure what would havee been a better choice at that moment, waking up suddenly, startling them and yelling, “FUCKTARDS!” in their shocked, yet no-doubt delighted faces?  Not sure that would have helped.

Mr. Apron, too, has a middle sibling of the opposite gender with a personality strikingly similar to that of my brother’s — self-important, self-centered, self-involved.  I think if we locked the two of them in a room together, we’d at last unleash the true potential of nuclear fusion.  Well, I’d like to save you some of the gorier, more personal details (though I loves me some gossip), but my sister-in-law (whom I will continue to call “Bianca”), is having the fetus extracted in September, so she and her boyfriend figured on getting married to make it all legit and shit, they’re having a hoagie celebration tomorrow after the hitchin’. 

Me: Do we have to get them a gift?

Mr. Apron: She didn’t get us one.

Me: Let’s ask your mother.

We saw the MIL on Saturday and asked if we’d be expected to get a gift.

Mr. Apron: Do we have to get Bianca and Baby Daddy a wedding gift?

MIL: Well, it is a wedding.

Mr. Apron: She didn’t get us one.

MIL: Do what you want.

As we were walking away, he turned to me and said, “Well, you know what this means, right?”  “Yeah,” I said.  “We’re getting her a gift.”

Why?  You might ask.  Why, after I”ve already made and stocked a custom, gorgeous diaper bag and held my tongue on countless occasions to avoid being estranged from her side of the family?  Why do we have to take the high road, do the right thing, and never receive the appreciation we are due?  We will never get so much as a thank-you note or a text (which is, incidentally, how Mr. Apron found out he was going to be an uncle.  High class, indeed.).  Why should we bother?   Why should I schlepp around to half a dozen stores seeking out components for a thoughtful, individualized wedding gift when they only announced their “engagement” and subsequent “marriage” on Friday morning?  A registry?  For a shot-gun marriage like this?  Please. 

Because we have to continue to play our roles in the family.  We have to be better than that, to hold up a standard of the right thing to do.  Or at least we try.  Not that we always do the proper thing. I like to spread the viral family gossip just as fast as I can.  Afterall, what else is a blog for, if not to trash your family anonymously!