I am a bad aunt…

And it is not entirely my fault.  Probably, something like 60% my fault.   Ten percent of the fault lies with my mother who got me (adopted) late in life when my brothers were already 12 and 8.  Another 10% is the fault of my older brother, DK, who is a total asshat.  Twenty-five percent of the blame lies with Satan, the woman my brother married.  A mere 5% of the blame goes to my oldest niece, L, who is a television-comatized brat.

By the time I got to the age where I was able to play with the bigger kids, my brother DK was off to college.  He spent my formative years away and never really lived in my childhood universe.  Middle brother, M, was shipped off to military school  for most of his schooling (bad seed) so he didn’t live in my childhood universe either.  I pretty much grew up thinking I was an only child.  I lived like an only child.  I got treated like an only child.  I only saw my brothers on holidays and we had nothing in common (well, except parents, I suppose) so I didn’t give much thought to them.  They were kind of like older cousins.  My mother probably could have done something to change that situation, but she didn’t.  Maybe she didn’t realize what was happening.  Although, when I refused to accept the child from my father’s second marriage as a sibling of mine, perhaps my mother should have caught on to how easily I can erase people and relationships.

I have never been close to DK even though he really, really wants us to be one big happy family.  I feel so little for him that I even skipped his wedding reception.  And I was a bridesmaid.  I don’t care for his personality.  Before he was married, he drank a lot and that was off putting.  However, sobriety hasn’t improved his asshatness.  And again, we have nothing in common.  It pains me to have to speak to him.  He blathers on and on about his legal work and I nod .  And then he quizzes me on what he has just said and…  total asshat. 

His wife, Satan, is worse.  She is cold and evil.  Her eyes are as black as coal and if you stare into them you can actually see some of the pits in Hell.  Also, she is not friendly.  In the eleven years she has been married to my brother she has said nine things to me.  Nine.  I have counted.  I cannot stand to be in the same room with her because she sucks all of the warmth and joy out of everything.  Sort of like the Dementors in Harry Potter.  Most of the time, unless my parents beg, I refuse to go visit DK and Satan because I cannot stand to be in their home.

Ten years ago, DK and Satan started their family.  First came L, who I pretty much liked from the get go.  She was an awesome baby.  S and I got to take her all kinds of places and keep her overnight.  She thought I was funny and I could make her giggle like you wouldn’t believe.  I spoiled her with pizza and ice cream and let her stay up past bedtime.  I enjoyed being an aunt.  And for L, I was willing to be around DK and Satan more often.  And then she turned six and I started to realize just how much time she spent parked in front of the television.  Her dad let her watch tv when he was with her because he figured she didn’t watch it much.  Her mom let her watch tv when she was with her because she is soulless and not really into the parenting thing.  Her nanny let her watch tv when she was with her because she figured the kid didn’t get to watch much tv with the parents around.  Eventually L’s who personality was formed by Nickelodeon.  She became a smart ass because that’s what the kids on the shows are.  She became a brat because that is how the kids on the show act.  She became a consumer because that’s what the commercials were telling her to be. 

When she was seven, S and I drove her to the beach for our big family vacation.  Eight hours in the car with L was the proverbial straw.  By the time we got to the beach I wanted nothing to do with her ever again.  I do hold out some hope that when she’s twenty-eight, she will change into a cool person and I will want to hang out with her again.  But not until then and not until she changes.

Three years ago DK and Satan had another little girl named SK.  So far, so good.  But my relationship with her parents is non-existent, so we don’t see SK much at all.  I was there the night she was born, which was cool.  And every other time I have seen her, she has been fun.  No hint of brattyness yet.  Then again, I don’t see her enough to know much.

DK called today to say that he wanted the parents to come to his house for Christmas.  They wouldn’t go unless I went because they want to get to see me and one day at Christmas is about all I can manage.  Reading this now makes me seem like such an awful person and I really don’t think I am…  So, I have agreed to go to the home of Satan to celebrate the birth if Christ (I think I am an unofficial Jew, but converting seems like a whole lot of work.  So, I hang with the chosen people as far as belief systems go, but remain non-committal).  I really don’t want to go to their house, but it seems like my agreeing to go has made my parents so happy. 

Now I have to go buy more gifts and S is going to have to wrap more gifts.  Here is the “bad aunt” part.  I don’t usually buy them gifts for holidays of birthdays unless I am going to see them.  Satan never likes anything that our side of the family gives them and usually puts it in the Goodwill box, so I don’t want to waste the money.  Once, S knitted L a sweater and Satan actually liked it, so they kept it and L actually wore it a lot.  Since L is such a televised brat now, I’m thinking she’s going to get a small stack of books for Christmas.  SK is a bit harder.  Toys, obviously, but that means I have to go to a toy store on the 23rd of December.  That is going to be 100 times the Hell.

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