Tuesday, September 9, 2008

"Someday Mia, this will all be yours!"

Not sure how it works in other families, but anytime my parents leave on vacation, a huge envelope always arrives in the mail: their last will and testament. Because they are Hispanic, they have a special DOOM gland that attaches to the pituitary so that anytime a moment of pleasure is about to rush through the bloodstream, an equal dose of DOOM is also released. While most people think that the worst that can happen in Cabo is jello shots, sunstroke, diarrhea or having your wallet lifted by a fresh-faced kindergardener, my parents are convinced they will succumb to cancer, ground glass will be stirred into their margaritas, the Avis rental car will fly off a bridge due to bald tires and indifference or terrorists, itching for some beach time, will force their 727 into the ocean.

Edward and I used to joke about this all the time. "Has the envelope arrived? Are you in the Platinum Club or did you get downgraded to Business Class?" Because in the Will, you always know where you stand. This is not to say that my parents used their Will as a weapon. Never did we hear, "You're out of the Will if you don't eat your peas, " or "If you come home smelling like pot one more time, I swear the lake house will be donated to the Nature Conservancy." Nope. None of that. Two things my parents never discussed with us children: money and sex. Which would explain why we often confuse the two. I've just now stopped slipping the Ranger a rolled up $20 every night.

Historically, Edward and my other brother, R, were annoyingly discrete about these envelopes. They NEVER cracked the seal; they'd just file the most recent copy with the other sealed envelopes that have collected over the years. Edward believed it was bad luck to read the Will, that by flipping through the 100-page document, events beyond anyone's control would start to snowball. R just thought the whole thing was boring. I, on the other hand, had the package ripped to shreds between the mailbox and the house, "I got the Lexus! I got the Lexus! I knew it. I knew it."

Ah, that was a Golden Time, before the Divorce, before the long drive north, before the funeral. Second Edition is now in the margins. Living in the rough. Out in the cold. Since Edward died, my halo has dropped off, and I've been relegated to the Cone of Silence, a special place usually reserved for White People That Marry Into The Family, newspaper reporters, snobby waiters and federal agencies such as La Migra, the DEA and Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms.

In all fairness, it must be said I was not much of a comfort to them during and after the funeral and I didn't move back to New Mexico as requested. And then there is that matter of the boyfriend. While they like the Ranger plenty, HE IS THE REASON OUR DAUGHTER, WHO IS SUPPOSED TO BE HERE TAKING CARE OF US WHILE LIVING IN A HOUSE WITH A WINE CELLAR, IS INSTEAD WEARING RUBBER BOOTS, EATING JERKY AND LIVING IN A LEAKY TREE HOUSE ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLD. Not that my parents NEED taking care of, mind you, they are healthy and able, but when the Mexican Mafia rings and you let voice messaging take the call, well...No Lexus. It probably doesn't help either that my only heir is a shit-eating Husky.

Now that my parents are spending the month of September traveling in Europe and a new, fat envelope is propping up my laptop, it would appear relations are thawing. I get the 15-year-old Farm Jeep that smells like chicken poop and beer. R gets the Lexus. Which makes perfect sense, if you think about it. Life with a Ranger at the edge of the world certainly requires four-wheel drive.

Someday, Mia, this will all be yours.


Kylita said...

Hey, Sea Otter, you rock! Lay it out on the line, tell it like it is, open the portals and just, well, be frickin' honest!!! I get so tired of people who can't speak the truth for fear they may NOT inherit the Lexus (or awesome-sounding farm jeep!! ;o) I damned near forgot what it's like to have the "folks" lay some serious manipulative guilt trips ... mom did more so than dad, but he was just sarcastic to her, making her want to lay more guilt trips. ("You won't have to worry about that when I'm gone!" -- guess what!? It was true!) In all fairness, when my mom was trying to thank me for the help Jeff and I had been giving her, she said, "How can I ever thank you?" and my reply was, "You could get a life." (Yes, I was 40 or 41, and boy, do I regret that one!) and in just a short time, she got a new life ... in some other realm I'm not privy to. I still hear her voice saying, "Don't you overload my washing machine!" (I inherited that via purchasing my brother's half of the house.) Guess I don't have anything meaningful to say, but I miss you and wanted to just say, "Bravo, SisSTAR!" You KNOW you feel left out in a big way and how many others are making an effort to ask how YOU are doing?? You hang in there, Bootsie (the Wellies-kind) and hug that puppy! Vayos con Dios, my Darling! (spelling atrocious?)
Love you, SisSTAR Kylita xo

Mich said...

I'm so glad your parents are taking a big trip. That's a good sign. And, if you need heirs to be in good standing, you can always write my sons into your will. Justin's an English major. He'll need the extra help.

Kylita said...

Happy B'day, Sea Otter! What happened to your last post? Was I just imagining it? Hope your day was wonderful as you!

abha said...

well, just kind of fell onto this page from I don't know where, this is what surfing does to you.

You could not have said it better. Hats off to you though to choose Ranger and life in the wild to wine cellars in Mexico.