Tuesday, November 22, 2011

So THAT'S what family is for...

First, a little background.

My brother is nearly 8 years younger than I am, aging in at 19 years old.  He went to a one year Auto Diesel School (highly ranked) to work on vehicles, but he went with paint and body work instead of something helpful like engines. Since it was a one year program, he is now out of school and living with my dad.

Thanks to this crappy economy and the fact that North Carolina is having some serious economic struggles, my dad was laid off work and went the full 99 weeks without being able to find employment.  He was eventually able to find a very crappy job paying very crappy wages, but it's enough, just barely, to squeak by on.

Fast forward to now.  My little brother's car (which he traded in his reliable truck for) is broken down, he doesn't have the money to fix it (despite being employed) and no one can/will co-sign a loan for him.  He asks me and I agree, though I told him to wait until after I got back from Indianapolis.  I figured that would give him at least another week or two to save money out of his paycheck, minimizing his loan amount.  We had quite the conversation about interest rates, interest compounding, saving money, etc.  You know me and money.

He hasn't mentioned the loan again and believe me when I say I am not going to beg to help him.  Ya know?

Anyway, I find out last night that he has not saved an additional dime towards getting his car fixed and it's been over a month since he asked me for help.    Not my business, you are saying? He's an adult, you are saying?  No.  The moment he asks for my help financially, even just securing a loan, it becomes my business.
Regardless, what irks me the most is he isn't helping my Dad out with bills at all.  Not a dime.  Oh, he's sure causing the power bill to go up.  He's sure hauling his girlfriend around and eating up the food my Dad has in the house.  Why in the world should he contribute to the bills?  He's not saving to get his car fixed.  He is literally blowing every paycheck as soon as he gets his hands on it.

I coupon so hard because I provide certain necessities to my family.  I take my dad toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, toilet paper, shampoo- the toiletries necessary.  My brother, of course, gets to glom on and use these items. He doesn't even have to spend money on toiletries.  Yet he can't find it in his miserly little heart to help out on the bills?  He can't pay even a paltry $50 a month to help out his own father?  Yes, he knows exactly the financial dire straights my dad is in.  In fact, I've turned down Christmas and Birthday gifts from my dad for the past 2 years because I knew he would give even when he couldn't afford to.  Greedy guts snatches his up, of course.

I was so mad I could have eaten metal shavings and spit nails when I found out exactly what was going on financially over there.  It would be one thing if the boy was desperately saving every penny he could get his hands on to get his car fixed.  Instead, he's out living the life, going to movies, out to restaurants, burning up the roads between where he is living and his girlfriend's house (in my old car, I might add).  Meanwhile, my dad sits at home and sometimes makes it to work only on a prayer and thanks to the fumes in the gas tank.

I guess this is what family is for- to mooch off of, to treat them like slaves and to only take, take, take, without giving anything back.  My brother was going to move to Florida and move in with a friend of his and his family, pay them $350 in rent per month and yet he can't give a single red cent to his own flesh and blood who is struggling, partially because of the financial burden he's helping to create by causing the bills to go up.

Looks like we're going to have to sit down for a little "Come to Jesus" talk. If you aren't familiar with that term, don't think for an instant it means a sweet, polite discussion.


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