Inheritance Wars

Agatha Christie made her literary career on WASP fights for inheritances. She was really on to something. Nothing brings out the unbridled id like standing in line for the family treasures.

Dearest Readers, recently Econo-Girl has shared with you her grief at the loss of a great man, Fred Tate. So imagine Econo-Girl's feelings when, one hour after his arrival, his son wanted to raid any common accounts Fred Tate held with his wife, the son's stepmother.

The body was barely cold.

Fortunately, all monies were kept completely separate, lucky for Aunt Janice. A few days later, Janice called us, upset, because her stepson wanted to take the car. That, too, was headed off at the pass.

It's not that the son is a bad fellow. He isn't. It's just the weird way people feel that they "deserve." As in "Dad left Mom and me for this woman and spent this money on her." Now he deserves it back. That's all. So he came to collect.

Leisure Lad and I are not blood relations. We feel obligated because we promised Fred on his last night alive that we would always look after Janice. And we will. Janice doesn't want to be alone in the house at night, so Leisure Lad and Econo-Girl have been staying at the house a few nights a week. It's tough, because we're being treated like moochers. Janice's family is in Rhode Island, we're staying with Janice when she wants us to, we're getting home health aides for her, we're doing the shopping for her, getting a better maid, looking for a dog groomer, etc.

The biological family treats us like hangers-on. Who would be there if it wasn't for us? Janice doesn't even think she needs help at home. We have to talk her into it, and even then she changes her mind and sends them away when they arrive.

Janice's sister thinks that, after being barely ambulatory for a few years and not walking at all since October, Janice should just get over it and get to walking again.

Econo-Girl is finding all this emotional stuff to be very taxing. Janice and Fred helped my husband very much throughout his life. We will not forget our obligation to Fred. But, dammit, I want some appreciation.


The Lazy Iguana said...

You are in an unwinnable suituation. You can only do what you think the right thing to do is. And it seems you have already made that choice.

Anonymous said...

Why? Why do you want appreciation? Because of what you are doing? Don't get me wrong-it's a nice thing. But don't expect to be noticed and appreciated. To do this so as to be appreciated is to be extremely extrinsically motivated. To be extrinsically motivated will only lead to disappointment and, ultimately, self-destruction (as will misguided intrinsic motivation).