Sunday, July 19, 2015

Dowager Duchess Deli and Debit

The Kid Brother came by Saturday morning at 9. He and I walked to Nathan's Coney Island (The Original Nathan's) for hot dogs and fries. I convinced him to jump in the photo booth with me for a quick "brothers photo" and then we went to the arcade where The Kid Brother excels at skee-ball.

"LOOK INTO THE LENS AT TOP, NOT THE COUNTDOWN AT BOTTOM.
CHUCK, SMILE. LOOK UP. CHUCK. LOOK UP. SMILE. CHUCK..." CLICK.

When the Kid Brother arrived at The Dowager Duchess's apartment, he immediately headed into the kitchen with his backpack and began raiding the cupboards and refrigerator.

"Bagels!" he exclaimed. "Just what I needed!"

"Chuck, those are OUR bagels," I snapped.

He put them back and began foraging through the boxes of cereal. "Oh, good, this box of Cheerios isn't open," he said as he shoved it in his backpack. He picked up a box of Raison Bran. "Ours," I said. "You know, we've got to eat, too." He put it back.

Then he started digging through the fruit bowl. "I'm out of everything," he explained. "Hey, where are those flat peaches you had last week?"

"Chuck," I said. "This isn't a supermarket. If you're out of food, you need to go grocery shopping."

"Aright, aright," he muttered. He grabbed some ordinary peaches and pears and closed up his overstuffed backpack.

The Dowager Duchess has lately (the past few years) set some unfortunate precedents. She shops for my brother because, "He never has any food in his house." She gives him money because, "He needs money to load up his Metro Card."

The Kid Brother shares an apartment with two other guys and it's well-managed by AHRC. I've tried to convince her that he needs to be self-sufficient and the staff need to know how he's managing his money — and if he has enough.  She can't subsidize him. I kept telling her she was creating a monster. Mothers!

I paid for Nathan's ($30). I paid for skee ball ($40). On the way home, he casually mentioned he only had enough money to pay for his laundry that afternoon and needed to add money to his Metro card before he headed to Central Park to play softball Sunday morning.

OUR $30 LUNCH. AND WORTH EVERY PENNY!
READY TO ROLL THE FIRST BALL.
I WAS THE BANK, THE PHOTOGRAPHER, AND THE PEANUT GALLERY.  
TAKING AIM.

"You have no money at home?" I asked.

"None."

"Any money in the bank?" I asked.

"Don't worry! I got money in the bank!" (Our sister's nickname for him was Ebeneezer.)

"Well, then you need to go to the bank and take out some money for your expenses. Your mother is not your supermarket. And she's not your bank. I'll give you $20 to get you to Monday and then you need to take care of things."

When we got back upstairs — so he could pick up his backpack filled with loot — I forgot to give him the $20 I promised. He looked at me and said, "Hey! You owe me 20 bucks!"

I said, "Listen, buddy, I don't OWE you anything. I'm doing you a favor. Got it?"

"I got it. I got it," he said. "Jeez, what a grouch!"

The Dowager Duchess had some injections of steroids and anti-inflammatories Friday morning. The pain in her back is considerably better and she's able to sit up on her own in bed and move around much more. However, it clearly hasn't done much for the nerve pain, which was excruciating again last night after so much more movement throughout the day. So, she's back on Codeine and we'll be discussing next steps with the medical team Monday.

When I got to the hospital for my afternoon visit Saturday, I told The Duchess about my day with the Kid Brother. She simply gave me a guilty, closed-mouthed smile and shrugged. Mothers!

THE DIVINE (AND DOTING) DOWAGER DUCHESS...
THIS IS HOW SHE LOOKS ON A BAD DAY!
(STILL, THE KID BROTHER TOLD ME, "SHE NEEDS TO GET DRESSED!")

18 comments:

  1. Your brother sounds rather like my mother. My own brother has an acquired brain injury and though he functions very well and works, he is often looking for ways to make a lot of money very quickly, often with dubious schemes. Twice we have had to get him out of contracts he has signed or agreed to, at least. While my mother will borrow money from us and not pay it back, my brother makes sure he gets every last cent owed to him by Mother.

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  2. Family dynamics! Gotta love em!
    Do you think Chuck will go to the bank now? He doesn't want his brother's wrath!!!
    Your mother looks like she can't wait for all this to be over and done with....don't blame her. it's been a long haul for her.
    All the best to you all.

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  3. People love Skee Ball. :)

    I'm watching a show at the moment that films at Coney Island a bit - a new show called Mr Robot. I have never been there personally but I am visiting a bit via Google Street View. :)

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  4. please say hello to cousin Chuck ,, and tell Aunt Marion she looks beautiful ,, xoxo

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  5. I, too, love your family stories :) I can just hear the New Yorker in The Kid Brother, saying, "Aright, aright" LOL
    p.s. Did I see "flat peaches"?? ¿¿Qué es seso??
    Judith, the former New Jersey-an

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  6. I, too, love your family stories :) I can just hear the New Yorker in The Kid Brother, saying, "Aright, aright" LOL
    p.s. Did I see "flat peaches"?? ¿¿Qué es seso??
    Judith, the former New Jersey-an

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  7. This photo of your Mom is wonderful, she is very beautiful, even if she is in hospital. There is glamour there in that look.

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  8. In that first photo, the Kid Brother looks a little like the Dalai Lama! Hope the DD's medical team can suggest some good options for her. After all - she needs to get dressed!

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  9. Mothers, indeed! And brothers, too! (I'm sure my brother says the same thing.)

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  10. Oh my, that sounds sooo familiar. I will say that my little sister, Lauretta, learned at a fairly early age that interest was a bad thing, as was working off her debts.

    She and my mother agreed that I was the meanest sister in the whole world, but Lauretta has never been in debt and she constantly tells me how much she loves me so I must have not done toooo badly.

    The Dowager Duchess is beautiful, as always, but you can tell the pain is getting to her. I wish I could do more than just send my warmest regards and well wishes. Sending gentle hugs to all.

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  11. She is a Mom and will spoil her son when she can, as she hopefully does to you too :) I wish they could figure some better pain Management for your Mom.

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  12. Your mother is lovely... and I wish things were better for her. I love the family stories... truth is, you sound like an old softie.... It's so good you are there for them all.

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  13. I love your brother fantastic guy

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  14. All I can say is you're a great guy, a great son and a great brother. I can just feel the love you have for them in your words though my heart is aching for your mom at the moment.
    Connie

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  15. San Geraldo?
    Saint Mitchell.

    And I would trade my Looking Good Day for the DD's Bad Day She looks fabulous!

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  16. Before the 'Kid' went into the booth with you did he not mention having an upset stomach?

    D.D. looking introspective. I put it down to her considering herself so lucky to have such a fine son as you - or even two.

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