The Easter Family Gathering

Every year Easter comes and goes. I used to make it a point to go back home for Easter, especially in the early years of living away from home. But in recent years, with the relentless rise/decline (delete to taste) of my work life, I have instead preferred to stay at home in the South and enjoy four days away from work. There are not enough of those. And I always thought I see my family enough anyway when I come North for work.

But this year, now that my evil Client from the North has sacked us for spurious reasons (see previous post) – there is even less need for me to ever see my family as the visits I do have dropped off a cliff. In some respects, I am relieved. I was tired of doing this anyway, and we were going to bow out gracefully, allowing everyone to save face. But instead, it didn’t happen.

So now, here I am, up in the Northern counties again, at home, with mum, dad, J, my youngest brother (who is back living at home thanks to various nonsenses involving a new house, moving out, an ex-girlfriend, and unsatisfactory explanations for everything), and my nephew. The brother and the nephew are thick as thieves, and have so far conspired to keep my awake first by getting takeaways delivered in the dead of night, and then talking (mumbling) for hours and hours whilst playing computer games. The brother is 24 this year, and seriously needs to grow up. The nephew is 19 soon, and is also seriously being misled by my brother. Not that he needs it. He’s taken up residence here, and now my mum and dad have a serious handful to deal with. He is angry, aggressive, ignorant, dozy and, worst of all, a serial liar. I do not feel comfortable with him around, and I have to say I don’t even recognise my own brother any more.

So, suffice it to say, it hasn’t been the family reunion I had been looking forward to. I hadn’t seen my mum and dad since Christmas. My other brother moved out in January, and he hasn’t been seen or heard from either. My older sister is busy looking after my other three nephews (two of whom are demonic, and the third will no doubt get there). And my younger sister hasn’t come home for Easter as she’s off on holiday. It’s good for her as her other half earns a very decent income…

Life is strange. Families are even stranger. J is not enjoying the experience (except for the dog, whom he loves) – and my mum and dad seem very stressed about everything now. It’s not what they needed. I’ve told them that if they can’t make the brother move out (which would also dispose of the nephew) – and there’s no reason why he can’t, he earns decent money – then they need to sell the house and downsize. It would be sad, but it needs to happen. They went on holiday and came back to a shit-tip, and complaints from the neighbours about noise and parties all night. Yes I know 24 and 19 are the ages to do these sorts of things, but my mum and dad don’t deserve this. They’ve done their child bringing up years. They’re now having to babysit moronic young adults who don’t know they’re born, with the opportunities they’ve had, living a middle class existence sheltered from actual, proper hardship. The only hardships they suffer they are now bringing upon themselves in their negative attitude to everyone.

Perhaps I am unfair. I was never like them. Neither was my other brother. But I think that’s because we appreciated what we had, and tried to build on it. My other brother took a long time but I think he’s now getting there. Though, sadly, I will now be incredibly distant from him.

Happy Easter. At least there’ll be some chocolate to console me.