Saturday the husband drove us to the Big O to meet with my brothers regarding my Dad's estate. I took Sterling along because my nephew was going to be there, too. He hadn't met the Sterling puppy yet.
I didn't know what my older brother's agenda was to be this trip. So far his agendas had proved to be a waste of time because they could have been carried out via the phone or FaceTime.
Except that he would give me a hard time for not bringing my list of preferences from the estate. I brought my list on Saturday. You remember the one, from last fall?
My younger brother was annoyed that OB was late again. He was pretty tired of making the trip himself when he'd much rather be home enjoying his weekend off with his son.
Once OB did arrive he was all "let's go look at the artwork."
And finally we were actually moving on the property of Dad's estate.
Boxes and things were dragged from beneath the basement stairs until finally appeared some framed works (a water color I loved and had hung in the living room when my parents lived in Utah and had rented their house to me and my little family) and then Daddy's huge wooden portfolio (on my list).
OB pulled out a smaller made-from-cardboard portfolio full of nudes Dad had created while in college. On top was a bare breasted girl washing her hair in front of a large bowl.
I was in love.
There was a backside view nude I liked and then another one all done in blue. The position of the model reminded me of Picasso's 'The Old Guitarist," even though the model's only instrument was her body. I liked that a piece of my Dad's made me recall a master.
That portfolio was set aside and more works were pulled from the wood folio. Some other nudes, graphics Dad had done while in the Air Force, etc.
We were surrounded with some of Dad's work. OB was asking if anyone wanted the largest piece of a girl sitting at a table, her head in her arms upon the table. This piece had once hung on a wall in an apartment of OB's and I assumed he really wanted the piece. Then he says — looking straight at me, "It's well known that the larger pieces are worth the most money."
(And we all know with OB the estate for him is all about the money.)
"Are you trying to tell me something?" I say at him and continue with, "What? You wouldn't be allowed to hang it at your house?" (It is a provocative piece.)
"I don't know," he says. "I just thought you might want it."
"I can hold anything for you that you don't think you can take home."
"I will also take any thing that nobody else wants."
Yes, I wanted the piece. And the charcoal of a young man (who's name i used to know) wearing overalls. And the ballerina on stage. And the water colors. Especially the one my brother had pointed out that was ripped.
"It was ripped when I hung it the living room and no ever seemed to notice," I told him.
Eventually we were charged with setting aside what we knew we wanted. I choose my favorite of the two framed water colors, the girl washing her hair, two nudes from behind, a sculptured tree stump, a textured moon painting, etc. I told the brothers to choose what they wanted from the Air Force Graphics first because I knew my husband would love any that were left over, and they were fine with that idea.
I didn't take the blue nude, because I didn't want to be greedy — even though I wanted it very much.
And then my younger brother realizes my older brother hasn't chosen a nude and says so.
"I wanted the girl with the bowl, too," says OB. "I'll have to think about which one I want now."
And so I let him have it and took the blue nude. Instead.
Later he remarks on how he had wanted the ripped water color over the other, too.
So I let him have it and took the other. Instead.
The painting of the flying geese was on my list. OB recalled Dad telling him what a hard time he had getting this piece to come out the way he wanted (I knew that from first hand experience. Daddy was fraught with impatience when he was trying to get the same affect that the original picture-from-a-magazine had. I was there when he was working on the flying geese painting.)
OB got that one, too.
Then OB tells us the story of when Daddy was painting a picture from a magazine, but left out the car being advertised, and how OB brother asked him why he had left out the car, "because I didn't like the car," is what he told us Daddy had said.
And my older brother is looking at me. Maybe because I had already been given that painting ages and ages ago when I moved into my first apartment.
And still I asked him if wanted it, too.
A painting that was not in the estate. A painting that was already mine!
And my brother replies, "I don't know yet."
Back upstairs and a while later my younger brother tells me to stop giving older brother everything he wants or he was going to end up with everything on my list.
But OB just sounded so pathetic when he really wanted something I had chosen.
And then we going over our lists, but guess who doesn't even have a list! Not even of the three things he had told us was all he wanted from the house!
And now he wants a couple of things of YB's list, too.
And now I have to choose between a lamp and a clock from my list — because OB wants them, too. I choose the lamp and scream inside because I want them both — AND THE RESTAURANT PAINTING, TOO!
YOU KNOW, THE ONE MY BROTHER JUST TOOK BECAUSE HE WANTED IT AND THAT WAS THAT.
And OB makes a comment on how YB and I have an advantage of having been around the house more than he ever has and we're the ones who really knows what is there.
OMG. Ninety percent of my list was stuff that was in plain view for decades. And it was a list full of crap. My Daddy even told me so. My Daddy even told my son that it was his job to make sure I got some nice things from the estate because Daddy kept saying "why do you even want that?" Whenever he'd ever talked about such things with me.
The funny thing I now realize is that Daddy often talked to me about stuff I might want after he was gone. And I would tell him. Already he was telling me I could have this or that now (because nobody else was going to want what I wanted) and that we pull that out for me before I left from that visit or the next.
But Dad and I never shut up with each other long enough to get around to it and the next visit never came.
I need to buck up. Get what I want. And stop giving my brother anything I want no matter how he pines about things after I have chosen them.
Isn't it obvious? I would have offered my brother the restaurant painting even if it had already been given to me and hanging in my house for decades!
I'd regret it for the rest of my life, but then I'd recall how pleased he was to take it and try to make myself get over it.
The thing is, you guys? The thing is that I am a sucker.
Everybody knows it. I've been told so more than once.
I'm the one who can't even carry money around because I will give it to some panhandler in the street.
My husband doesn't think I should ever answer our front door because those same panhandlers sometimes make it to our neighborhood and our front porch and then I still give them money and a sandwich.
I'm not going to get my first choice on anything from Mom and Dad's house. I'm lucky to have already been given some things over the years. I need to make myself hold on to these things.
But I'm not strong enough.
So I opted out of participating in the dissolution of my Daddy's estate.
I sent my brother my list and told him what ever he doesn't want to leave in the bedroom (that holds the suite that was left to my father and is now going to my son because my brother doesn't think it is worth enough to $ell — even to me) and shoot me an email when all the stuff for me is ready to go and I'd come and get it.
Because this will make the whole thing easier on me.
I will only have to cry one big cry instead of enduring all the crying here and there, and over again, like this past weekend.
And now I have to stop writing so I can just go to bed with all my puppies and cry.