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He’s Lucky That Offer Wasn’t Made Literally To His Face

, , , , , , , | Related | September 10, 2023

My younger sister is, if not exactly the black sheep of the family, still seen as a bit of a wild child by most of our relatives. Somehow, it doesn’t give anybody any cognitive dissonance to also think of her as a hopelessly naive babe in the wilderness. How they square this with her actual existence as a married professional in her thirties, I’m still not sure, but it all seems to have rubbed off on my youngest cousin. He’s in his early twenties, has never lived away from home (and his fiercely protective mother), and barely finished high school.

My sister is extremely fond of our cousin; it’s just a bit rough on her to have conversations like the following.

We’re at a party for the completion of [Sister]’s Master’s degree.

Cousin: “Well! That took you a while, didn’t it?”

Sister: *Pauses* “What do you mean?”

Cousin: “Just, didn’t it take you longer than it should have?”

Sister: “It took me four years, yes. I never said that I found graduate school easy. I’m lucky to have had the help and support that I did. Just like you.”

Cousin: “What do you mean?”

Sister: “Well, you had trouble finishing school, too, right?”

Cousin: “Yeah, but I finished on time.”

Again, she’s talking about her grad studies; he’s talking about HIGH SCHOOL.

A few days later, [Cousin] is looking around the condo [Sister] owns with her husband.

Cousin: “I mean, it’s nice, I guess.”

[Sister] and my brother-in-law live in one of the most expensive metro areas in North America because she can’t pursue her career anywhere else in Canada. It’s not at all comparable to the four-bedroom house [Cousin] lives in, rent-free, with both his fifty-something parents, in a much more economical area of the country.

Finally, one night over dinner, the conversation turns political.

Sister: “I’m saying that prison reform is an issue that the prime minister is ignoring. How can Canadians call ourselves better than anywhere else when we’re treating jails like a garbage heap to dump in those people we don’t know how to deal with?”

Cousin: *Chuckling* “Well, I mean, that’s a real nice idea and all, but let’s be practical here. When you think about these people, and where they come from… I mean, it’s sweet that you want to help, but really…”

Sister: “[Cousin], by the time I was your age, I’d been arrested three times for protesting. You’ve never been out of g**d*** [Suburb] by yourself, and your own mom had to badger you into voting in the last election. Do not try to pull that bulls*** head-patting act on me. I’ve had teargas thrown at me. The fact that I used to be your favourite babysitter is the only thing that prevents me from throwing your a** out the door right this second. Is that clear?”

There’s a long pause.

Sister: “Would anyone like coffee?”

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