Sunday, July 24, 2011

The "Most Wicked" Award

I admit that I am not perfect by any means, but what did I do to deserve my sister, who is 9 years younger than me? LuAnn is married and has two children, Ashley and Tyler, who are now both in their early 20's. Ashley, unfortunately, has several of her mother's traits, while Tyler is quite subdued and spends most of his time at college or at work.

Ever since I can remember, my sister demonstrated that her goal in life was to be better than everyone else at any expense. She had to have the best of everything and would casually mention how much she paid, but no one dare ask her what she paid for an item because that was not acceptable behavior. It was on a "volunteer" basis only. Who cared if she spent $4,000 for a bed, $2,000 for a nightstand, or $6,000 for an armoire? Not me--That just proved how crazy she was.

When my mother passed away three years ago, my sister let it be known that she was totally disowning my brother Bob (11 years younger) and me for reasons that she failed to mention. I personally believe that "Money is the root of all evil." You be the judge as I share a few of her unsavory personal traits which best describe her.


One night Bob, LuAnn, and my mother decided to go to the Bingo Parlor. Because Bob was short on cash, he headed for the ATM machine. Unbeknownst to him, my sister creeped up from behind; and when he retrieved the bank receipt, she asked him, "How much money do you have in that account?" Stunned beyond belief, he asked, "WHAT?" and she innocently repeated the question. He was so angry that she had the gall to ask such a personal question, he literally threw the receipt in her face and yelled, "It's none of your business, but if you want to know that damn bad, look at it yourself!" and walked away. When she saw that he had over $18,000 in his checking account, she gave him nasty looks and did not speak to him for the remainder of the evening.

On another occasion Janelle came bouncing into my parent's home excited to finally spend quality time with the family. LuAnn instantly noticed that Jen was toting a Louis Vuitton purse and sporting a huge diamond on her finger. The never-ending mission continued as LuAnn pumped and pumped for details, but Jen held her ground and "Mum" was the word. Needless to say, my sister was obviously pouting and green with envy as she stomped out the door.

Terry and I enjoyed sending my parents on a vacation of their choice at least once or twice a year; or we sometimes would invite them to join us on ours. Unfortunately, I made a HUGE mistake once by asking my sister and her family to accompany my parents, Terry, and me on a trip to Florida. [I felt sorry for Ashley and Tyler (in their early teens) because they had never had an opportunity to travel before and thought it would be quite the adventure for them.] What was I thinking??? Ten days of pure hell!...which leads me to her next trait...


Upon arriving in Florida, we all agreed that each group would pay their own way regarding meals and activity tickets. I had arranged for us to stay at an exclusive resort; and it didn't surprise me that she offered nothing toward the cost. That was probably because she was forced to pay for their rental car, while my parents, Terry, and I traveled together in our own rental.

At the end of a scrumptious dinner our first night in Orlando, my mother and I each laid out a $5 tip for our attentive waiter while my sister revealed a $2 tip for the four of them. When LuAnn saw what my mother and I were offering, she withdrew her tip and started walking away. When I suggested that she leave a tip, her response was, "Your tip is more than he deserves."

From that moment on, her attitude changed from somewhat "normal" to ultimate "bitchiness." How dare I tell her what to do. She complained about the hotels in Daytona Beach and Ft. Lauderdale, the restaurants we chose, the cost of gas, the toll roads, and even the weather. The day cruise to the Bahamas I had planned was the worst ever. She refused to leave the expected gratuity at mealtimes because "The waiters didn't do anything" she emphatically stated, and made her children drink water rather than soda because water was free (even though it was served by the waiter). The only good thing about that vacation was she did reimburse me for the airline and cruise tickets. WOO HOO!!!


My sister expected others to come running at her beckoned call (and give nothing in return, as usual). "Moving Day" can be stressful for all of us, but this incident has to be the funniest ever--NOT at the time, though! They were moving from a beautiful home in the Billings Heights to a "superior" home in a prestigious neighborhood across town. The plan was for my parents and brother to arrive early on Saturday to aid in the move.

The moment they walked through the door that morning at the scheduled time, the "#@!# hit the fan." Not one box had been packed!! My father was absolutely fuming as he glared at the clothes on the floor, the dirty dishes in the sink and dishwasher, all the home decor in its place, and the four of them enjoying breakfast. Words cannot even describe what happened next! Picture an angry father hurling dishes, food, clothes, and anything else close by into boxes and not caring one iota if items became damaged....oh...and swearing the whole time! Meanwhile, Bob was loading boxes of clothing into the back of his pickup. He was oblivious to the fact he should tie them down, or perhaps he just didn't care. (He wasn't happy that day either.) As he was flying down the interstate, the boxes were flying out of the truck. Whoopsie! In his rear view mirror he could see semi trucks crushing the boxes and clothing being strewn across the highway. "Oh, well, not MY problem" he mumbled while retrieving the clothing, which now donned filthy, black tire tread marks. All in all, it was not a good day in the "prestigious" neighborhood.


Revenge comes when it's least expected, sometimes hurting the people you love the most. My mother always looked forward to hosting family get-togethers, especially during the holidays. However, when she was stricken with cancer, she hoped that LuAnn would carry on the family tradition. I just didn't see that happening because neither I nor my family had ever been invited to her "new" home which was now ten years old. The day before Easter, my sister had not yet invited anyone for dinner. Consequently, on Easter morning, Terry and I rose early and drove 150 miles to take my mother and brother to their favorite restaurant for dinner. When LuAnn discovered SHE wasn't invited, she became spiteful and was going to punish ME by not sending an invitation to Tyler's graduation party. I assumed that she would have dinner for her in-laws as she had done in the past. She could and should have invited our mother. Who was hurt the most? Certainly not me, but our mother and Tyler.

When it was time for Ashley's graduation, Janelle received an announcement and graciously sent a congratulatory card. LuAnn fumed because Jen failed to include money. Wait a minute here!! Cousins sending cousins graduation announcements? Aren't they supposed to be sent to aunts and uncles? Get real, woman!! She thought that by not attending my son's wedding, she was "getting even" although she had attended Janelle's wedding. Who was hurt the most? Not me--not my family--only her family because they missed a great time!


Years ago my parents named my sister the executor of their estate because she lived the closest to them. She acted as though she was in control and had the "POWER" now that my father had passed away and my mother had become very ill. I believe that it had always been "about the money," but it soon became so obvious to everyone who knew the families.

My mother had to pay my sister to mow the lawn, to pay for fast food that LuAnn might have picked up on her way, to pay essentially for everything she did for our mother. We had moved back to Montana by this time, but still lived 150 miles away. When my sister told me that she was going to quit her job to take care of our mother AND that mother would have to pay LuAnn what she was earning at her current job, I drew the line. THAT WAS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!! What the hell was wrong with her? No child in her right mind would ever concoct such a scheme.

From that point on, I was the one with the control irregardless of what the "paperwork" said. I stayed with my mother, and I took her for radiation and chemotherapy treatments because I wanted to--not because I had to or because I wanted to be "paid." I spent those last precious months with her as we shopped when she felt strong enough, relived good times as we toured our old neighborhoods, reminisced over photographs, laughed about the silly things we had done over the years, and shared stories from the heart. But most meaningful of all, I was the one with her the night she passed away.


At our mother's funeral, LuAnn refused to join Bob and me in the receiving line to accept condolences from grieving friends and family. Rather than coming to the home afterward to be with family, she chose to go shopping. It would be four days before she appeared, only to tell us that nothing was to leave the house because she had the "POWER TO DECIDE." She blatantly informed us that everything in the home would be sold. She may have had that "power," but I had the last word. "Get over it! Mother never had a garage sale in her life, and we're not about to start now!"

I truly believe that the word "family" has no special meaning to her. As we were selecting mementos for ourselves or close friends of my parents, I handed LuAnn a Christmas ornament that she had gifted to my father. It was the cutest Santa packing a golf bag filled to the brim with clubs. Her rely: "I don't want THAT. I'm not a golfer." Did she honestly believe that's why I gave it to her? She desperately needed help with her mental issues. She took no photographs of our parents, but she did take a 1976 encyclopedia set that she tried to sell for $600 in the Thrifty Nickel. *shaking my head* Bob and I chose to give larger items to appreciative friends, donated the remaining items to the Montana Rescue Mission, and donated the money from sympathy cards to the American Cancer Society.

Three years have passed. As for LuAnn, she never did return to her job as a medical recordkeeper following the funeral. Perhaps she thought she could live off the inheritance and the thousands of dollars she stole from Bob and me. I have not seen nor talked to her since that day. Bob, however, saw her in an advertisement preview at the movie theater. She's now working at a furniture store, which I'm certain gives discounts to employees. She must be much happier knowing she can continue to "Keep up with the Joneses." Remember, it's all about the money and the prestige!

PS: I did ask the pastor to spend time with her, hoping he could give her the serious pyschological help she so desperately needs. God bless her and her family.

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