The Curse of the Middle Child
If you’ll recall, my Grandfather died recently. For his funeral and visitations, I put together two large picture boards including dozens of pictures from my grandparent’s home, a few from my mother, and all of mine. Let me repeat that – every single picture that I had of my grandfather I pulled out of photo albums, scrap books, out of frames off my wall.
When handing the boards off to The Walking Guilt Trip to take to the funeral home, this conversation ensued:
“So the funeral home is making that memory book from all of these pictures?”
“That’s what they say.”
“So could I have these ones after the funeral?”
Silent look of death. How could I ask such a thing of her?
“I’d really like them and you’ll have the book with copies of all of them anyway, right?”
Close of eyes in disbelief.
“Maybe just a couple of the ones with Papa and Grandma young then?”
Deep sigh. A look that asks - You just don’t give in, do you?
I chose to stop speaking to her altogether at this point.
It was clear to me that I would not be getting the pictures, which annoyed me and I thus needed to make sure she was aware that I was annoyed because it’s really the only way I get what I want - by making her think I don’t love her anymore - which she will of course guilt me about later, but every once in awhile, it’s worth the effort and the pain. I’ve found not talking or not smiling at all works best. Unfortunately, smiling wasn’t really expected at the funeral…
Anyway, the funeral comes and goes and we return home without once thinking of the pictures.
Theses are written, theses are defended, in-laws and Easter are come and gone, and suddenly the obnoxious empty frames on my wall start whining to me that I have not gotten my pictures back from the funeral yet.
So I ask The Walking Guilt Trip, “Could I get my pictures back from Papa’s memory boards? I keep forgetting to ask you about them.”
“The pictures?” Blank stare.
I stare back because WTF. I spent HOURS on those boards. She BETTER remember them. “From the funeral?”
“Oh. I gave them to the Princess. They were all in one bag, it was just easier to give them all to her.”