Episode 14 of Looking Back is below. Enjoy!
I talked to my sister over the phone a couple of weeks ago. She was overly cheerful. It was her fake happy persona. I’ve never understood why she thinks she needs to cheer me up. My happiness or lack thereof is wholly in my hands. Like my psychologist often says, “You are in charge of your emotions – you get to choose how you react to the world.” Some days I decide to laugh and other days I cry. When she starts trying to manipulate my emotional state I fire back. She has no clue what my buttons are but I’ve got her number. We chatted about inane topics until she got to the meat of the call. There were trust funds set up by our parents that had just come to light. She wanted to know if I’d be willing to sign mine over to be split between hers and DJ’s kids, “since, you know, you don’t need it.” I’m not greedy. Then again, my parents didn’t do me any favors while they were alive so I’m kind of partial to any sign that they acknowledged me as one of their offspring. I told her absolutely – not. I’m pretty sure she thought I’d just relinquish my claim. But who knows, I might eventually need a little pocket change in my old age. Anyway, I started pushing her buttons aggressively. I called her Beth. She hates to be called anything other than Elizabeth. I then mentioned that I had never met her husband or her spawn and wasn’t inclined to give money to strangers. She started to sputter when I said the word “spawn”. By the time her auditory nerves registered “strangers” her indignation was palpable. I managed to get in a few more subtle jabs before she decided to end the call. My coup d’état was when I told her I loved her as she was saying good-by. Her call did actually cheer me up or rather I cheered myself up at her expense. Life is so unpredictable.