Monday, March 12, 2018

Character study of a relative I can't stand (Dona)

My aunt Donna is an embarrassment.


She's my mother's sister.

She's also a bit of a grifter.

When their mother died, she left all three girls $150,000.  But Donna didn't want to share it with her sisters so she didn't tell them.  Instead, she waited 12 months to tell them because by then she'd spent it all.


On toys.  The kind of toys a teenager might buy.  The kind of toys that she quickly lost interest in.  She would then try to sell them on eBay.  Some of them would sell but some wouldn't.  More to the point, five or ten dollars for something you spent over seventy bucks on doesn't make for a profit margin of any sort.

Now she was a weirdo.  Unable to manage on her own, she'd lived with her mother her entire life.  Twice, she'd 'moved out.'  Once to live in a dorm and go off to college.  That lasted almost 24 hours before she came running back.  The second time?  She was 31 and moved in with a friend several hours away.  The second time last six hours.

She's never had a boyfriend.

She's never had sex.

Well, she's blown a married guy.

And spent several thousand dollars on him.

He never left his wife.

He wouldn't go down on my aunt and didn't want to have sex with her.

Hell, he wouldn't even kiss her.

But he'd take her money and he'd let her blow him.

She'd found a job at that point.  So at least she was spending her own money, right?  She wasn't sponging off her mom -- or not sponging off her mom to give the married man money, at any rate.  She did work.  She works now, for example.

But for most of my life, she didn't work.

She just lived with Mommy and sponged.

She'd always say she worked at Target, the retail store.  And she did.  She worked there in 1987.  Hired on as Christmas help.  She lost the job after the Christmas rush -- laid off, she would insist.  And when I was growing up, she would insist that she was waiting for them to call her when business picked up.  Now mind you, I wasn't even born in 1987.  I was born the year after.

But as a child and then a teenager, I'd hear her insist, if anyone bothered to ask, that she worked, she'd just been laid off and was waiting for Target to call her back.

By the time I was a teenager, I knew she was . . . a . . . bit . . . off.

She had a car, a new one every few years, and she'd let her mother pay for it.  She'd let her mother work two jobs to pay for it.  Her mother worked for a newspaper and worked for a hospital.  She worked a 78 hour week.  And Princess Donna sat on her ass watching soap operas and spending Mommy's money.

A few years before my grandmother died, a friend of the family, at my mom's request, hired Donna.  It wasn't much of a job but she managed to screw it up.  She didn't get fired.  She did quit the job, after my grandmother died.  She felt that the world didn't understand her loss -- especially the people she worked with -- so she quit.  And she just knew she'd find another job.  But she wasn't qualified for any job.  So after six months, she begged to get the job back and, because her boss was a friend of the family, she got it back.

She's really that pathetic.

She likes to insist she's artistic.

And if a woman over fifty drawing asexual figures does it for you, she's your own personal Grandma Moses.

She also likes to insist she's smart.

She'd pull that nonsense with my dad, insist she was smart.  No, not just smart, smarter than my dad.  She went to some of his classes when he was in grad school.  His philosophy classes.  She knew she was smarter.  Thing was, she ended up being kicked out because she couldn't make the grades in those classes.  First, they put her on academic probation.  Then, after she still struggled, they kicked her out.

She managed to get a B.A. prior to that.  It took her eight years.  That might not be so bad if she was working and going to school.  But she wasn't.  She'd worked two months as an A&P grocery bagger after high school.  That was 1981.  And, of course, in 1987, she worked four-and-a-half weeks at Target.  For the 20th century, that was her entire employment history until 2011 when the friend of the family created a job for her.

Now she wasn't completely idle after Target and before 2011.

She went to travel school -- or some course to learn to be a travel agent.  She supposedly passed it, but she never became a travel agent.  She took some photography classes but she never became a photographer.  And she never used her B.A. (art history, that was her major).

Mainly, though, she shopped.

I remember a Christmas where she threw a fit.  Like a little girl, she threw herself on the floor and began screaming and pounding her feet against the floor.  I was nine and found her pathetic.  The point of her tantrum?  The $50 a week allowance wasn't cutting it.  She needed more money.  And someone -- either my other aunt or my dad -- suggested she get a job.

That set her off.

That led her to throw a tantrum right next to the Christmas tree.

Is she touched?

I've often wondered.

If you're wondering, "Dona, were you named after her?"  No.  I was named after my great-grandmother Dona.  My aunt is named "Donna."  It's not the same name.  And, no, I don't like it when people mistakenly think I am named after her.

I get as outraged as she did when, following my grandmother's death, my other aunt suggested Aunt Donna might want to meet some of her friends, maybe even date a guy she knew.

No one, Donna informed my other aunt, that she knew would be worth any of Donna's attention.

She really thinks she's a winner.

A prize, even.

She can't work a real job.

And the job she keeps currently, she calls off at least four days every month.

Did I mention that she has a limp?  Because her body cannot support her massive girth.  Five feet and two inches but she weighs in at 405 pounds.

Did I mention that she is balding?

I bring it up because she thinks she's all that.

I bring it up for another reason.

My younger brother was in the ER over the weekend.

He got backed over.

Come again?

He went to the trouble of answering her request for help, he went over there to help her load her trunk with some junk she'd wasted money on and had then sold on eBay and now she needed to get it to the post office to ship.  He'd gone over there to help her.  And it wasn't appreciated.  It wasn't appreciated at all.

She had a ton of junk and he had to haul one box after the other out to her car -- Princess Donna can't lift.  Princess didn't think he was moving fast enough and kept on his case to move faster and faster.  When he was putting the last box away, impatient Donna was ready to go and when she's ready to go, she's ready to go.

So she started the car and threw it in reverse.

Didn't matter that the trunk was open.

Didn't matter that he was arranging the boxes in the trunk.

That's right, she backed over him in her car.

I'm done with that psycho bitch.

I'm done being nice.

And I'm done pretending that she's eccentric.

She's nuts.  She's a crazy, self-centered asshole.

And she needs to learn that it's not cute that she's into KPop or whatever that Korean teeny bop is called.  It might be fine for teenagers but she turns 55 this year and for her it's like she's a pedophile.

She's going to read this and she's going to be pissed -- just like I was when my dad called to tell me my brother was in the emergency room and why he was there.

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