My brother is here on his way back home after my uncle's memorial fish fry last week. Greg rode up from Texas and is visiting us on the way back.
It is fine with me - but it is an unscheduled, surprise visit.
Which is hard for Primo.
1. Primo hates surprises +
2. He really doesn't like houseguests because he likes doing things His Way and really, so do I - we are both cranky old people who don't want anyone on our lawn +
3. It is the weekend before the primary election. A lot of Primo's friends are running. The primary is what matters because most of these races are in districts where the opposition doesn't even bother to run. If the candidate wins the primary, she runs unopposed in November.
Plus Primo is annoyed that Greg is getting his own food. "When T visited," Primo said, "I asked him if he wanted breakfast or lunch and then I made him something."
"Yeah," I said, "but I am not interested in orchestrating or preparing meals for three people. If it's breakfast time and Greg wants something to eat, I am quite happy for him to get what he wants out of the fridge and prepare it himself."
Primo is totally uncomfortable with this and I have been trying to figure out why. I told Greg to help himself to what he wants. I say that to all of our houseguests. But usually, people don't do it. Your siblings, though, will do it.
Primo thinks this is odd.
I do not.
But then I realized that Primo has never had what I consider a normal adult relationship with a sibling. His sister died almost a decade ago and even when she was alive, it was not what anyone would consider a healthy, normal relationship: she would expect Primo to drive her to a bar or someplace where she could buy drugs and then want him to sit in her room with her and listen to heavy metal and get high. He felt guilty about being the healthy, employed child and about living far away from his parents and his sister, so he would grit his teeth and do what she wanted.
He has never stayed with either of his two half brothers, either at their homes or together at Sly and Doris'.
I have stayed with my siblings, both at their homes and at my mom's. Siblings can do things other people can't and you don't think it's weird. I got pissy when Primo's friend from high school started going through our cupboards, but it would not bother me (much) if my brother or sister did it. If they did it, I would just ask what they were looking for so I could help. When Primo's friend did it, I was seething with his violating a boundary that I had not invited him to cross.
BTW, my brother has covered his food before he puts it in the microwave. He has washed his own dishes. He has kept the guest bath tidy and is not leaving his stuff all over the place. He is a good houseguest.
What about you guys? Are the rules different for siblings from regular houseguests?