I'm Not Paid Enough For This

I love my husband's family. When my husband and I first started dating, his family treated me as though I were already one of them. My husband became a widower the year before and I'd been single for much longer than that. Second marriages aren't always easy but when you have a family of in-laws that open their arms and accept you immediately, it makes life a lot simpler. While a few of his brothers were on the quiet side and others were more extroverted, they all were friendly and loving. The only exception was his sisters. None of them were introverted in the slightest way. When I say we were one big happy family, it's said with the absolute truth. Through the years, as each sibling's health weakened, communication became more important. The problem was that while they enjoyed speaking to each other, my husband is not a telephone person. In fact, he really hates speaking on the phone and avoids it as much as possible. Time past and now there are four of them left which includes my husband. While in my own mind, he should make more of an effort to call his sisters and brother, in his mind, he will when he has time. My husband is 80 and retired. I insist he can make time. He reminds me that he's too busy doing the gardening and general maintenance on the house. We don't live in a run-down, ramschackled house. It's 20 years old and in very good condition. He can take 20 minutes out and call his siblings. Unfortunately, he doesn't. I do. His remaining brother calls at least three times a week and leaves messages such as: “Hey, wanted to say hello and check in. Call back.” “It's me again. Haven't heard from you. Hope everything's ok. Call back.” “Uh, what's going on? Is something wrong? Call back.” “Come on, really? What's your problem? Call me back today! Damn it.” I give my husband the messages. He ignores them. No, he isn't angry with his brother. Their relationship is fine. It's my husband's problem with phones. The other problem is that his brother is an invalid, living in a nursing home, and has nothing to do. My husband keeps himself busy with yard work, and other things around the house. He never was one to sit still. There lies a good portion of the problem. His brother doesn't understand why Rich won't call him back immediately or why he doesn't answer the phone in the first place. Rich says his brother should find a hobby to occupy his time. Today, I found another messages on my husband's phone. I said, “Don't shoot the messenger but please listed to your brother's message.” He did. Then he grabbed the phone and said, “That's it! I'm going to straighten this out once and for all!” I tried reminding him that his brother lived over a thousand miles away, has no one to visit him, is easily bored. He's just looking to have someone to talk to. My husband remined me that he has things to do. One of his sisters called but is still trying to get used to her new cell phone. She kept disconnecting herself. She'd call and lose the connection. I'd call her back and she'd lose the connection. This went on for fifteen minutes and then I just didn't return her calls. I might try again tomorrow. I saw no point in telling this to my husband since there really wasn't anything to say. After that bit of thunder-rolling atmosphere involving my brother-in-law, I received a text from my other sister-in-law stating she was out of the hospital and staying with her daughter. I walked out the back door and said, “Jane called.” Before I could relay the message, he looked at me with daggers coming out of his eyes. I interrupted him. “Hey, just a quick message,” I began. “She's fine, out of the hospital, and staying with her daughter.” “Oh, ok” he said and calmed down. I know tonight, once dinner is done, he'll call his sister. Maybe I can even get him to call his other sister. At least, they'll be quieter conversations than the one he had earlier. Oh boy! It seems the older we get, the less patience we have. There are times when I could smack Alexander Bell on the head and say, “Why did you ever invent such a troublesome instrument?” There are so many times it comes in so handy but then there are other times!! As I walked away toward the house, my first thought was, “I'm not getting paid enough for this.” Then I realized, “Hey, wait! I'm not getting paid at all!”

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