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BOTD 4/30/14 "Brother From Another Mother" A Stevie Weeks Production

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David M. Katz


Marshall
BROTHER FROM ANOTHER MOTHER
A Stevie Weeks Production

You are the father of two boys... Larry, 19, who is the child of your first (exceedingly unsuccessful and acrimonious) marriage, and Oswald, 15, the child of your current, and very happy marriage. Larry is attending the local university, while Oswald, of course is in High school. Both boys are doing reasonably well academically.

Larry was very conscious of the fact that his mother did not want custody of her then two year old boy, and you've done your best over the years since then to assure him that you, in any case, do want him and love him very much... still, at times it's been a bit of a rough row to hoe and you've had a fair amount of trouble with him over the years. He was not thrilled with your re-marriage... and even less so when Oswald arrived on the scene a year afterwards.

Matters stand now that Larry gets along with his step-brother reasonably well (perhaps armed truce might be a good description), and he does appear to care for the boy, but there has always been an undercurrent of rivalry between them and you've had to cool things down on several occasions in the past when this rivalry flared up into open warfare.

It is Saturday evening, and you are having a formal family dinner since Oswald has invited his new girlfriend, Persephone, for supper. You and your wife have taken a good deal of trouble over the meal, and you are both dressed formally... Oswald has actually donned a suit and tie, and he spent a considerable amount of his allowance on a corsage for Persephone.

OSWALD - 15
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Larry arrives very late - you have had to keep supper waiting for him - even though he knows very well that a formal supper party is planned... He strides into the room dressed in ratty jeans and a dirty tee shirt... and, not to put too fine a point on it, he smells of stale sweat and beer... he's obviously been drinking and is a little the worse for wear (the drinking age in Ontario is nineteen and Larry can legally purchase and be served alcohol). You are a little relieved that you heard someone dropping him off and that he did not attempt to drive himself.

LARRY - 19
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He immediately begins to behave in an inappropriate manner and, despite your not too subtle hints, begins to tell off colour jokes at the table...

You are about to ask him to go up to his room when he outdoes himself, describing in great glee and with considerable hilarity, the incident when Oswald, aged three, tore off all his clothes and ran around the house naked shrieking "Look at my Pee-pee!!" at the top of his voice while waving his little organ joyfully around with his fingers...

Oswald turns beet red and sinks down into his chair, speechless with humiliation...

Persephone decides that she'd better just go home... on Monday Oswald announces very sadly that the pair have broken up...

How will you deal with the situation?


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Jack


Admin
I'm not sure how I would have dealt with this situation, since I would have 'recommended' that Larry recover before joining us for dinner, and I would have had no problem with escorting to his room if it was required.


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John Boy


Sherrif
Jack wrote:I'm not sure how I would have dealt with this situation, since I would have 'recommended' that Larry recover before joining us for dinner, and I would have had no problem with escorting to his room if it was required.  
ditto

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AFinch


Sherrif
I, too, agree with Jack. I'd never have let it get that far.

squarecutter


Sherrif
Clearly Oswald needs a lot of support after that. As for Larry I should have told him to get under the shower and let him sleep the drinking off. I think we could have coped without him. I will then talk to him and remind him how many people he managed to upset. His step  mother, his brother, the young lady. He has also royally peed me off so I hope he's proud of himself. If he needs to let his anger go it should be directed at me and his biological mother. Beyond which I still love him and this will always be home but to hope he will not let his anger go at people who don't deserve it especially his brother. I hope Ican shame him intoat least thinking about what he disd as plainly he is not a child any more

Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
While I hope I'd have nipped things in the bud, I'll try to work with the scenario. Larry is 19, and if he hasn't laid his insecurities to rest by now, it is past time for him to get professional help. I'm going to urge him to see a therapist. I'm also going to urge him to make his peace with Oswaldo. I don't see that this is a situation in which punishment is appropriate.

If the story Larry told at dinner about Oswaldo resulted in his breaking up with Persephone, then she is not worth his regrets. Most families have at least one ass who will dredge up embarrassing anecdotes about everyone else's childhood indiscretions. I'm sure Oswaldo will soon realise that the social embarrassment doesn't last long. I worry more that he will develop resentment towards his older brother if Larry doesn't learn to control his own lingering resentment.

Kat

Stone Man


Marshall
I find it hard to answer this one. All the principles were present, so I would not have held dinner and the moment smelly drunk Larry showed up he'd have been sent to his room and told to stay there.

I do like Kat's comment about the now ex-girlfriend. If she's waiting to find a young man who doesn't have some incident like this in his early background me thinks she's going to have a long wait.

As it is, I like Kat's comments and have no better way of handling the whole situation.

ivor


Marshall
Seem to me that Larry is probably very jealous of Oswald and the fact that he has a girlfriend. Also, have I ever laid on a formal dinner for him? I can well imagine the three line whip to attend and dressed up to the nines which is not natural to him, will have caused a reaction.

Other than telling Oswald it is up to him to decide when net (if ever) he wants to see his half brother again, I don't see there is much I can do. While I will still love Larry I doubt my wife will have much time for him either.

As for therapy, I think this depends on whether or not this was a one off reaction from Larry.

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MemoryMan


Sherrif
This is an almost impossible one for me to answer since our family doesn't have "formal" family dinners, only happy relaxed ones.  But laying on a formal dinner to meet a new 15yo girl friend??   Come on - what were we doing - trying to frighten her off?

However, before I awake from my nightmare -

In such a situation my smelly unkempt drunken son wouldn't even have made it to the table.  He'd have been banished to take a shower and get changed first and I would have apologised personally to our guest with some embarrassed naff comment about now having met the black sheep of the family.  

Had the break-up still occurred I would have commiserated with Oswald, gently pointing out it was better he found out about her intolerances now, rather than later.

As for Larry -  Evil or Very Mad

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Jack


Admin
Kat wrote:If the story Larry told at dinner about Oswaldo resulted in his breaking up with Persephone, then she is not worth his regrets.

I never thought it was the story that caused the break up, so much as the embarrassment of both parties.  At that age, I especially on Ozzy's side, I can see them just not knowing how to talk to each other comfortably and get past it.

MM - My family has comfortable suppers almost every night, but sometimes the kids to like to get dressed up and have a 'fancy' meal - so far we've only had five courses, but it can still be a lot of fun.


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MemoryMan


Sherrif
Jack, there are only two of us at home now but we do at times host "fancy" family meals, relaxed reunions where my hated 'monkey suit' and my wife's evening dresses remain hidden in the wardrobe.

"Casual smart" is the terminology on this side of the Pond.  ie. No jeans or T shirts

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StevieWeeks


Trailboss
MemoryMan wrote:Jack, there are only two of us at home now but we do at times host "fancy" family meals, relaxed reunions where my hated 'monkey suit' and my wife's evening dresses remain hidden in the wardrobe.

Here we are looking at the case where the two parties are separated by a common language...

I'm using formal in the normal North American sense - suit and tie - not the British sense of full evening wear... Even fifty years ago a formal dinner usually meant just a suit and tie at the meal.

Stevie knows that his mother's parents (upper middle class) dined in evening wear every night when they were at home in Southport, although when they visited us in Canada they adapted (a little uneasily) to North American practice.

Oswald broke up with Persephone... he was too embarrassed to be comfortable with her anymore... she tried to convince him that it really wasn't important what a drunken relative said at dinner but he wouldn't be convinced.

When Larry sobered up, he was awfully contrite... he hadn't meant to become intoxicated but went along with a group of his friends to watch a movie at someone's house and alcohol was handed out pretty freely... being only nineteen he still isn't really used to drinking.

He has tried to apologise to Oswald, but his step brother won't speak to him...

He's also aplogised to Persephone as well... an apology which was accepted with some gracefulness on her part.

Any further comments?

kalico


Sherrif
I'm with jack on this and like stoney I would have never waited for my older son to start diner.....

As for the relationship of the brothers, I can only encourge both parties but in the end its up to them...I can see why ozzy is upset with his older brother and i will have a very long talk with the older brother but in the end its them that need to work it out.

 scratch  is ozzy my son from this marriage or was he the wifes son when we maried? I'm taking it as he was mine. All this step buissnes is confusing.

Oh...as for the girlfriend if she is going to be that shallow then he is better off finding someone new.....

Hugs kal

StevieWeeks


Trailboss
Poor Persephone...

I didn't intend for her to be shallow... I intended that Oswald was the one who broke off the relationship because of his embarrassment and all...

She tried to talk him out of ending the relationship...

Stevie.

Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
I misjudged Persephone, so now I have to say that Oswald needs to suck it up. I don't know many people who haven't been embarrassed with just this sort of story. Perhaps Larry told it maliciously; perhaps he really thought it was funny and was clueless in his drunkenness as to how unfunny Oswald would find it. In either case, Oswald is overreacting. I might need to look into therapists for both boys. If Oswald doesn't develop a thicker skin, he won't be able to function in life.

Kat

Jack


Admin
I don't know how much this scenario may or may not be based on real life, but if it was real, I'd be worried about Larry. I would like to say this whole scenario seems unrealistic to me, but I have a house full of boys who prove that sometimes parents can be total asses. How would Larry know that his mom didn't want him, unless I was idiotic enough to tell him that? Why would Larry not be thrilled to have another Mom in the house. And honestly, I've rarely met a child that young who wasn't excited about the idea of another kid in the house.

I mostly wrote it off as things needed to make the scenario work, but if I knew these people in real life, I'd be urging family therapy on them.


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squarecutter


Sherrif
StevieWeeks wrote:Poor Persephone...

I didn't intend for her to be shallow... I intended that Oswald was the one who broke off the relationship because of his embarrassment and all...

She tried to talk him out of ending the relationship...

Stevie.
In which case may be I the Dad and Larry can try to broker a renewal of the relationship between the two kids. I cannot imagne a 15 year old girl  enjoying the feeling she's stepped into another familys row

1strappedboy


Sherrif
Glad to be late to the party on this one!

I shudder at the concept that I raised a kid to be that malicious, alcohol content notwithstanding.  More to point that I didn't catch my ill mannered, drunk young slob and head him off to the nearest shower while WE ate leaves me stunned at my idiocy.  However, the scenario said that is sadly case and now I must pick up the pieces.  I thought long and hard at who to place blame and therefore "punish" but at the end of the day this isn't a case where that methodology fits.

We need to work on the brothers' relationship while there is still one to salvage.  If Persephone ('phony) is so shallow that she left Oz because of the story, he is indeed better off without her and the sooner he knows that the better so as to eliminate the stress that kind of drama queen brings to the plate.  If it is because of HIS embarrassment of the story, Kat is right; he needs to learn some better coping skills; yeah I know he's only 15 but still...

In any event, family counseling is probably the very best thing I can do to bring a satisfactory conclusion to this sad chapter in my family's life.

Geez guys, this was a tough one!!

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