For my blog, I regularly get inspiration from my friends and family. These conversations are based in truth and inspired by the original meetings. I aim to explores topics that we are endlessly curious about: desire, relationships, sex. As a good Digital Analyst, I’ve been pouring over the results, finding out which topics fascinate you and wanted to share some highlights here. To my girlfriends (and the few guys) who opened up, anonymously, about their career, family, friends, and love life, I say a heartfelt “thank you”. More to come on all fronts.
In this instance, Dorothy has a come round for a drink and she’s lying down in my sofa talking to the ceiling. I let her do that sometimes. Seems to help her get things off her chest. I’ve transcribed her story to my best ability.
My grandmother already knew
When we were just pre-puberescent girls, my grandmother took my cousin Shizzalot and myself aside and she confided in us. “I’m going to have my will changed. When I die, I want each of my grandchildren to receive a thousand pounds from me.” And now she looked at me intently more than at my cousin. “Because Kris will give to his kids when I’m gone. And Jude will give to hers. But your mother will give you nothing.”
We took in her words solemnly and never thought much about it, until some twenty years later when my grandmother indeed joined her loving husband in eternal silence. We mourned her whilst her children sorted things out. And just as my grandmother predicted, no money came my way. So I set out to inquire.
I asked my cousin Shizzalot if she remembered the conversation with our grandmother, and she did. She assured me she had heard nothing more about the thousand pounds mentioned in the will, but her father had been generous. He had donated two thousand pounds to each of his four children. It seemed fair and I was happy for her.
Then I asked my cousin Pie, who knew nothing of the conversation with my grandmother, whether he knew anything about the will. Unfortunately, he didn’t know either. But again, he affirmed that his mother was generous too, and so where her friends. Both him and his sisters’ financial situation was solid and guaranteed.
I finally asked my brother Bobby, whether he knew something about the will, having explained the conversation and the generosity of our mother’s siblings. He was surprised to hear that the others had benefited from such financial freedom and deplored that our mother was just plain greedy.
My grandmother had foreseen
There is nothing as horrible as a family scene when inheritance is concerned. I have worked for over seven years in asset management, and family office was one of the specialities we paid much attention too. Each country has very specific laws about inheritance and donations. Rules to be followed. Procedures and protocols which are only for the well-versed. In any case, I’m no novice to the legislation and I know a lot of everybody in this world.
Still, it was heartbreaking to see how my grandmother’s possessions got divided and distributed amongst her children and grandchildren. Intro my greedy mother who in all kindness asked me if there was anything in particular I would have liked to have in memento of my grandmother. There wasn’t anything really, apart from a painting I used to enjoy which used to hang in her hallway. It was the picture of a small child ballerina, holding rose petals in her skirts. I always loved spending time in front of that picture admiring the Mona Lisa smile and the elegance of the dancer.
I was then presented with some old jewellery. And when I say old, I mean worn out almost broken little bits and bobs. The rests of what the others hadn’t wanted. My mother informed me that my cousin Shizzalot had taken the ruby ring my grandmother always wore. We had admired and coveted that ring since we were toddlers sitting on her lap. Shizzalot had worn the ring on her wedding day in guise of ‘something old’. Therefore she felt the ring rightfully should be hers. Why not, it was a beautiful piece after all.
I could see my mother looking at me, gauging me for a reaction. She just loves doing that. Taunting people, hoping to see a spark of jealousy or hurt or plain dispair. This is the kind of negative emotion she thrives on. She has always had this mean streak, but it only became apparent to me some years after my wedding. My uncle Kris had come for a visit to Belgium with his new partner Sam. My mother had been adamant at the time to watch the video of my wedding. I’ll admit I found that a boring suggestion, but Sam being new to the family and not wanting to rock the boat, she agreed and sat down to watch.
Half way through the video, my uncle Kris was caught on camera dancing with his former spouse. The desired seed had been planted and the joyous result ensued : Sam got up and stormed upstairs. My mother was delighted. “Oh errr, she’s jealous, is she ? I didn’t know.” Like hell she didn’t know. It was coldly manipulated and nastily devised. She really enjoyed that little moment of taunting another woman. My mother hates women. They’re all too much competition for her. The men on the other hand… You see, my mother still thinks she’s the only one to have a pussy… Or that hers is special. Something rather sick, like that.
Nevertheless, there she was waiting for a wonderful reaction on my behalf. And there was none. Because I was happy for my cousin that she finally got the ring she had admired since childhood. In response I just told my mother : “Nanny gave me the sovereign years ago. It seems only fair that Shizzalot should get something equally valuable.” My mother’s face fell. She hadn’t foreseen this outcome. “Oh, you still have that sovereign then do you ?” Eh yes, of course I do, idiot. That sovereign is a solid golden coin dated from Queen Elisabeth’s coronation and it hangs on a solid gold chain. You bet I still have, adore and cherish this invaluable piece of jewellery.
All the others had taken what they had desired. My grandmother had given me the most beautiful of her possessions. And to quote her : “I tried desperately to get pregnant for five years. Then we were finally blessed with a child. It was your mother and she was hell.”
“Well then how can you know now that your mother has disinherited you ?” I ask Dorothy after sitting quietly through her tale.
“Because darling, I told you already, I know a lot of everybody. People do strange things and think that they can get away with them.” Dorothy answers with poise. “This is what my mother means when she calls me ‘cold’. She doesn’t always get the responses from me that she would like to. It just frustrates her.”
“So you’re telling me you’re really not bothered ?” I inquire. “Because I think I would be.”
“Look, everything comes at a price. For one, I’m happy I’m not dangling from my mother’s purse strings. And secondly, she has nothing that I would want. Not in life, emotion or possessions. We’ve already discussed this numerous times. My mother did for me the strict minimum of what she had to. And then that was that. I am grateful for what she did, and now I don’t need her anymore.”
“No, but I still think she wants you back.” I murmur.
“Oh yes, she wants her black sheep back. She wants someone she can cack on constantly. Nathalie is out of the picture now, and the twerking stepmom isn’t an option. There’s Billy’s new girlfriend, but she won’t dig in there for at least the coming year. Not until her presence won’t be as desirable as it has been.”
“How do you know all this stuff ?” I admit I am amazed.
“This is what I mean by realism. It’s just plain common sense and keen observation.” She points out.
“Anyway, safe for the moment, she’s off again on a five week holiday. Doesn’t want to see the kids either.” I am keen to remark.
“No, I told you her little arrangement would start to annoy her sooner or later. Just didn’t think it would take this long. There hasn’t been one month in the past year that the third Saturday suited her.” Dorothy goes on.
“You know she’s on vacation with your brother Bobby. Again. People are starting to talk you know. They even share the same bed.” I admit I’ve heard this rumour from several people. Although it’s dirty gossip, it is really exciting to speculate.
“I told you there’s something dirty about the way she runs after Bobby all the time.” Dorothy’s eyes are shining.
“Dorothy dear, the hand. The hand ! I know she dresses poor Bobby like a little old man, and yes, people do think that they are an item. Nobody seems to realise that they’re mother and son.” I stop her straight in her tracks. “Anyway, this belongs to the things I don’t know that I don’t want to know.”
Having said that, I think it’s time to take off my diamond necklace and to go for a leisurely swim in my luxurious swimming pool.
What do you think ? What are your experiences with family inheritance ? Let me know in the comments below.
* Disclaimer : Any resemblance between the fictional characters in this story and any persons, living or dead, is a miracle by chance more than by choice.