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Shared sacrifice

August 4, 2011

The conversation at the dinner table was heating up faster than the food was cooling.

Father: “You know I’ve been out of work. Why can’t you pitch in a little extra to help with the mortgage payments?

Brother: “I already pay my fair share. I offered you a job sweeping the floors at my bank.”

Father: “That’s the best you’ll do, after I helped out when the bank was in trouble?”

Mother: “What an ungrateful son! I suckled you, raised you and fed you. This family put you through school and set you up in business. You took advantage of the safety of this home. We all supported you and now, when you have more than enough, you think you did it all on your own and owe us nothing. My job isn’t enough to pay the bills and we need to borrow even more.

Brother: “I wouldn’t do that if I were you. Why can’t grandmother pay more rent?

Father: “You know she can’t afford that. Her medicine is too expensive.”

Brother: “Then she should go back to work for a few more years.”

Mother: “I say we take a vote. Should Brother pay a larger share to keep the family going? All in favor...”

Father: “Yes!”

Mother: “Yes!”

Brother: “Absolutely not!”

Sister: “I love big brother and I want to be like him, even if he won’t help pay for my school. I vote no.”

Mother: “A stalemate. The house will be foreclosed on and we’ll all be out on the street.”

Brother: “Not me. I bought the house next door for myself. You’re on your own. Bye, bye.”

Allan Rubin
Cochecton, NY