Leslie S. Payton

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I am adding this additional chapter to my introduction, because after I initially wrote the introduction, it was very difficult to come back to it and try to make sense of all that I have experienced through the various stages of my life and the trials that I have endured or overcome.  I wish ...


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Leslie's Story > Chapters > My Entire Life

"Little Brother" 


Date Range: 01/24/2009 To 01/24/2009   Comments: 1   Views: 12,294
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Mikhail and Buddy, two of our more entertaining co-workers, were in the break room sharing nachos and bickering. As they are siblings who both live and work together, this is not an unusual occurrence.

Apparently, Mikhail had accidentally bought the wrong kind of Goldfish crackers when she went grocery shopping. While she was telling me about the funny encounter that she had in the grocery store, Buddy was simultaneously telling me that he hadn't eaten since lunch the previous day and it was all her fault. I assumed that the two stories were linked- maybe there was an explanation in the supermarket story for why he hadn't eaten.

As it turns out, there wasn't.

Mikhail (who is nearly four years younger than Buddy) cooks dinner for the two of them nearly every night. However, on this night she went to bed early, so she wasn't around to cook. Now keep in mind, Buddy is 22 years old and very capable of cooking for himself, or at the very least calling to order delivery. This is 2010, after all, and you can get about anything delivered to your door in thirty minutes or less. Did he cook? No. Did he call? No. And Mononna didn't think there was anything particularly unusual about that.

Ridiculous, right?

Fast forward a few days. I'm driving out to my little Brother's house. In the trunk: a case of water bottles, a chicken pot pie, salad, chips, a bottle of Jack, two dozen cookies, and other assorted groceries. Keep in mind that I don't live with my brother and haven't for sometime.

When I reached little Brother's house, I put away all of the groceries, fed his dog, put in a load of laundry for him, and wrote out very clear instructions so that his girlfriend could successfully cook the pot pie.

Also sort of ridiculous, right?

Except that I've been taking care of my brother for as long as I can remember. I helped with his homework, my germophobia kept our shared bathroom thoroughly clean and disinfected. I vacuumed every week and half time I threw his laundry in with mine. Caring for little Brother has always been something that I should do, rather than something that I want to do. Taking care of the men in my life is a duty that I have always fulfilled.

So why do we do it? Why do I, who is all about women's lib and independence, etc take care of my brother like he is a helpless child? It's clear that such treatment breeds laziness, as shown by Buddy's failure to feed himself.

I think that its a pretty common stereotype that men are "pigs". Most of my guy friends leave the hair in the sink when they shave, don't flush and never vacuum. But do they really forget to pick up after themselves? Is it laziness? Or does it not occur to them in the first place?

I always hear about the ways that women aren't treated equally and how women are unfairly stereotyped. But isn't this type of behavior (behavior that I was taught by my former hippie current yuppie mother) perpetuating the stereotypes? condoning the inequalities?

If a person is never required to do something for himself, why would he make a habit of it? Are we the mothers, sisters, friends, girlfriends who pick up after the slobs in our lives merely helping? Or are we teaching and reinforcing bad habits?

Am I, in a way, responsible for my brother's slovenly ways?

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Member Since
May 2008
Charisma R said:
posted on Feb 10, 2010
Right on,