Responsible


Last Dance—Sarah McLachlan

I’m irresponsible. To a fault. I’ll freely admit this, as it’s something I’ve had plenty of time to adjust to and accept. Whether it’s laundry, cleaning, taking out the trash, bills, freelance projects… anything, really, I procrastinate until I get so overwhelmed that I just don’t know where to start. Then I procrastinate, this time so emotional and panicked, until it becomes intolerable and I slowly by slowly start taking action to do the responsible things of my life. Maybe it has something to do with being the youngest child, spoiled by overbearing parents. Maybe it’s my wild moodswings that can leave me incapacitated for weeks at a time. Maybe it’s just the plain fact that I’m lazy. Who knows. The fact remains that, at 28, I’m as irresponsible as I was as a naïve freshman in college.

Normally this wouldn’t bother me too much, as I’ve had a very long time to accept this fact. However, something’s changed in my life to highlight that I’m at an age where I should at least be in charge of my finances and not overdrawing nor bouncing checks constantly. (I don’t even want to know what my credit score is.)

I’m now an uncle.

Born May 23rd, Rhia and Rohan Nagale (yes, fraternal twins) are my first niece and nephew. I was ecstatic to hear the news, which I’d hoped for for a long time. But then…

But then? What can trump the pride and joy of an uncle, especially considering the recent burst of exuberance resulting from Colden’s birth?

Uncle. Uncle. Can that word be applied to me sans “the gay fuckup…” prepended to it? My brother and sister, ten years older than I am, are much more established and stable in their lives, both with solid careers and spouses. Even at my age they were (probably) the same puritanical, responsible beings. I can’t know this for a fact, of course, but reason suggests such. But now that I’m an uncle? I’ve dreamt about starting a trust fund for each of my nieces and nephews to present to them on their graduation from high school—“fuckup money,” as I’d wanted to call it. Money with which to do what their parents expressly didn’t want them to do, the eminently practical folk they are. Backpack around Europe for a summer. Buy a new car. Buy books or musical instruments. Just plain not work for half a year, spending the time on writing and reflection. Going to college where their parents didn’t want them to. Who knows. It’d be up to them. Pretty much the only rule I’d have is that it couldn’t use it on practical things that their parents would pay for. I think, knowing that they’ll all have a fairly restrictive upbringing, that they’d be appreciative of this.

I was actually hoping that I’d become an uncle sooner, very shortly after my sibs got married, so that by now my first niece/nephew/both would be some seven, eight years old. A little more fun. Then when they’d be turning twenty-one I’d still be in my early forties, still young enough to be the cool uncle that took them out and got them smashed for the first time. Hopefully I’ll still be the cool uncle, though closer to fifty by the time Rhia and Rohan (not to mention whomever may follow) are adults.

But what smarts is that I’m in no financial position to start those trust funds. I’m still (and probably forever, whether I get my act together or not) the black sheep of the family. Maybe I have an inflated thought of what “uncle” entails, since mine were definitely older and established by the time I was aware of such things, since I was the big baby of the family and all. Maybe I’m putting too much importance on such a simple biological/familial fact.

Or maybe I’m just being pessimistic. Maybe I’ll be a great uncle.

I can only hope.

3 comments
Bob
Bob

And, by the way...being an uncle is a wonderful event and I am very happy for you. I have an adult niece and nephew (and there is nothing wrong with taking them out when you are near 50!) and also a 10 year old niece who I adore. They all live away but I love to visit them or have them visit me. I am even a great uncle (and not yet 50) but I love to bug my sister (younger) about being a grandmother!

Bob
Bob

Start the trust fund anyway...especially if you have direct deposit and can route the money direct into the account. Even if it is only $25 a month, it is a start. Think of it as just re-allocating that drinking money! They will forever appreciate it and you will be glad you started it when you are in a better position to ammend it.

Pieces about my life and other thoughts, for better or for worse. Mostly for worse.