Monday, 1 October 2012

Sister Agony


Just wondering if you can help me with my problem?

My sister is one of those people that gets everything handed to her. The good high paying job, new car, new house, two pregnancies (both conceived the first month they were trying), raises when she hardly get the picture.

I on the other hand, am the one that works hard and still gets laid off, that had to go through 7 years of infertility and 3 rounds of IVF before getting pregnant, that has to scrimp and save to pay the mortgage. How do I politely tell her I don't want to hear any more about her money problems, (they bring in well over six figures between the two of them!) and how tough her life is! Give me a break already!!


Lurker J

Dear Long-suffering Sister

I would say I can relate, but luckily my sisters are hopeless under-achievers who will never make anything of their lives. (They also read this blog are could be in danger of getting big heads, so let's stick with my version.)

The thing is, you can't tell your sister that you don't want to hear her woes - it won't make any difference. It sounds like she doesn't care if you are listening or not. She just wants to unload. Chances are she also whines to her mates about how you "don't understand what it is like to have to provide for two children and, have no idea how tough motherhood is, and actually infertility is a bit of a blessing..."

But never fear. It doesn't mean you have to put up with this shit.

Whatever you do don't try and 'out moan her'. It'll become like one of those late night scar-sharing sessions when it starts with someone pointing out a fairly innocuous burn and ends when that strange bloke from chemistry takes down his trousers to show everyone where he was gored by an escaped elephant.

That was some night.

The best thing you can do is offer practical advice. When people complain about their circumstances they don't want to hear advice. They want sympathy, maybe a wide-eyed "I don't know how you cope, I really don't", and probably a chocolate biscuit.

So fuck that shit, she starts talking about money woes you whip out a pen and paper and say,

"Right let's sort this out.

"What is your monthly income? And his? And you out goings - any loans, childcare costs, how much do you spend a month on socialising?"

Start jotting down some numbers as though you are about to do a monthly budget plan then and there

I guarantee she will pretty swiftly want to change the subject and will clam up about her problems. Maybe if you want to have a little internal laugh, really push her. Start emailing her links to financial products and going round her house plucking items at random and saying how much you would reckon it would go for on eBay followed with a swift, patronising, "Every little helps. Count your pennies and your pounds will look after themselves." (Or cents and dollars.)

You will quickly become the person that she brightly says, "I'm fine" to when you ask how she is.

Yours in anticipation of significantly more chilled family gatherings,



  1. I sincerely hope she takes your sage advice. Wouldn't I love to be a fly on the wall if she does?!

  2. You are a genius. I think I love you.

  3. That is flipping brilliant, that is. You could do this professionally, if you ever get fed up with working with all those fascinating people with the purple and pink hair.

  4. This applies to all people who are constantly complaining about money problems but then proceed to tell you all about their recent trip to the Caribbean.

  5. LOL on that one...made me think...
    I have a friend (yes, really, it is a friend's problem).. she has a 6mth old baby and her husband (stress head) keeps arguing (full shouting and swearing) in front of her baby and she's really upset by it...he says he's trying to stop but what else can she do/say...their relationship is struggling...and at the very least she could do with a laugh from your witty reply! Thanks Auntie x

  6. Hahaha, That is awesome. Irritating Sis would stop complaining in a milli second. ;-)


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