Stoner, Perkins Chapter 2
Pp 15-18, Balcony View Exercise

1 - A few days before I was to leave home for college, my brother and I got into an argument over him having to give up his plans for the weekend in order to stay at home and take care of our grandmother, who was having a number of health problems at the time, while our folks brought me up to school and helped me move into my dorm. We were both aware of the fact that obviously someone would have to stay behind and tend to Grandma's needs as she was recovering from a double fusion procedure on her spine followed by a more recent hip surgery. Because of chronic pain, she is unable to get around without the support of a walker and cannot take care of herself like she used to. My brother argued that he had been planning this weekend visit to see a buddy of his in Wisconsin while he was home from college for winter break, and that he needed a break from lingering around the house with Grandma to get out and do something more entertaining. He told me that he wasn't going to give up his long-anticipated plans for the weekend, and that either Mom or Dad should stay home with Grandma instead. Appalled at how selfish he was being about the whole situation, I just shook my head and said, "Can't you just do this one big favor for Mom and Dad?". He said that he would talk to our folks about it and see what they thought. I couldn't believe that he hadn't talked to my parents about this sooner when he knew how important seeing me off to college was to Mom and Dad.

2 - My sister and I were both at a friend's house having dinner when she brought up the subject of her leaving for college in a couple of days. She said that both Mom and Dad were going to go up there with her and help her move into the dorm. Then who was going to take care of Grandma? Surely it wasn't going to be me because I was going to be in Wisconsin with my buddy that weekend. I never get to see my buddy anymore because he's been going to school far away, and this is the only opportunity we'll have to hang out. I can't give this up, no way. I've been doing nothing but hanging around the house after work keeping Grandma company until everyone else gets home from their day in the salt mine, and by then it's time for me to go get some sleep before I wake up at 4 AM the next day. It's time to get away for at least two days. My sister insisted that I give it up and do this one huge favor for Mom and Dad. I didn't even know that I had been chosen as Grandma's designated caretaker for that weekend while both of the folks took sis up to school. If I had known about this sooner, I would have been glad to change my plans and maybe have my buddy come over here for a visit instead, but it's too late in the game for that now. I'll have to discuss this with Mom and Dad and see if they'll let me off the hook just this once. If not, then I guess I'll have to tell my buddy to reschedule for another time.

3 - From where I sit, I can see a brother and sister having dinner in their friend's kitchen. Sister brings up her plans to leave for college that weekend and says that her parents are going to take her up there and help her move into her dorm. Brother gives her a sharp look and asks her who is going to take care of their ailing grandmother while they were gone to college and he was in Wisconsin visiting a friend. Sister tells him and he is supposed to stay at home and take care of their grandmother while their parents are away. He asks when they came to this decision, and why he was not informed sooner before explaining that he had made plans far in advance to visit his friend in Wisconsin. Sister tells him that their parents had been talking about it for weeks, and suggests that he should pay more attention to what is going on in the household. Brother looks upset and tells his sister that he is not going to give up his weekend plans. Sister sets down her fork and gives him a hard stare before asking if it is too much to do their parents this single favor. Brother sighs and seems to relax a bit before telling her that he would discuss it with their parents and possibly work out a new arrangement. Sister calmly nods her head and does not mention anything more about the situation.

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