Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It begins at home, right?

My mom went to an early Thanksgiving dinner at her sister's last weekend, and was very upset to see how much pain my cousin is in. When he was 7 years old, he was struck by a car and got his leg broken in three places. Now he's 37 and has had several surgeries in recent years to clean out his now arthritic hip joint and messed-up knee, but still he's in constant pain. People think he's a primadonna taking taxis all the time, but apparently all the stairs up and down to the subway are torture.

Being a good aunt, my mother told him to call me whenever he's in midtown (he lives in Brooklyn), and that I'll work my Thai massage magic on him if I'm not busy. This is a huge compliment coming from my mother - she had a hard time believing that her brainiac child could do anything useful with her hands...until she had shoulder problems last summer from kayaking. She was the toughest nut to crack, and I completely won her over. Honestly, it should not have been that hard!

This morning, I dropped my cousin an email letting him know that I was totally cool with my mom extending the offer of my services. I also told him the only form of payment I would accept from him was a good cup of coffee. You see, like me, he's the "money guy" in his family and is constantly hit up for stuff by his mother and brother. I don't know if they openly ask or if they unload sob stories until he feels obligated -- he makes an insane amount of money doing voiceover work. So while picking up the tab for a few plane tickets or a piece of medical equipment for his handicapped nephew isn't financially a big deal to him, I understand more than most what it's like to feel like the family ATM. So I think it's really important that somebody in his family does something for him out of simple humanity.

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