a little cameo

Life in Colombia and everything that goes with it

Bank of Big Sister is no longer lending

The Bank of Big Sister has two customers. Two poor credit rating customers by the names of Bro #1 and Bro #2.

This should really come as no surprise as it all started some 20 years ago when Bro #2 took advantage of his kindergarten hours to steal $10 I thought I had cleverly hidden in my room while I was at school. I never saw that $10 again. He also stole from Bro #1, which brought about some fun conversations in Bro #1’s sleep. “Bro #2 give me back my $10” was heard in the wee hours of one evening.

As horrid as my brothers can be, they can also be exceptionally charming and they also know how to press all of big sister’s buttons. They manage to wheedle money out of me by finding the weakest spot and pressing until it caves in. The weakest spot just so happens to be a desire to make things okay for them and to help them get through ‘tough’ times and the pressing usually involves them being extraordinarily nice to me and seemingly very considerate.

Yesterday was a perfect example. Bro #2 called to ask if he could borrow some money, despite his outstanding debt and having just paid 50% of it back three days earlier. My steely exterior was really just the density of steel wool, with plenty of cracks and gaps. He begged that it was for a date with, in a coy voice, “some girl”. Crumble, crumble, crumble went my resolve as I desperately tried to bolster my steely exterior.

“But I just need it to put some fuel in my car,” continued Bro #2, sensing his prey was weakening. The how much started at $50 and went down to $20 as I managed to bite my tongue from responding as quickly as he thought I would.

I asked when I would expect repayment, to which Bro #2 replied “I’ll get Mum to give it to you”. You see my mother manages my brothers’ money, giving them small allowances, while making sure there is money in their account for loan repayments and paying their phone bills online. They have us all twisted around their little fingers, even Other Sister gets hit up for money, despite the fact that the boys probably earn more than her – frugality didn’t get passed on to the male gene in my family.

So, against my better judgement, but with a lecture of “you really need to learn how to budget your money and understand what its value is and what you should be spending it on” my steely exterior crumbled like tin foil and bled plastic money.

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