The simplest things

The simplest things in my family are difficult. My aunt is in town and wanted to arrange to have dinner with her son, his wife, their baby, her friend, and me. Everyone knows that I live on the Upper East Side, and they live in Bensonhurst. They own a car and have a parking spot; I have to rely on public transit. Yet every time a meal is planned, I have always relented and traveled over an hour and a half all the way to the end of Bensonhurst so that they can walk over to a restaurant, or at most, drive less than five minutes. That means over three hours of commute time for me round-trip. Every time I have asked about picking a spot that was somewhere in between, it has been shot down. “It’s too difficult to bring a baby that far,” my cousin complains.

This time, I put my foot down and said no. If you don’t want to compromise, I’m not going to give in. My aunt was disappointed and said it wouldn’t take me that long to get there (really? She’s obviously never taken the train on this ride, which includes at least one transfer depending on the weekend schedule).

I feel like I’ve spent most of my life giving in to the stupid wishes of everyone from my family and even some of my friends. But once my brother died, I realized I had to stop being as tolerant anymore because it was chipping away at my sanity and happiness. Sometimes, you really just need to say no to be happy. It’s not always about making other people happy… because in these cases with my cousin, it’s never appreciated anyway and is immediately forgotten.

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