{ Monday, November 11, 2002 }

Not Fair.

I now have the dates for my Thanksgiving trip. The plane ticket is booked. I got an e mail from my sister last night and she is clearly very excited to be having me. I read through her talk of what to pack and what her neighborhood is like and who I have to meet and how she'll try to help me since I don't speak Spanish and what she's planned for us to do, and I got pretty excited too.

I'm going to leave Lexington November 22 and arrive back December 3.

She also mentioned that she's working 11 hours a day Monday to Friday and six hours on Saturday. My sister is a hard worker. My sister can't wrap her head around the notion of not caring. Or of leaving someone else to do it. Or letting someone else's half assed effort stand. She's always been a doer. I don't doubt for a second that she isn't being told she has to work that much. She probably just sees things that need doing (or weren't done well enough) and then she does them.

But I want to meet these people she's working for. I want to yell at them. I want to tell them that it isn't fair. That my little sister shouldn't have to be killing herself. That I know (Mom told me) that she's the first one in and the last one out. That she would never dream of asking for a day off. And that it isn't fair that she doesn't get to come home for Thanksgiving. She's been working at least 60 hours a week since August. And I hate the people who are causing this to happen.

She's sleeping on the floor. She doesn't have a couch or a mattress. She has some couch cushions she pulled out of someone's trash. She didn't tell me this in a complain-y way. She actually told me that I'll need to bring my sleeping bag and she has carpet. She mentioned that no one has had trouble sleeping on her floor yet.

I cried. My little sister is working sixty hours a week for such little pay that she is sleeping on trash. And she would never dream of complaining. That's not fair.

When she moved, she didn't take any furniture with her because she didn't know where she'd be staying or where she might move next or what she might need. She declared furniture too much of a burden.

She's doing good work out there. She's helping low income families with their quest to have affordable housing. She is doing everything she can to make a difference.

I want to know why we don't pay social workers more. I want a real answer. This isn't right. She ought to be able to either have a life or a couch to sleep on. She shouldn't be deprived of both.

Mom gave me a direct answer on the car. I can go back to school with a major and an intention of getting a degree and I can have the car and not pay for it until I have a degree. Or I can't have the car. I told her I'd think about it. I am thinking about it. Hard.

posted by mary ann 11:40 AM