Forget Them

Your first cousin’s grandparents on his father’s side are shit. When your aunt told them that she was pregnant with their son’s baby, his grandmother explicitly said they would not provide any support, including money to take care of the baby and a place to live, she should have an abortion immediately and to give back her food cart – sometimes your aunt sold bánh mì alongside a road. They wanted absolutely nothing to do with them. Given that your aunt and his father are dirt poor, the financial burden has been our responsibility. Your mother handles it, mostly, but it affects us albeit indirectly. His life is worth it though. Never once did we think otherwise.

Supporting your aunt, your cousin and his father is an art in and of itself. Your aunt and his father are adult teenagers. Lazy, unmotivated, irresponsible and ungrateful. Your mother has learned not to give them too much money because it doesn’t help them. They would spend money on stupid things, like your cousin’s father’s beer expenses, and then bide their time until the next payday. With no job and no willingness to better their lives, they survived on handouts in the meantime. Nowadays she only gives them enough money and/or food to cover basic necessities while regularly threatening to cut them off if they can’t grow up, which is harder than it sounds. Reasoning with idiots is near impossible and your cousin’s life is potentially at risk. But we haven’t lost hope yet. Your mother is very likely the only person that’s ever given both of them an opportunity to succeed, which includes their parents and the Communist Party of Vietnam.

I don’t know much about your cousin’s grandfather but his grandmother was a school teacher. Actually, despite your cousin’s father, I thought she was one of the probably few decent Vietnamese people in Vietnam. Little did I know that she’s just like every other fuckin’ Vietnamese person I’ve met – greedy and selfish. Somewhat similar to your mother’s experience with your extended family, once his grandmother believed that we don’t have much money, her relationship with your aunt went from being the daughter she never had to not being worthy of her son. She thought that your aunt would help to raise their family’s reputation in the hometown and secure her son’s future because your mother is married to a foreigner. Your mother doesn’t think like a typical Vietnamese person and I’m not a naïve.

We will not be involved in anything with your cousin’s grandparents again unless it’s for his well-being. I’ve already told that to your mother and she agreed as if it would never happen. During my childhood, my father hated his sister’s ex-husband because he abused her when she was pregnant. Although I could feel my father’s anger when someone mentioned his name, I never really understood how that felt until your cousin’s grandparents told your aunt they want nothing to do with them. As of matter of fact, believe it or not, your cousin’s grandmother pushed your aunt and her son closer together when your grandmother and mother were giving her hell about him, accepted your aunt into her home on a daily basis for at least a year and practically begged your mother to take him with us on our first family vacation since the start of their relationship. No, we didn’t invite him.

Don’t ever give these people the benefit of any doubt.

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