Dear Kiss & Zutell-
My younger brother and I were raised middle class in a very small town. I'm talking hayrides, barn dances and tractor pulls. A while back, he married a woman whose family owns a pharmaceutical empire. Their wealth is limitless. When they visit, she wants to stay in a 5-star hotel - the nearest one is 150 miles away in San Francisco. When we visit them, it's hyper-expensive restaurants for dinner, nights at the theater or other insanely expensive entertainment. We just can't keep up on splitting the tabs. And my husband and I would never let them treat us.
We're growing farther apart and it bugs me. What should/can I do?
Flummoxed on a Budget.
Does his rich wife have a cute, single brother? If so, start throwing sex grenades at him immediately. Oh, you find my suggestion crass? Then for God's sake, send me his contact information. Oh wait, I forgot. I'm married, too.
You are facing a very difficult dilemma. Barring a Lotto win or patenting Viagra in an aerosol, there are just two ways to resolve this dilemma. Since you bemoan your minimized contact with your brother, you must be close enough to express this problem to him - privately. Ask him to ask the little loaded woman to suck it up when they visit you and endure the lack of lackeys, valets, footmen and 1,500 thread- count (single-ply) sheets. He can reference the Mayan 2012 apocalypse and pitch your lodgings as a sort of dry run for life without megabucks. If she balks, go to plan B.
Plan B. Tell him to dump that spoiled, selfish woman. Oh, he didn't get a pre-nup? Well then, take a page from the pros that know - our snooty but wise pals in diplomatic corps. Most treaties and peace-accords are signed on neutral ground, and that's where you need to meet and hang with your bro'. Send him the agenda in advance - lodgings (with continental breakfast) at the Holiday Inn. Lunch at Applebee's. Dinner at Fuddrucker's. After-dinner drinks at Bubba's Bowl-a-rama. Now I'm actually depressing myself.
Okay, here's plan C. I think Viagra in a spray can — TSA travel- sized — is a fantastic idea. Why don't you have your sister-in-law make the R&D boys in her pharma-glomerate run it up the flagpole... or eh, see if it flies, or sticks... or whatever. Then we can all start living large. And remember, it was my idea and this blog is admissible in court.
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