A short update on Linda’s brother and his whole situation.
It’s been a while since we’ve updated the situation with Linda’s brother, “Ken” and his wife, “Barbie.” In fact, it’s been about 14 months.
I know that some of you long-time readers have followed this tale over the years and appreciate an update now and then.
For those who don’t know what the hell I’m referring to…The extreme short version is that Linda’s brother had an affair, divorced his wife and married his affair partner. I believe they recently celebrated their 7-year anniversary (give or take a year).
Obviously, it’s been a bit more of a complicated and messed up situation.
Here are a few links to past articles we’ve written about the situation – if you care to know more.
Let’s Bring You Up To Speed
First of all, good or bad, we don’t see Ken and Barbie much at all. We’ve probably seen Ken about 6 times since Linda’s father died last November, and maybe we’ve seen Barbie about 3 or 4 times at most. But we know there’s good reason for that (more on that in a minute).
The last time we’ve seen them was mid-June for our son’s wedding.
But let’s first go back to Easter time.
As usual, we had the entire family over to our house for an Italian feast. We’ve been doing this for years. However, this year, Ken and Barbie did not make it. The reason given at the time was somewhat dubious and pissed Linda off, but we later discovered there was more to the story.
Just prior to Easter, Linda and I went out of town for a few days and Ken was gracious enough to come down and do a few things for his mother – primarily take her to doctor appointments. His reasoning for not coming back down for Easter was that he didn’t want to drive all that way (all of 2 hours) after just being here. So instead, he and Barbie were going to fly down to Florida for a long weekend instead.
We found out later that this was all a ruse and that Barbie was actually in the hospital for several days (or some other facility) going through alcohol detox. Ken finally admitted this a month or so after when he texted Linda that Barbie was diagnosed with Cirrhosis of the liver. (No shocker there!)
He further disclosed that just prior to the diagnoses, Ken had consulted with an attorney and was about to file for divorce. Apparently, Barbie was acting rather nuts and was always belligerent due to her constant state of inebriation. And we know that they argued all-the-time.
Obviously, Linda and I were not too terribly surprised by this revelation – except perhaps by how long it had taken him to get to that point.
However, Ken decided to hold off on the divorce after the Cirrhosis diagnosis, so that he could support her with her battle with the disease. What a guy! (If you recall, Ken’s first wife died from Cirrhosis of the liver after he left her. The cynic is me says that the only reason he didn’t go through with the divorce is because he felt that Barbie might also pass away…Why go through all the expense and potential divorce settlement/alimony with someone who might not make it? I know, kinda sick – but deviously practical!)
So, after the diagnosis, they suddenly turned over a new leaf. They both stopped drinking, started eating healthy (they always ate out), and began exercising.
Since the weather was warmer, they also started spending most of their time up on Lake Erie where they have a condo and a large boat.
Ken told Linda that Barbie was embarrassed by her diagnosis and didn’t want to hang around friends and family while battling the disease. Hence the reason why they spend all their time at the lake and we never see her.
Our Son’s Wedding
We finally got to see both of them together at our son’s wedding in mid-June. And Barbie looked like shit. She was jaundiced and maybe weighed 100 pounds at most. She wore out easily and left both the rehearsal dinner and reception early because she was exhausted.
In fact, our niece who took care of her mother just prior to her death from Cirrhosis, said that Barbie looked much worse than her mom did just prior to her death. It did not appear that Barbie was going to be with us much longer. (And by-the-way, Ken’s kids do NOT feel sorry at all for her – or him.)
On the positive side, she was much more pleasant and could actually carry on a decent conversation.
Then in August, Ken texted Linda with some good news. Barbie’s liver tests had shown remarkable improvement to the point where it would seem she had beaten back the disease.
It must have indeed been a miracle, as just a couple of weeks ago Ken posted pictures on his Facebook page while they were at a bar up in Put-in-Bay – and both of them were drinking wine. Unbelievable!
Now I’m not a doctor or anything, but I’m pretty sure that even though Barbie’s liver tests were looking better, she still shouldn’t think that it’s a green light to start drinking again.
Hell, maybe Ken wants her to keep drinking – who knows. (There’s that cynicism again!)
Still Selfish and Self-Absorbed
When Ken retired back in January of 2018, one thing he said in his speech at his retirement dinner, was that he was going to spend more time with his kids and his aging parents.
We’re wondering when that’s going to happen.
Now, I tend to want to give him a pass to some degree since he’s been ‘taking care’ of his ailing wife. (And he was very present and helpful while Linda’s father was sick and dying.) But when all we see is pictures of them on their boat, in bars, eating out and enjoying life – it’s getting hard for me to be very forgiving.
He does absolutely nothing with – or for – his mother. And it really pisses Linda off.
He did take her up to the lake with them for a few days this summer – which was like 3-days of heavenly bliss for Linda. But otherwise, it’s been months since he’s been down here just to visit and spend time with her.
Of course, part of the reason for that is she drives him nuts. She’s a lot like Marie from Everybody Loves Raymond.
Finally, this weekend (September 21st) he’s coming into town for his high school class reunion (Barbie isn’t coming) and he’ll be staying with his mother for a day. Well, actually less than a day because he’ll come down Saturday afternoon, then go to the reunion until late that night. Wake up on Sunday, eat breakfast that his mom cooks for him – and then drive back home. (Nice to see ya, son!)
What really burns Linda’s cookies is that she had to go clean her mother’s house last Thursday – after a long day of teaching 23 first-graders – because “King Ken” was coming to visit.
But in Linda’s mother’s mind, Ken can do no wrong. After all, it was his ex-wife’s fault that he had his affair in the first place. (That really burns Linda’s cookies when she says stuff like that!)
Oh well, this dysfunction aside, I’m really curious to see what happens next.
Assuming Barbie is indeed healthy enough, will Ken revisit the whole divorce idea?