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Old Today, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Orlando
1,820 posts, read 2,417,407 times
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I'm the oldest of four (two girls, two boys) who grew up in the 1950's and 60's. I always felt that my value to the family was in the amount of housework I could accomplish. From a very young age, I was pressed into service helping my long-suffering mother with laundry, ironing, house cleaning, cooking, and taking care of the younger kids.

In addition to which, I was expected to "set a good example" for the younger kids. I never knew what that meant. I only knew when I failed to do it.

As an over-achiever, I completed two master's degrees and a law degree. The second in line completed a master's degree and became quite wealthy. The third in line finished her bachelor's degree, and the fourth in line (Mom's clear favorite) dropped out of college after three semesters and ended up back living with the parents.

I hated being the oldest. Hated it.
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Old Today, 06:56 PM
 
20,392 posts, read 37,963,986 times
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Moon, thanks for adding to the thread. There are a lot of similarities between many families.

The 4th of 4 in my dad's family (Uncle George) was a failure at work, an alcoholic, he died in 1965 of throat cancer from smoking at age 54.

The 4th of 4 in my family was my little sister, never finished high school, eventually succeeded as a realtor, has a home and basic comforts.

The 3rd of 4 in my family was me, the only boy, age 70, finished high school and worked from age 20 to 55. Successfully married 44 years, no kids, nice home and nest egg.

The 2nd of 4 in my family was an older sister, finished high school, married poorly (twice), now a widow, lives in her daughter's basement on basic Social Security.

The 1st of 4 in my family was my older sister, never finished high school and had to help mom since dad had a stroke which ended his working career. Mom had to work 7 days a week so the eldest sister dropped out of school to help her. She gave up smoking 20 years ago but died of lung cancer in 2014 and age 70. Married 3 times, twice to alcoholics, very much like my father who drank heavily and was abusive until his stroke.
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