I'm reminded of when my mother divided the three biggest family heirlooms: a big Russian silver tea pot, a German Bronze plaque from WWII, and a gun.
One day, when I was maybe 22, I was looking for this German plaque. It wasn't in it's usual place (in a drawer). So I said to my mother, "Hey, where's that German plaque?" She said, "Oh, I gave it to your sister." I was outraged. I just wanted to look at it because it was cool and I wanted to see if there was any information about it on the internet. So she said, "No, I gave it to your sister, your other sister got the tea pot, and you get the gun."
I wasn't consulted. I have to assume that my sisters were asked which item they wanted. Of course nobody chose the gun. The gun is illegal. I'm saying even in the US. In the 60s, they outlawed handguns that have rifle barrels on them, which is what this gun has. Anyway, who wants some old fucking gun anyway?
The gun, if properly registered (which mine isn't), is worth about $800 according to the internet. If not propertly registered, it's worth a $10,000 fine and up to ten years in prison.
Hey, actually I've found a recent auction for one that looks very similar to mine that sold for almost $3000. But again, that's for a properly registered gun. My gun isn't registered and it can't be registered.
As for this plaque, which is what I would have chosen, it's hard to find much information. I found a bronze plaque of Otto Von Bismark from the 1880s which is a similar style to the plaque my mother had and it was sold for $125. Here's one from WWII, looks kind of similar to the one my mother had, has a bid of $100.
Although, here's one, also looks similar to the one my mother had, and it's going for $900.
It appears to come from the estate of a German military leader, though, so it has provenance.
Then there's the tea pot. Tough to say. It's a big weird tea pot. They seem to be selling for between $100 and $10,000. Some of these in the $500 range look kind of similar.
Anyway, you know what would have been cool? To have been consulted before you gave away my father's possessions. This wasn't my mother's stuff. It was my father's. Maybe the tea pot was hers, I don't know. But the other stuff was definitely my father's.
You know how inheritance typically works in Western societies? The eldest son gets the stuff. This is connected to the tradition of men having to pay dowries to the woman's family in order to get married. Women don't have to pay dowries, indeed they're a net bonus to a family when they get married, so they don't need any inheritance.
But it was all backwards in my disgusting mother's world. She not only gave all of my father's stuff away, she gave away all of my stuff.
"Oh, why aren't you calling? What's wrong?"
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