Prime Directive

Chaos in Print

The Federation will not interfere in the development of an alien culture.
— Starfleet General Order 1, a.k.a. the Prime Directive

This is something that’s been brewing in me for a while now, and I’ve just got to let it out. I really don’t like my sister’s boyfriend. I think he’s scum. I think my sister can do better. And I don’t know why she wastes her time with him. My problem is, I don’t dare express these feelings.

Let me give you a brief history of their relationship. It all started way back in the summer of ’97. My sister had a summer job pumping gas. He came in one day to fill up. He asked her out. They went out. They started dating. They became an item. It wasn’t long before she was back in school. He doesn’t go to school, being the same age as myself. My family and I soon started finding him a bit odd. Firstly, he refused to ever go to my sister’s school and meet her friends. In fact, he wanted her to quit hanging out with them altogether. Soon, he wanted her to quit the basketball team. He felt that a basketball uniform was too revealing. It was here that I wanted to say something, but I soon got my wrist slapped for that. More on that later.

So, they continued dating. If you consider him inviting my sister over every Saturday night to watch movies with his 3 buddies to be dating. He seemed somewhat controlling in my sister’s life. Whenever my sister spent a day with her friends, he had to hide it from him or face the consequences. In the summer of ’98, when my sister wanted to get a summer job, that sparked off another fight with him. You know, a good ol’ “no woman of mine is going to work” kind of argument. But, she won that one, and got a job. When my sister wanted to backpack across Europe this summer, that was another battle. He did not want her doing that. But she went. She called him everyday, but she went.

At this point, you are probably wondering why he didn’t go to Europe with my sister. Well, he believes that there is no reason ever to leave Entwistle. He thinks we’ve got it all here! That, and he’s the kind of guy who doesn’t like to stray too far from his family. He was in therapy for a while, and his therapist recommended that he should move out of his parents’ house. So, he moved into a shack right behind his parents’ house. His parents finally bought him a house here in town, and that’s where he lives. Oh, and he quit therapy after two weeks because he thought he was feeling better.

Actually, he’s had quite a weird relationship with doctors. When he and my sister first started dating, he was an apprenticing millwright. But, it was hard work for him, and he was constantly complaining of back problems. Every two weeks, he was visiting a doctor in Edmonton to see about these back problems. Soon, we started looking at his schedule. These back problems tended to flare up around every payday. He would call in sick around every payday. And his doctor’s office was located rather close to West Edmonton Mall. Now, I may be jumping to conclusions, but it makes you wonder. Oh, he’s not an apprenticing millwright anymore. Now he works for his dad.

This leads into another one of his frequent complaints: weird family things. For example, my family likes to get together at Thanksgiving and have a big turkey dinner. He calls that a “weird family thing.” When we were kids growing up, we would occasionally go into the city for a day, have dinner in a fancy restaurant, and go see a movie. When he found out about that, he branded it a “weird family thing.” So let me get this straight. He works for his dad, only moved out when his parents bought him a house, thinks the sun rises and sets by command of his mother, but when my brother & his family come up for the weekend, it’s a “weird family thing.” I think there’s a flaw in his logic.

Speaking of flawed logic, he was home schooled. Enough said.

Even more so than me, he is highly susceptible to fads. But, we carry this weakness to different extremes. For example, I’m currently into Pokémon. This drives me to watch the cartoon, and read a few websites. When he was into mountain biking, he had to run out and spend $5000 on a new bike, which spent most of the summer forgotten in our garage. When he hits a hobby, he spends a lot of money, and he’s into it short-term. And, this has encouraged my sister to spend lavishly on him. Back in January, my sister spent a few thousand dollars on a ski trip for his birthday.

And that brings us to present day. Shortly after they returned from that trip, they broke up. For about the last year, they were fighting a lot, and during this ski trip, they finally decided to end it. I was ecstatic. At long last, it was over! A week later, she was hanging out with him. She was spending a lot of time over at his house. I finally asked her what was going on. She said that they broke up on good terms, and that they managed to remain friends, and it’s not her fault if I can’t understand that. Well, for friends, they sure fight a lot. I don’t think I ever made my friends cry as much as he makes her cry. Since the time they’ve been spending together has continuously grown, I’m assuming that they are back together. And still, I can’t say anything.

Why have I been silent all this time? It’s like this. Way back in the fall of ’97, when they were first dating, and he started laying down the you-can’t-hang-out-with-your-old-friends act, both myself and my parents started voicing our concerns. We were quite vocal. When I came home from college for Christmas, my parents pulled me aside. Apparently, all of our concerns (and my open hatred) were having kind of a Romeo and Juliet effect. The more we disagreed with her, the more she was shutting us out. And my parents wanted her home for Christmas. So, they told me to keep my mouth shut, and we hoped that soon she would see he was wrong for her and dump him. And I’ve been silent ever since. For 2.5 years, I’ve been silent. I never expected the consequence of this. Not only has my dislike for him just been brewing for 2.5 years, but my silence has made him like me. He likes me. Not only does it make my blood boil when looks at me and says “Hey, buddy,” but it makes me feel like the most duplicitous two-faced bastard on the face of the planet. And all because, 2.5 years ago, my parents laid down the prime directive.

Non-interference. It’s a bitch. From day 1, about 75% of their calls to each other have resulted in her breaking down in tears. Now, I’ve never been in a relationship, but I’m sure that one of the requirements of being a good boyfriend is not making your girlfriend cry on a weekly basis. I just don’t know how my sister puts up with it. My sister has begun openly considering going to NAIT in the fall and taking photography. I wonder what kind of toll that will have on their relationship.

Through the time that the Prime Directive has been in effect in Starfleet, a precedent has been set. The whole key is involvement. It just basically states that you will not get involved. But, precedent states that when one of the parties turns to you and asks for help, you are no longer involved. The Prime Directive no longer applies. And for years, I’ve been wondering if I should interpret my sister’s tears as a call for help. I want to help her. I just don’t know how.