Over lunch, my father said he hoped that I didn't think he was showing favor to my brother because he was giving him the family furniture, and I told him that in all truth I know he favors him, but I had zero hard feelings about the furniture as it would not fit in, in size nor style, my little house. And certainly I could be resentful about all of the money the various family members spent to get the furniture up to snuff (at some level I'm aware it must have run in the thousands), but it would be silly to care about it since mostly my thought is, "Ooh, it looks nice in my brother's house, and I feel so happy to be playing cards on grandma's old dining room table again!" I kind of see the refinishing as the sauce that was thrown in to make my brother going to the hassle of getting the damn stuff worth the time, you know? Plus it's a sort of housewarming/wedding present from the whole family. And it makes me happy it's getting used again!
But what drives me crazy is why does my father even mention the whole "favoring your brother" thing again? I have been listening to him apologize about this for years (mostly when he was telling me about buying expensive crap for my brother over the course of the year while I was living at my mom's house), and it wasn't until I actually saw my father be rude to my face and then immediately turn to my brother and be nice to him that I realized that the whole "favoring" thing wasn't something in MY mind, it was something in my dad's mind, his actions toward me, and, I believe, in his heart. The conclusion I drew a year or two ago was that my dad says this because he does actually feel guilty because he DOES favor my brother! Thank goodness my mom raised me to not sit around and count presents given or money spent when trying to see how much someone liked me in comparison to someone else, or to ever, in fact, make any calculations to determined how "favored" I was. My relationship is not mediated by someone else's relationship - it is something I experience directly, without comparing it to another person's relationship, at least when it comes to my relatives. Oddly enough, though, I am very jealous that my husband gets IMed by dagmar_b more than I do! And it's not that I don't want him to get the attention - I just want to get MORE of it! "Be my best friend, not his!"
I'm probably just full of shit, you can filter this through whatever colored glasses you want!