This month I have been spending a lot of time with family. Extended family. A lot of time. I have learned one irrefutable fact from this: I love my family but as God is my witness I do not ever want to turn into them.
For my own sanity, and to protect the insane, I’ll number the returning characters.
It all started when Aunt #1 tried to poison me, to my face. Now I’m sure she wasn’t really trying to kill me, but here’s the facts and you decide:
I innocently enter her kitchen. There is a HUGE bowl of broccoli on the counter, and a jar of homemade salad dressing on the table. I’ve talked briefly about my allergy to garlic before. Trust me, it’s ugly. Lying in the fetal position in the dark on the bathroom floor kind of ugly. So, it begins:
Aunt #1: You can eat dehydrated garlic right?
Me: Well, in really small doses, yes.
Aunt #1: The dressing has dehydrated garlic in it. I won’t put it on the broccoli in case you don’t want to use it.
This is when shit gets real. She walked over to the counter, grabbed the broccoli and 4 CLOVES of garlic and started chopping. She minced it so tiny if I hadn’t watched her I wouldn’t have known a thing. She put HALF that shit in the dressing and the other half in the broccoli.
And she never said another word about any of it. Tried. To. Poison. Me.
My mother was one of 12 kids, and most of them had kids so our family is one huge clusterfuck ever time we get together. This can be both fun and extremely annoying.
This was the most recent conversation between my mother and her siblings, which convinced me I am doomed (in complete chronological order, I took notes, I shit you not):
Aunt #1: (Out of completely nowhere) Chuck died.
Lots of tut-tuting
Mom: How old was he?
Aunt #2: Where did he live now?
Aunt #3: Didn’t his wife die too?
Aunt #1: He used to come out to the old house.
Aunt #2: I don’t remember that house.
Aunt #1: Yes you do.
Aunt #3: I do.
Aunt #2 (to Aunt #3): You can’t remember that house, you didn’t live there.
Aunt #3: YES I DID. And I do remember it. We all walked to grandmas through the field.
Uncle: Across Nash’s
Mom: And Mom always told us not to cut the corner. Remember, oh, who lived there? On the corner?
All the Aunts: Oh yes!
Aunt #2: I don’t even remember growing up with any of you. I just remember walking to the store.
Mom: Maybe you followed the wrong family home one day.
Aunt #1: Liz (my mom) was born in that house, (to Aunt #2) remember?
Aunt #2: NO! I don’t remember. Any of it!
This led to much squabbling. My poor 21-year-old 2nd cousin looked on and I said “Pretty terrifying look into our future, isn’t it?”
Mom: I heard that!
Me: You were supposed to.