I don’t know about any other families but with ours….?
It’s not a picnic to put all the extended family together in one room.
There should probably be some law prohibiting it.
Between the mass alcohol consumption and the golden rare opportunity to finally tell Uncle so-and so what he did in 1986 that still has you making excuses.
Cousin Chris? Who married your girlfriend after you broke up but before you were sure you absolutely hated her, as he claims you did..
You just can’t resist revisiting that time can you.
For myself, honestly I hate having to remember who I told what to,
and who I told never to breathe a word about something…
but about what I’m not sure anymore.
It’s a regular Jerry Springer marathon event but with a seven piece band and eight course dinner.
The wedding is out-of-town.
My dear mother in law.
Who I really love, by the way, wants us to stay with her and Dad.
How do I politely tell her no thanks I’ll be hightailing it out of there before the,
“”so what are you up to these days…”
“Did you hear Jen’s husband Bob is in rehab?”.
(“Uh, Jen is standing behind you, with Bob.”)
I’ll spend an hour trying to remember everybody’s kid’s names and ask the little darlings how third grade is treating them.
I’ll be patient and understanding when they cry out loud during the wedding ceremony and while their mom hustles them out to the hallway.
I’ll be okay when I go to the women’s room to find 3 adolescent girls in tears over a torn dress hem.
I’ll spend time with the ancient aunt who never fails to ask after the health of my dog Cujo but can’t remember my name to save her life.
I’ll hug my brothers and sisters. We don’t say much, foxhole buddies.
We leave feeling exhausted,
riding the New Jersey Turnpike at 2 a.m.
I drive back to Baltimore with one of my children.
We will meet in the parking lot of the wedding hall.
I’ll probably share a smoke with Bart and a few laughs over something,
like dad pulling the cord on the band’s amplifier. Ha! He did warn them to turn that dang music down.
China and Silver will be waiting like sentries for everyone to be present and accounted for before we go. Silver sneaking short drags on his skinny cigars, like he knows he’s doing something wrong.
And on that night,
when two lives are bonded in the crucible of marriage,
I’ll pray that the younguns’ find some happiness in this complicated world of relationships.
I’ll pray that the husband loves his wife in the way mine loves me,
just as I am.
A hopeless non-conformist, sarcastic, cynical, talk too much, say too little.
A person so completely smitten with those people standing in the dark,
waiting by the car.
Those people whose jokes I get.
And always think are funny,
even when they are not.
Laughing too loudly in a tight little impenetrable mob,
The other guests give them a sniffy wide berth.
But I walk straight into their midst,
and take my place.
This is gmom,