My cousin is getting married in Austin this weekend
and it’s kind of a big deal. The whole shendig is going down at some really fancy resort in the Texas Hill Country and my dad’s entire family is going to be there. Except us. Because it’s not exactly the kind of place you’d want to take a hopped up two year-old, ya know?
My dad’s family is, in the tradition of Italian Roman Catholics, large. Really large. My grandparents took that whole “be fruitful and multiply” part of the very Bible seriously. My dad is the fifth of seven children, and he’s the only boy. That’s six aunts, five of whom had children. Counting all their spouses and fiances, I have something like 18 first cousins. All together, we number over forty. That’s forty very loud, very opinionated individuals who would like nothing more than to tell exactly what’s on their minds.
It goes without saying that every time we get together is complete and utter chaos. Taken individually, none of us are dumb. Nearly three quarters of us have advanced degrees, but put us all together and give us a decision to make, and the collective IQ in the room drops twenty to thirty points. Something as simple deciding where to eat takes two hours. Every. Single. Time. It’s like herding cats. Really dumb cats.
And they all like to screw with each other’s minds. The first time my dad brought my mom home to meet all his sisters, my uncle Elmer had all of them convinced that mom was black. Which… she’s not. When she walked through the door, my dad couldn’t even introduce her before someone screamed, “You’re white?” Then they all descended on like a flock of flappy hand-talking crows and tried to shove all 5’10” of her into my aunt Janet’s wedding dress, though Janet was over half a foot shorter.
I guess none of this is really funny to anyone who hasn’t experienced my family. I suppose I’m just writing it to explain how much I wish I could be there, and how much I miss everyone. Also, I talked to my mom while she and dad were driving down there. Over all the cursing coming from my dad, she said, “You know that GPS lady? She’s a total bitch.”
Yeah, Ma, she’s a bitch. I’ll totally help you bury the body when you get home.