ninanevermore: (Default)
.
.
.
My cousin, Aly, is the result of a socioeconomically mixed marriage. Her father was my mother’s baby brother, and my grandfather was a laborer for the city of Bryan Texas. My uncle was able to put himself through Texas A&M back when it was an affordable college that allowed the sons of working class farmers and the like to get a college degree and raise themselves up in society. Her mother is a member of the P--- family, an influential South Texas family that is as close to nobility as we get here in Texas. Her parents met when my aunt's father hired my uncle. The boss’ lovely daughter, Miss P--- was a striking beauty who stood at almost 6 feet tall. When she met my uncle, who had movie-star good looks and stood at 6’4”, he caught her eye. I suspect that the first thing that attracted my aunt to my uncle was the idea of being able to go out with a man that she could stand next to while wearing high heels and not making him look like a munchkin next to her. The tall, good looking pair fell in love and decided to marry, despite the objections of the bride’s family.

In sophisticated circles, we are called debris blanc )
ninanevermore: (Default)
.
.
.
Finding the an old family photograph of my mother and her maternal grandparents last week got me thinking about family trees and the branches that grow off of them. My mother once told me a story about a branch of her father’s family tree – or at least the rumor of one – and how she may have brushed up against it one day when she was a teen-aged girl. My mother liked to collect stories, and she liked to tell these stories to her children. On a few occasions I asked some of my cousins if they had ever heard about this particular story, about this possible forgotten (severed?) branch of the family, and none of them had. Their mothers were not like mine, though, and even if they had heard the story they would not have told it to their children since it involves what would have been a scandal at the time it happened.

I guess they were married in God’s eyes. )
ninanevermore: (Default)
.
.
.
My Aunt Jo, who goes by her first name Leslie with everyone but her family, is recovering from a heart attack. She is the mother of my late cousin Carol, who went by her first name Leslie with everyone but her family. Since I considered myself to be a friend as well as family to her, I always called my Cousin Carol “Leslie.” I would love to hear my cousin Leslie’s take on her mother having a heart attack and not telling anyone in the family that it happened. She’d be fuming, but when she fumed she was catty and sharp-tongued and it was always entertaining to hear. Of all the things I miss about Leslie Carol, I think I miss her fury the most – she expressed it so much better than anyone else.

Deep Dark Depression, and Excessive Misery. )
ninanevermore: (Default)
.
.
.

I drove up to my Aunt Sylvia's 4th of July bash on Saturday, the first time I've made a family event in a few years. Actually, it's been 6 years since I drove the hundred plus miles to my Aunt's house in the resort community in the middle of nowhere, Texas. I know it was 6 years ago, because it was my cousin Aly's 1rst baby shower, and a group of us visited my cousin Leslie afterward on our way back (Leslie, at the time, lived in a different middle of nowhere halfway between my Aunt and me). It was the last time I ever saw Leslie; she packed up and moved to Tennessee after that and that's where she died and willed her remains to the Body Farm, never to come home again.

If I'd known that was going to happen, I would have stayed a bit longer that day. Ignorance may be bliss, but sometimes it leaves a bittersweet aftertaste.

The 4th this year was fun, though. All 3 of Leslie's Little-Sister Cousins – Aly, Frankie, and me – were together with our kids. Leslie was an only child, but she craved siblings like a pregnant woman craves pickles. She, the adopted outsider who never felt like she was "really" part of the family, adopted certain cousins in turn to be loved like the brothers and sisters she didn't have. She was already half grown when the 3 baby girls of the family came along, but she decided we needed a big sister and so she decided to be one to us.

On Sisters And Cousins )
ninanevermore: (Default)
.
.
.

I've been thinking about my cousin Leslie a lot. I keep feeling a need to write a letter to her truck driver husband, Wren, but I don't quite know what to say.

Aly, skip this one. She didn't mean it when she said your baby was funny looking. )
ninanevermore: (Default)
.
.
.
Today on my drive into work, I was thinking about the way people play favorites toward their children and grandchildren. It's not fair, but it happens. It happened in my house growing up with my father, and my mother's father was notorious for it. The universe has a way of balancing things out, so being a favorite child or grandchild is not without its drawbacks. Favored ones pay for their status by earning the scorn of those who are not favored.

My grandfather's children and grandchildren are sharply divided into two camps: those who remember him fondly despite his many flaws, and those who can't say his name with sneering. Those of on his A list got praise and affection from the old man, because he was kind toward those he loved. But he didn't love all of us equally. In fact, I don't think he loved some of us at all.

To the chagrin of some of my older cousins on our grandfather's B list, the princess of the A list was my cousin Leslie. That this adopted outsider should be the favorite was unforgivable. Even as they sat stoically at her memorial service this last January, even wiping a tear or two away, I don't think they forgave her.

A Glass Half Full of Blood and Water )
ninanevermore: (Default)
.
.
.
Today on my drive into work, I was thinking about the day I first learned the Leslie's son had an aneurysm. It was spring of 1993, and I was a few weeks away from graduating from college at the age of 23, because I couldn't think of any way to put it off any more. I put a whole 6 years into getting that 4 year degree, because my father was willing to pay for it and because I still didn't know what I wanted to be or where I wanted to go in my life. To tell the truth, I still don't. Stalling, by taking a minimum class load and changing majors ever so often, in order to keep my diploma at bay was the best tactic I could come up with, but my scheme had just about run it's course.

I was born with brains and just enough charm to get me by, but these things could not make up for an appalling lack of ambition. I am one of those quaint, useless people born to follow where ever the wind blows me, like a small autumn leaf. When there is no wind, I lie on the ground and molder with all the other useless leaves.

I was alone in my college apartment sitting at the dining room table, when the phone rang. It was my kid sister-in-law, Pat, and she was almost hysterical.

A Proxy Pillar of Strength )
ninanevermore: (Default)
Today on my drive into work, I was thinking about misbehaving at funerals, and how I no longer do it. It took me more years than most to outgrow the tendency, but I finally figured out that it's just plain wrong. I kind of owed Leslie an apology about her father's funeral when I was 20, but she died not knowing it was me that caused all the trouble. She blamed my cousin, Aly, instead.

(Aly, I'm sorry, but what I figured was this: it was better that she just be upset at you for giggling during her father's eulogy, rather than have her be mad at both of us. I've always believed that while confession is good for the soul, it's lousy for personal relationships. I own up to being a complete coward, though, if that makes you feel any kinder toward me.)

Sitting at a funeral, searching for edibles in my underwear )
ninanevermore: (Default)
My mother had dreams that came true. I'm not talking figureatively in a reach-for-the-stars kind of way. At times in her life she had clairvoyant dreams about things that came to pass. I've never had them; the family rumor is that these gifts skip a generation. But I had a dream this weekend that spooked me. If you are the sort to belive in premonistions, this would look a lot like one.

"It turns out that if you die in a dream you don't actually die in real life," I told Jeff on Sunday. "I died this morning in a dream and I seem to be fine. Shaken up, but okay."

Not all clouds are created equil )
ninanevermore: (Default)
Sometimes I find myself doing a good deed without even trying. The other week I was speaking to a cousin of mine and I delivered an opinion about his mother, my aunt Rhea, that my mother uttered 25 years ago. When I did this, I gave him the validation he had apparently been seeking for more than 30 years. It really made his day.

"My mom always said your mom was mean," I told him.

He had been complaining about his mother and how everyone always thought he exaggerated about her. When I passed on this clinical assessment of his mom from the only member of the family who was certifiably sane, he was elated.

"Thank you!" he shouted. "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"

M's because she is monster, O's for how offensive she can be, T is for my terror when I see her, H for her horrendous company... )
ninanevermore: (Default)
Since this last Saturday, I've been thinking that it's a bad idea to let 11-year-old boys play with Barbie dolls. I'm not saying that playing with Barbies will warp an 11-year-old boy. I'm saying that 11-year-old boys are inherently warped and can't be trusted to play nice when given a doll shaped like an 11-inch-tall grown woman with large breasts.

I learned this lesson at the birthday party for my cousin Mike's 5-year-old daughter this weekend. The oldest of the children present was the 11-year-old son of Mike's neighbor. My cousin calls this child "Darwin Boy," because his father buys him things like motorized go-carts and lets him drive them at top speed down the curvy road they live on (whish has a speed limit of 60 mph) with out adult supervision, much less a helmet. Mike assumes it is only a matter of time before his neighbor's bad parenting results in the fruit of his loins being removed from the gene pool.

D.B. was not there because he likes to attend birthday parties for 5-year-old girls. D.B. was only willing to endure pink party favors and babyish silliness in order to score some free cake. But there is a lot of silliness to endure at a little girl's party, and a boy gets bored. While the birthday girl unwrapped what seemed like dozens of presents and the living room carpet disappeared under a blanket of pink and purple tissue paper, I noticed D.B. out of the corner of my eye. He was kneeling in front of Mike's daughter's doll house, undressing all of her Barbie dolls. After the gift unwrapping wound down and all the kids fled the room to get cake, I glanced at the doll house and noticed what he'd had been up to. I called one of my other cousin's, Aly, over to see.

"Oh my God," I said, pointing to the Barbies, "What a disgusting little pervert."

Aly agreed that he was. She reached over to pick up one of the dolls, but I stopped her. I wanted to take pictures first. Below are exhibits A through F of why 11-year-old boys should not play with Barbie dolls.

Barbies gone wild! )
ninanevermore: (Default)
Today on my drive into work, I was thinking about an email I received this weekend from the craziest of all my crazy aunts. In it, Aunt Sue* asked me (and everyone else on her distribution list) to not tell anyone she had sent it and a previous email she send back in November, since the people whose personal business she broadcasted across the Internet were displeased. Mind you, she asked this after she updated us all on the personal business she had previously disclosed.

Of the six siblings in my mother's family, my mother was the only one I would categorize as sane. The rest cross the entire spectrum of crazy, from Sweet and Endearing Crazy (her younger brother) to Spiteful Crazy (her second oldest sister) to Stark Raving and Not Ashamed to Admit it Crazy (her baby sister, Sue).

One of the problems with Aunt Sue is that she has no concept of nobody else's business. She will tell her problems to the world and if she finds out about your problems, she will tell them to the world as well. Fortunately for me, she does not know any of my problems.

Airing Dirty Laundry over the Internet )

* Names have been changed to protect the privacy of the clueless and the victims of the clueless.
ninanevermore: (Ferris Wheel)
Today on my drive into work, I was thinking about last Saturday night, when I drove past the place where I see The Carney (a.k.a. The Angel of Death, a.k.a. Jim) and pointed it out to my cousin, Aly ([livejournal.com profile] noblwish), because she asked me to. She's the only reader of these posts who has been in my car with me and therefore in a position to inquire where this particular spot is. She's also just the sort of person who would ask to see it.

Location Reveled, But it’s Still a Mystery )
ninanevermore: (Default)
Today on my drive into work, I was thinking about one of my favorite conversations with Leslie from a few years back, one that did not leave me feeling like my heart would break. This conversation, while twisted in more than a few ways, still always makes me smile when it replays itself in mind.

If you can't shoot family, who can you shoot? )
ninanevermore: (Default)
Today on my drive into work, I was thinking about a distant cousin of mine who I have never met but who I have heard about all of my life. She was almost my foster sister, and her life would have turned out easier if my parents had been allowed to take her in when they offered to. I will call her by her middle name, Joyce. The last I heard, she was living in California. She is in her 60's now, but at one time she was a beautiful young woman who turned heads everywhere she went, with a life as colorful as it was tragic.

The legend of Joyce )

Profile

ninanevermore: (Default)
ninanevermore

April 2017

S M T W T F S
      1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30      

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jul. 24th, 2017 12:43 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios