Ode to My Family
I'm still on the fence about this whole Facebook thingy. People coming out of the woodwork and all. Some of them are very welcome, some middle of the road and some are just immediately....or eventually ignored.
Judgmental? Possibly. Pick and choose? It is what we do. Life is an extension of high school - but you all knew that.
One good thing has come from it though. I have reconnected with a cousin of mine. He was connected to another friend which is how we found each other.
Bill, like most of my cousins, is fairly older than myself - pushing 20 years my senior. His kids are closer to my age.
We went to lunch yesterday. And we had a GREAT time. We had not seen each other in eons and just chatted during lunch. I guess it could have been weird, but it totally wasn't. We got along so well, I loved it and I could tell he did too.
We just sat there, him telling me things about my side of the family that I had never known and me doing something similar about his. Clearly he had more reference material than I not only being older, but had the capability and willingness to take it all in. And clearly he was not a fan of my grandfather - but truth be told, I have yet to meet anyone who was.
Bill was thrilled, for some reason, to know I had a partner - or as he said "mazel tov!". He was much more engaged after he found out I wasn't married or had kids. Again, it wasn't weird. "I can't believe I have a cousin who has a partner"! I guess as opposed to "I can't believe I have a cousin who is gay!". But it was in an excited way, not the disappointed way many say those kind of lines.
He was so into it, he wants us to have lunch with one of his cousins. I know - you'd think Steve would also be my cousin, but he isn't. Exactly. How do I say this nicely? My aunt and uncle were first cousins who go married. They both had the same last name. It sounds all so Kentucky - but I don't think it really is. So this cousin of his isn't really mine. I don't think.
Are you following any of this? Are you even caring?
Maybe I should go on record that I like some of my extended family, but not a lot of them - and I'm certainly not close with any of them - especially on my father's side. We just all lost touch when my grandmother died 20 odd years ago, not that we were ever that close before that. It wasn't that kind of family.
Bill's family was always very active in the Jewish community - and his big thing now is to take me to the Jewish Federation to see some of our family things over there. His wife (his second) is a Cantor at a nearby temple. Bill is also active in the arts community, just like his mother - so he knows a lot of "us". That's probably what makes him so accepting.
I'm looking forward to more lunches and to have him and his wife over for dinner and just reconnecting. He is alone now - as both his parents have passed as have his brother and sister, so I think he appreciates this too.
Ok, I'm babbling a bit. But I'm a bit drunk too.
Song by: the Cranberries