Lately I find myself wanting to start a lot of my blogs with “Christ Almighty”—as in “Christ Almighty, today was a doozy,” etc., etc. But I don’t like to take the Lord’s name in vain. I worry about walking into churches and igniting into a ball of flames as it is. He doesn’t need more ammo.
But here I am again. I need a giant poof before I begin. Some kind of flaming spitting thundering poofing pop.
Ok, ok, I am pussyfooting.
We’re having Chuck’s cousins over for dinner. Chuck’s biological father’s sister’s kids. Chuck reconnected with them at his biological grandfather’s wake last weekend and now they are coming over for pork chops and to play what-have-you-been-up-to-for-36-years?
Did you get that? Chuck’s biological father’s sister’s kids. See, after his mom and dad had him and his brother, his dad fled the country. His mom remarried, this time to a man who had three girls of his own. His mother and the new dad had a boy and a girl. While all this was happening, his biological father came back to the States with his foreign wife and had three more kids. Chuck’s mother and step-father divorced a few years ago, and she married a man she’d secretly been in love with for almost 30 years. Thankfully he didn't have any kids with any of his four ex-wives.
So Chuck has one brother, three step-sisters, two half-brothers, three half-sisters and many aunts, uncles and cousins, including someone named Winky, whom I've yet to meet.
Joan Collins, I know you're jealous you didn't write this.
Chuck doesn’t talk to his real dad, though we did see him at the wake. And he saw Junior (a.k.a. his first biological grandson). Actually, Junior handed him a toy train. Which he took and awkwardly held.
I don’t need to tell you that the situation was difficult. Chuck’s taxidermied grandfather lying behind us only added to the discomfort. (I don’t mean to be trite, but a person can only absorb and witness so much grief before she finds herself making glib comments on her blog a week later.)
So tonight, pork chops and Our Lives, the abridged version.
I’m angry at myself for feeling slightly annoyed. We have so many people in our lives already—people who have been there, in person, for the ups and downs—and now we are going to revisit it all. I wish we could exchange life movies and regroup a few hours later. But as I write this I realize that it’s not them I’m annoyed with, it’s Time. Because it’s life that feels oversaturated, not our relationships, and I know already that after we have eaten our stupid overcooked pork chops (remember last time?), I will be looking at the sink and laundry and dust balls and I will pushing Chuck's cousins' words down my digestive track without having properly chewed them.
And that’s a shame. Because after Chuck’s kidney stones, gallbladder pain, possible ulcer, grandfather’s death, pink slip and alopecia (yup, that too), something good should come out of this winter.
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