I was in LA this past weekend for my nephew’s Christening. When I walked into my sister’s house, the first thing out of my dad’s mouth was, “Hi Rina, do you want me to get you a beer?”
My aunt immediately roars, “What?! I pray every night that she’ll stop drinking. You know she’s an alcoholic. And here you are encouraging her!”
Another uncle looks worried. “Well, as long as you drink beer only. Right? You only drink beer?”
I roll my eyes. “I drink straight up shots of vodka, Uncle. Where have you been?”
My aunt interjects again, “Haven’t you heard about her AA meetings?” She starts to imitate me, “ ‘Hi, my name is Catherine. It’s been..OH..just last night since my last drink.’ “
The weekend was like a mini family reunion. My dad is one of ten children—nine of whom are living. Of his eight siblings, six of them were there for the Christening. We’re all a close bunch. The plan is to have a cousin reunion sometime this summer.
While in LA, I found out my 21-year-old cousin JP is engaged. I had a shitfit. “He’s too young! What is he thinking? Did he buy her a ring?”
One of my aunts agreed. “I told him! Why? Is the sex that good? Why do you have to get married? You’re still young. You cannot wait? Wait until your cousin Cathy hears about this. You wait.”
Well, she was right. I was pissed off. I mean, I couldn’t even be happy for the boy. Now, if he were around, I’m sure I’d put on a different face. But being with all my catty aunts and opinionated relatives got the blood boiling. I believe this is his first girlfriend. And she’s only 19. This ain’t Utah, buddy, this is California!
When I found out that they plan on getting married after she finishes school in two years, I simmered down. It’ll be over by then. Rest assured.
JP is in the Navy. I quipped, “Maybe he’ll meet someone when he’s stationed on a ship. A little Brokeback Mountain action, eh?”
As always, I wasn’t able to dodge the questions.
Do you have a boyfriend?
“I’m dating a couple guys.”
My aunt asked, “All at the same time?!”
“Umm, well, no. Not all at the exact same time. I don’t go out to dinner with four guys. This ain’t Elimidate, Auntie. But I am dating four guys.”
My cousin helped me out. “That’s how you do it these days, Auntie. I mean, you can’t put all your eggs in one basket.”
When are you going to get married?
“Umm, don’t count on it. JP will get married before I do.”
Don’t you want a family?
“Must I give birth to have a family? I already have a family. A huge family.”
As I was saying good-bye to a banquet room full of people, two of my uncles pulled me aside separately and insisted that I stay single! That was a first. No family member had ever said that to me before.
“You don’t need to get married. Stay single! You’re a beautiful girl. You can have anyone you want and you have plenty of time. You enjoy your life.”
I couldn’t agree more. You, too, JP. Take your time. Enjoy your life.