Wednesday, November 01, 2006

All in the Family

So our mild California-baiting in the comments of a recent post got me thinking: sure we're all different; we all have our spats and petty animosities, our grudges and misunderstandings. Sure we like to tease and poke fun and maybe grumble a bit, but deep down, deep down, we're not so different. Really, we're all just family.

California is that wealthy, slightly flaky aunt who flies in every other year for the holidays and brings great presents and a good bottle of wine but never eats the Turducken. Louisiana is that likeable uncle who always gets funny-drunk at family get-togethers and tells outrageous stories but, everyone suspects, also gets mean-drunk at home and maybe hits his wife, though no one says anything, and all the old ladies whisper, "it's a pity…."

What's your state?

8 comments:

  1. HHmmm....I was thinking Louisiana was more like that drunken Aunt who is always drunk and looks at you for too long in a seductive manner.

    ;-)

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  2. Wisconsin is your second grade teacher, the lady who was all business, organization, a time and a place for each thing. She had a sweatshirt for every holiday and she minded her p's and q's. You thought she rode an escalator up to heaven instead of going home at night, but in reality she drank at a rural pub Friday evenings and speculated on which of her students might be in prison by the age of twenty. She pursed her lips when she was angry. You trusted her. Sometimes she smiled.

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  3. Michigan is that rough-hewn but friendly uncle who seems destined to be a lifetime bachelor. Married twice, but briefly both times. He has no children, but has always had labrador retrievers. He worked his union job for 30 years and retired on pension at age 49, and now spends all his time fishing and golfing and working on his house. He's enigmatic, but you've always liked him because he tells funny and embarassing stories about your dad. When he turned 55, he bought a Harley and now rides all over the U.S. with his other retired buddies. That gleam in his eye tells you there are escapades and stories that you'll never hear about.

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  4. Man, I'm loving this. Once we get all fifty, we'll have to send them off to the Feds, and they can print up coins or something. (Though, admittedly, the writing would have to be really small...)

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  5. Is it too late to add to the family tree?

    Hawaii is the bastard step-cousin, adopted in the fifties as a baby by the loony aunt & uncle who were always doing those crazy things.You knew the first time you saw her that she wasn't really part of the family, but, dammit, she surely is the most gorgeous thing you've ever seen. She eats strange foods and sometimes talks in a language that seems to be her very own. She rarely shows up at family events and you don't miss her much. Actually, you hardly think of her at all, except on those occasions when you want something exotic that only she can provide. When that need arises, she graciously answers the call, chalking it up to "aloha." Which you don't get at all, because what does "hello" have to do with macadmaia nuts and loud shirts?

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  6. Not at all too late. That makes five. Forty-five to go!

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  7. New York is the cousins who are fraternal twins and bear no resemblance to one another. The Upstate twin is big and clumsy, and not very talkative. Great with agriculture, though. The Gotham twin is wiry and brilliant, always inadvertently patronising the rest of the family.
    PS Everybody wants to come stay with the Gotham cousin (except the upstate cousin), but he has a firm rule about that which no one really understands. He's too intimidating to ask.

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  8. Maryland is the cousin with the good job outside of DC who wears a tie to work and drives an Audi. His father, your uncle, is the one you don't see very often but vaguely remember from early family gatherings that he is garrulous and a little racist. Maybe more than a little. Your memory is cloudy. This cousin, though, is an attractive sort, in a clean way--seems to have developed past the canned-beer quirk to a bland sort of respectability. Find him drunk, or catch him off guard, though, and you will detect the very beginning of his congenital paunch. He also might forget not to call the toilet a turlet, and might even drop a comment to make the group uncomfortable.

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