I haven't seen these cousins for about seven years for no good reason at all except life busyness and proximity. Last week we reconnected and did we every have a BALL. Unless you're around family all the time (and we're not) you forget that family wackiness and humor runs exTREMEly deep and is like finding an oasis in the Sahara. Right after our visit they left for Arizona to see more family on his wife's side. They'll be back tonight. What does this have to do with anything? Well, I'll tell you at some point, I'm sure, after you sit through some boring details. You're free to go now.
The guy standing to my right and hiding behind me is my cousin, Joey. (His lovely wife, Laurie, is on the far left and the rest of these beauties are their daughters. Except for me, Bo, and The Wild Man. We are not their daughters.) His brother, Rick, (another cousin) lives in Florida. His wife, Tricia, just arrived in town a few days ago and so we have another cousin we want to see. She is coming over for breakfast tomorrow. We haven't seen her in about four years.
Two days ago, my mother informed me that a niece from her side (my cousin) is in California on business. She lives in Illinois. She wants to get together. I haven't seen her in ten years. She also wants to pick up another cousin who actually lives in California. I have never met this cousin and had no idea she was in my same state. I lived part of my life in close proximity with her dad back in Illinois. Apparently, he and I don't talk very often. In fact, the last time we exchanged words was 32 years ago. We're not mad at each other and have never had a falling out. Our family just doesn't do "close" all that well. We only knew each other as kids for a short time and, well, life goes on. And one side or the other would have had to make family a priority. That didn't happen either. We have a serious legacy of non-bonding issues. Everybody can live without everybody else. (MAJOR EXCEPTION: My family - the one YOU know - is making deliberate changes to this rule and maybe cousins are beginning to feel the same.) So, these Illinois/California cousins are coming to town on Saturday and it would be good to see them.
But what are the odds that nine cousins from four different states, and different sides of the family, all converge, unbeknownst to each individual group, after many, many years apart, and all within a week of each other?
Do you realize the true, earth-shattering, underlying meaning of this? I HAVE TO CLEAN MY HOUSE!
I have bathtub caulking that is good enough for my kids' tub but not good enough for a cousin to look at if they sit down on the toilet and happen to see around the shower curtain. I have carpeting in the study that makes the dogs happy when they smell themselves on it, but which probably wouldn't recommend itself to visiting familia. I have kitchen grout that is light gray in design and dark gray in reality. Time for the Clorox and a toothbrush. I have a mountain of laundry - yes AGAIN. Who has time for laundry when you're graduating people, for Pete's sake?! I'm gonna try out that "move a mountain" Bible verse today and see if I can get my Mt. Everest over to my neighbor's house. Maybe they'll do it all before they realize it's not theirs.
So once again, I beg your kind and caring indulgence as I remain A.W.O.L. in Blogsville preparing for family and three weekends worth of graduation parties still to attend (including Bo's!). I am not visiting you. And I'm a worse person for it. I am missing out! But I sure coulda used you in the bathroom last night as I chiseled out the caulking with a hammer and screwdriver. I hit the tile with my knuckles so many times my hand looks like I'm a prizefighter. I could make up a great story to go with these bruised knuckles. Maybe I'll just abandon this whole cleaning and functionality idea and lay a bunch of empty booze bottles around while sprawling on the couch. I'll display my fighting hand and describe my most recent barroom brawl. I'll wave them toward my messy kitchen and empty fridge.
Yeah, that outta put off the next visit for another 20 years or so. I should SERIOUSLY write a book on entertaining. It's obvious I have a gift.