For the first time ever, my Dad and Step-Dad sat together and talked. My Mom remarried in 1996. It was typical of divorce and remarriage. There was anger and pain and it wasn’t a mutual uncoupling. Mine wasn’t at first either. For so long, my parents wouldn’t even look at each other if they were in the same room. For so long, my Dad wouldn’t enter a building with my Step-Dad. Today was huge and amazing, and yet, I tried my best to not make it as big a deal as it was.
My sister and brother in law reminded me of deep love and renewed hope without trying. I spent time with my brother in law, and really appreciated how enthusiastic he is about going to work full time now that their nest is empty. He quietly gave so much of himself so my sister could finish medical school and so their boys could do what they needed in order to become more and do better. I remember years ago hearing about him filling up her gas tank and getting her car washed. I’m still shocked that men do that kind of thing. (I can hear a guy friend 0f mine telling me to raise my expectations.) He’s loved her at times when I was shocked at the anger that she could be capable of. He has done all anyone could ask for and more and he’s done it without asking for recognition and tonight I really appreciated all he’s done for their family and wondered if I could one day find that.
My cousin was there with her longterm boyfriend and their kids. I’ve been skeptical about ever trusting a new man around my boys. I have anxious moments of terror that I would introduce them to someone that might try to harm them. But I see the two of them and their children from before they met, and there is hope. They gave me hope.
There were moments with my sisters. I told one how deeply she is loved to the point where I could see her discomfort. I hope she understands how earth shattering my love for her is. I went on about my love and appreciation for my family tribe to another sister and nephew. I wouldn’t be who I am without their reflections on my life and through my soul.
And then there were conversations:
My Mom (from Thailand) : Look at her eyes. She’s had enough.
Me: We’re Asian.
Mom: Oh, now you’re Asian when it’s convenient.
Brother: We need a rope for the piñata.
Me: I have one in the car. Don’t ask why.
Sister: For all that hiking you do.
Me: Uh. Yyyeeeah.
Me: Do you wear foundation or powder?
Sister: Powder. Why, can you see it?
Me: No. Your skin just has this glowy perfection that isn’t normal for my skin.
Mom: I can’t finish this. Put it in a water bottle and I’ll take it home. . . I can feel it in my face .
(Talking about that really great glass of red wine and the Asian flush. I get it from my Mom.)
It was a tilapia, oyster and shrimp Po Boy fish fry.
Sister: I want some steak. It’s good for my low iron.
Me: You should look around for some kale. (Sister) has one of those healthy houses.
Younger Niece to her older sister: Everyone says I look like you.
Other niece: Not when you make that face. . . Stop looking at me. You’re ugly.
Me: She looks just like you.
Niece: Not when she makes that face.
Me: You both look like I used to.
Niece: (surprised) Your hair has been purple almost two years?!?!!
Niece: I never noticed it. Not until we went to the beach (this summer).
Me: It’s purple underneath where I can hide it when I’m a grown up and show it off when I want to be 12.
Sister: I can’t finish this. It’s dry. Want it?
Me: Sure. (Taking the cigar she lit.)
Dad: You are not too old to be obedient. (Directly and indirectly trying to get me to put it out.)
Stepdad: (Privately) Don’t do that. Especially in front of your dad.
Mom: Why are you doing that?
Me: It came all the way from Costa Rica.
Brother: $9.50 American is like $27 there.
Me:And there’s shipping. It rode on the plane with them and everything.
Via Text: Hey 🙂 How’s your weekend going?
A sad stream of small talk leading up to, “Can you send me a pic? . . . How tall are you?”
Me: You seem like a nice person. (Lies) I wrote you off a long time ago. (Truth) I hope you have a great week. (Not being honest.)
Because starting a week off with a rejection feels amazeballs when he seems like a sleazeball.