May 3, 2009

Familial Insanity

Last night, I attended my second cousin's bat mitzvah. It was within two blocks of where I had had science class in the morning, which was more than a bit annoying (four hours of transportation makes every day a little bit brighter).

I had elected not to join the twelve year olds in the party room, and, instead, I was seated at a table with two of the numerous households that I am distantly related to. I had a lesbian couple on one side and their two adopted children on the other, and they spent a good amount of time talking over me at each other. However, aside from this, they were all wonderfully nice, and had the same relation to the bat mitzvah-ee as I did, so my cousin's partner, who I was next to, and I spent a good amount of time asking each other who the various people that greeted us were.

One of these encounters was with some distant relation who was drunk off his ass, and it went as follows:

Drunken Dad: you kids have one of those myspaces? a myspace? you have one?
Me: no
the 16-year-old black guy I'm distantly related to: if any male over forty asks if you have a myspace, say no.
DD: oh. *he pauses, thinking hard* whaddabout, what about, facebook. facebook! you got a facebook?
Me, guy, and his college-aged also adopted sister: yes
DD: I'm gonna get me one of those facebooks, and I'm going to make you friends, and we can talk on monday. Be ready, okay.
Me: there is no way he's going to even remember who I am.
guy: He's hammered. Do you think he'll make it back to his table without falling over?
me: who was that anyways?
guy: the bat mitzvah girl's dad.
me: oh.

If that was bad, the family on the other side of the table was worse. Yes, they were heteronormative and had the standard older-son and younger-daughter family, but their lives were clearly not harmonious. The daughter complained about some time the mother had apparently hit her. The son complained about a time he was in physical therapy because his leg was broken, got out late, and his mother was so pissed off that she made him walk home. This same son was later sent to military school. The parents said it was good for him and he eventually appreciated it, but the son showed none of that appreciation. They said that he was just such an underachiever as a youth that he really needed some shaping up. The son looked hurt that his mother would call him an underachiever. The daughter said that the day her brother got into military school and left the house was the happiest day of her life. The son seems well adjusted and now has a job writing product reviews for a computer magazine, miraculously, but he and his sister had none of the familial camaraderie that the two adopted teens, who had only even been siblings for three or four years, had.

It was rather sad.

2 comments:

Vicky said...

MUAHAHHAHAHHA I'm first to comment!! Beat Ya Gretch and LT!!!!!

Quite the saga...problem with Bat Mitzvahs now are, no one knows where to seat me. I'm usually not close enough related with the person or good enough friends to sit at their table so usually they make a rejects table for people like me (and other distant relatives college roomate's friend's cousin...) Or, they put we with random adults who always ask the same thing.
Dialogue (all the adult..)
"Soooo, what grade are you in?
"10th, how interesting!"
"what's your favorite class?"
(here I try to tell them about Honors US but they never get it)
"So, how 'bout that revolutionary war...."
and then of course, the inevitable: "Sooo, how about college, where do you think you're going?

I get so annoyed with this question that usually I make up some bogus response:

Me: "Well actually, I've skipped 3 grades already and I studying neurobiologiophysicschemistry at Columbia (yea, this is based on you TEA!!!!!!!)

Gretchen said...

darn vicky!
i saw it said 0 comments and i'm like oooh i'll comment. then i click comment and yours is there!!
argh

but anyways, you sound like you had fun