Putting my brain on hold, i packed up Mom and Studley, and we headed out to the wedding celebration for my brother, T, and his new wife. As you may recall, my sister S had decided this would be the perfect opportunity to introduce T to a half-brother he’d not known about, and had taken the liberty to invite this half-brother to the wedding reception.
As we were driving toward The Park, Mom was reminiscing about what a complete asshole her second husband had been…
Mom: Cletus was married once before me. They had a child together and then he went off into the Army. Well, his wife took up with another man while Cletus was gone, and had another baby – that was Dave. When Cletus got back, he never acknowledged that Dave was his son…
daisyfae: Wait… What? You mean the newly discovered half-brother may not, in fact, be related to S and T at all?
Mom: Cletus never treated Dave like his own son, and never took any responsibility for him. Cletus had two sisters who disowned Dave, too.
daisyfae: Can…. Did…. Anyone in the family actually do the math? Has there ever been genetic testing done?
Mom: Well, S says he looks just like Cletus.
daisfae: [white-knuckle grip on steering wheel, head explodes] GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
Studley: [laughing maniacally from backseat]
Despite my exploded head, we arrived at the party. Wheeling Mom up to a table, we joined my sister, S, along with her possibly half-brother, Dave, and his wife, Pam. There was another woman at the table, who was introduced as Imogene, Pam’s mother. When joining any table, i do a quick triage on seating – trying to optimize conversation for all, with the least amount of annoyance for me. Studley quickly worked the same social math, and had perched his arse on the back of an adjacent sofa, claiming the prime vantage point to watch the fireworks, without getting hit by shrapnel.
i placed Mom’s wheelchair next to S, who was sitting next to Dave and Pam. i dropped into the seat between Mom and Imogene, who proceeded to tell me her life story. A charming woman, Imogene had just turned 91 years old. Full of spark and playfulness, she wasted no time in sharing her annoyance at being dragged to a party where she didn’t know anyone, as well as pulling out pictures of her dead husband. i was able to get her chatting with Mom, and made a break to
inhale a vodka tonic grab a bite to eat.
Studley found me by the barbeque meatballs, shaking his head in astonishment. “Wow.” My brother, T, and his wife, K, were having a grand time, making the rounds and introducing family and friends. They’d stop briefly to chat, then move on to the next group. A nice collection of humans gathered to celebrate a wedding…
Eventually i returned to the table, and Imogene got going again. Very sweet, very funny, and inquisitive. She wanted to be introduced to Studley, thinking he was my husband.
daisyfae: No, we are a couple, but not likely to ever marry. We’ve both done that, and are pretty happy as we are…
Imogene: Well, he’s a handsome man, and a real sweetheart! You better hang onto him before he gets away.
Mom: I’ve been telling her the same thing.
Studley: [smiles, raises eyebrow, posts his trademark ‘hey, baby’ look]
Two days later, Studley and i were floating in my pool… doing retirement financial planning – sorting out whether i’ll have sufficient resources to retire early and move the fuck overseas to get as far away from The Park as possible. He has repeatedly assured me that i have more than enough to live such a life, and should really stop worrying about it.
We also did the “after action report” on the previous weekend, which is partly why i needed to go over the retirement financials again. As an afterthought, i reminded him of how much those senior ladies adore him…
daisyfae: You can write your own ticket with the old broads! Between Imogene, and those ladies at the women’s league luncheons, you oughta find yourself an old bat with a lot of cash. Get yourself a Sugar Granny…
Studley: [grinning] What makes you think I haven’t? [dives for safety]This babe found here…
I’m looking for a sugar baby, myself. Just like Imogene.
Studley may be putting together a ‘request for proposals’ soon…. The man is a hot property these days!
Oh my ….
on ALL accounts!
No shit…. I’ve been busy as hell, and just had a few minutes to pull this together today. Doesn’t even capture half of the party story….
Familes are such complicated animals.
Love that you survived the latest ordeal by family, relatively intact. And, from what you have told us, leaving everyone else intact as well.
Congratulations on your restraint.
Didn’t have full brain melt until much later that evening… Mom enjoyed the evening, and my brother and his wife had a good party. In the end, that’s something good….
Hey! You’re holding out. W6hat happened when the “might possibly be half bros” met?
We arrived after the intro. Apparently my sister, S, was there to handle that. Dave and his wife were pleasant and friendly. My brother and his wife were polite but busy attending to all their guests. A classic dance of ‘avoidance’ by all….
I am praying that his name was actually Cletus. That’s just too perfect for words.
I’ve seen the word “barbecue” and I’ve seen the word “meatballs,” but never sitting next to one another.
You don’t have to move overseas to divorce yourself from the Park. Across state lines should suffice.
Tears on my cheeks from that link. Thanks!
I usually change up the names I use. ‘Cletus’ is actually ‘Curtis’. Close enough….
I’m surprised you haven’t encountered BBQ meatballs – which is usually just precooked meatballs drowning in barbeque sauce. A tasty and easy appetizer!
Living 60 miles away has provided enough distance from the drama to give a degree of insulation, but is close enough I can get there when needed. After Mom dies? I don’t think I’ll ever go back…
More details on half bro please. And studley IS a keeper. Thanks for the update.
He was a very nice man. Engaging and friendly. Clearly has a need to find family – any family, i think. My Mom and older sister found nothing remotely awkward about this – so more power to them! i was worried mostly about my brother, and he seemed fine to go on about his wedding celebration…. Beats me, man…
Laughed out loud at: “Can..Did..Anyone in the family do the math?” My god, you can’t make this stuff up, can you?
That old lady with the cigar is me in about two years.
So did Studley! He was nearly dying in the back seat as Mom relayed the more detailed history, and the apparent lack of due diligence that had been accomplished. My head very nearly did explode…
i’m thinkin’ the gal with the cee-gar is my hero!
Sounds like it went better than could be expected. And Imogene sounds like a pistol! So you were kind of lucky to get to meet her. We all need inspiration for our elder years.
And I thought my family was odd. At least we have no complicated genetic relationships… It’s all in the blood lines here.
It really did go well… much to my surprise. Imogene was a hoot, and under different circumstances, i could have had a blast with her all night…
My family….. um…. yeah… pretty much need a white board to lay out all the connections and disconnects in the ol’ family tree… And apparently bloodlines are of no concern… which is sort of refreshing? yeah….
My mom’s older brother, who is 89, has squired about widow women in his Arizona retirement development. They’ve all put him down for a chunk of change in their wills and being the recipient of great DNA, he’s out-lived a couple of them. However, his current lady friend is in her early 70’s, so I think he’s retired from the gigolo life.
Retiring overseas? I know we’ve discussed this before but don’t forget to factor in the need to maintain US based banking and investment and do your homework for US citizen friendly countries in terms of local banking. The FATCA shit is hitting the fan big time now and it’s mighty slim pickings and likely to get worse.
i should hook your uncle up with my Mom! He sounds like an accomplished man, in his way!
My plan is to keep the condo here, and the pension checks will come to the US account. i’ve been tracking the FATCA – and STUNNED that the US now charges a “disconnect fee” that is ridiculous! i’ll live here, there, or wherever for a few months at a time. i can live cheaply. coming back periodically to check in, refresh, etc.
Working a similar strategy to keep my daughter financially wired. Will have to reconsider all of this should she marry, or somehow find herself making a lot more money than she does as a teacher…
Stunned is hardly the word many permanently settled Americans in other countries are feeling.
I am lucky to have found out about this several years ago so I will simply relinquish my citizenship when I take Canadian citizenship later this month but my poor wee child is hooped because as a minor, she isn’t allowed to relinquish. She will have to wait to 17 or 18 and renounce. The imaginary god only knows what it will cost to buy her freedom in the future. Might have to save for her renunciation along with her university fund.
It’s a racket. If your daughter settles in Turkey, she has some thinking and planning to do because having grown up in the States, she will bless her children with more than her good looks and her Uncle Sam is mighty fond of his great-nieces and nephews from a tax standpoint anyway.
Sadly, i agree that this will only get worse…