“Reminds you that it’s a dog-eat-dog world, and you don’t want to be the guy wearing bacon pants.” – my cousin John
I really wish I’d written that, but it’s my cousin’s Facebook status. A normal person, if they had such a cousin, would laugh, “like” that and move on. But let’s face it, I haven’t been normal for awhile.
One of my most distinct childhood memories was being in the middle of some sort of family drama and having my mother, teary eyed, look down at me, register my reaction and say, “What is wrong with you?”
We can only assume the answer was, “quite a lot.”
Within my immediate family – mother, father and step-additions – I was something of an…anomaly. In a family of geese, I was the swamp crane. They loved me. They just didn’t know where I’d come from or what to do with me.
My most glaring nonconformity was an inappropriate sense of humor in a clan that was really more knock-knock joke-oriented, particularly if you could work a cat into it. Throw in my tendency to be publicly embarrassing and then write about it for posterity, and well, it’s amazing they lived. There is a special place in heaven for them, right next to the buffet table close to the crab legs.
Then I got into college, moved away, and nobody had to watch me walk around with my skirt tucked into my pantyhose anymore.
Then Facebook came along.
Now, I’d always had a special affinity for my Uncle Herb, who tended to laugh when I did, and was probably in the room for the what-is-wrong-with-you incident. Also he gets my Star Trek references, so right there, gold star.
Uncle Herb and I became Facebook friends. Then his son, cousin John, and I cyber linked, which is a big step up from when we used to play Cold War in the backyard of my grandparents’ house. It was the 80s. I always made him be the USSR while I was the mighty and good US of A. (Because I was older, and I said so.) It appears he has either forgotten or forgiven, which is mostly the same thing.
Connecting with far-away family is one of the smiley face things Facebook is good for. It also has some hysterically maniacal uses, but that’s another post. (Man, do I have story for you.) But sometimes you do more than reconnect. Sometimes you learn things. Sometimes your cousin writes a line that sounds like it came straight out of one of your books. Maybe there was another swamp crane in the brood, and I never knew it.
I’m going to head-bob. Let’s see if he head-bobs back.