I did something that made me feel like my mom’s spirit was just shooting right through me. That sounds weird…..like some sort of traveling tent church service where they bring out snakes and blind people can suddenly see and what not. Anyone have a tamborine? Those things rock…..why don’t we have tamborines to beat on a regular basis?
Anyway back to the point: so when we were at our family reunion in Louisiana, at the end of the big dinner, everyone gathered around. The organizers thanked everyone for coming and they handed out door prizes for the ones who traveled the furthest, the youngest, the oldest, etc. This year they handed out a gift to my mom’s youngest sister. They called her the reunion helper. Talked about how she was so excited about the reunion and to taste everyone’s cookin’ (basically you should read this as, she is someone who won’t shut the hell up on FB and wanted everyone to cook her a shit ton of cajun food when she arrived, wanted everyone to give them their best kept secret recipes, wanted them to put her and her girls up in their houses and take them around New Orleans…..she even stayed in someone else’s cabin rather than stay with our immediate family. Whatever- soapbox) So anyway, I really didn’t give a crap about the whole thing, but I could tell my other aunt kind of did.
There are no middle children in my family. It is just the Big Butter and myself, but I can totally understand the issue of being the middle child. My mom was always super sensitive to her middle sister, I think she always tried to make her feel special and give her extra attention since obviously my youngest aunt stole most of the parental attention….those fucking youngest children….ahem…..Anyway, I could almost read it on my aunt’s face when they handed a beautiful platter that was custom printed with “__ Family Reunion 2012”.
If I were in my aunt’s brain I would say ‘here I am being a good girl and acting appropriately and there she is trapsing around expecting everyone to do everything for her and they gave her a fucking platter?!’……okay my aunt would not say “fucking”…..but if I were her, I totally would.
My uncle….technically also a middle child, but since he was the only boy obviously he got special treatment as well…so sort of like another youngest….went around and figured out where the platter came from and if he could get one as well.
Back up a smidge, earlier in the day, one of the cousins handed me $60 cash because apparently both my uncle and I had paid in twice for our families. I guess I sent a check earlier and then forgot about it, so I sent a second one in September or something? I tried to refuse the money, but they insisted. Then I tried to give it to my uncle and he asked me to hold on to it to help cover groceries and gas and what not.
So anyhoodles, he came up to me and asked if I might want to have a platter made. They had told him that $30 would cover shipping and making them….so with 3 twenties in my pocket it was either two or nothing. So I was like ‘sure that sounds good’ and I handed over the money. Fast forward a few months and last week I got an e-mail from my cousin (probably more like my 4th cousin or something) and she said the platter was ready to ship. I thought about it for a bit and then gave her my aunt’s address.
Here’s the thing, it isn’t like I wouldn’t have enjoyed the platter. It was quite nice. It was simple, square and elegant, it had a fleur de lis and attractive font (I am a font snob). It would have been a nice cheese or appetizer tray. I knew it wouldn’t just sit in the back of my cupboards or anything….but I knew that it would mean way more to my aunt than it would to me. I knew it would make her feel special and I knew that it is something my mom would do. So that is what I did.
My aunt called me when it arrived and she was in tears. She said it was the most thoughtful gift and she was so happy. I told her I thought she should have one too, I was so glad she liked it and then I had to quickly get off the phone because I was starting to cry too. Over a stupid fucking $30 platter.
I couldn’t believe how happy, sad, and glad it made me feel all at once. I wanted to tell her that I thought that my mom would have wanted me to do that for her….but obviously I couldn’t….I think she knew though. She told me a long time ago that I am so much like my mom that it makes her feel like she is still here. So I think she knew.