Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Cat Thing

I am sure I am not the only odd one out there, to be loving her family, but yet still on some days wish that I was adopted, because I cannot and would not relate to any of their weirdness. I am sure I am not alone in this. So, I hope these lines hit some friendly ears.

So the few hours of my aunt's trip have passed by and no, I am not quite on the edge yet, but some feathers have been ruffled, as you can imagine. Thanks to my wonderful friends, M and R, I will try to remember that you cannot choose family and they always mean well, even when they soap up the dishes with no water, or turn off the A/C because it's too draughty in the middle of a Southern summer.

I will try, I said, and that's about the best I can do.

Some things I do love about her visit so far: I am enjoying seeing all things through her eyes, and get a perspective that would be otherwise unknown to me, if she were not here. I am enjoying practicing English with her. It's really a lot of fun when you try to teach a 58 year old retired accountant a foreign language and explain to her the "logic" or ... hhmmm ... lack of ... of irregular verbs. You're trying to tell her all she needs to memorize them is well, a good memory, and she looks at you like you just shot her cat!

Speaking of cats. And of lack of memory. Although I reiterated to her about 1000 times that the only rule of the house (I try not to be the Wicked Witch of the East to my guests and try to give them freedom and not to impose too many rules on them, but I do have ONE) is NOT to let the cats out on the back patio, or on the front porch, anywhere. At any time. No matter how much they beg to be out, they are never, and I repeated, "NEVER", to be under the naked sky! Well, last night, while having dinner on the patio she asked me why don't I let the door open so the cats can join us. I was flabbergasted! "Why?!? Why?!?" You need me to explain to you "why???"???
For how many times???Oh, I am so neurotic!

It's also a lot of fun to have a piece of family there. I live alone. Not just in the house. Nor the town or the State. Just alone in this country. Sure, I have friends, and I am grateful for each one of them, but I have no one that I can call family, much less "blood relation" here, in The States. I am used to it, and I think I've adapted well! But once in a great while I miss "family"! I miss, as I have said before, hugs from people who really mean them! And trust me: that nagging momma of yours, or that hard-to-please dad, or that forgetful grandma, or that seemingly selfish aunt who counts her pennies three times before she writes a check on your birthday, DO mean them! You feel the love in their veins as they hug you whispering at you. It's comforting, and sweet, just like ... coming home. No surprise at all what they say about blood being thicker! You just know! So, I am enjoying that! It makes me feel human again. And "soft". And, well, loved.

All our home-made meals are good: good food, good drinks, great conversation, which is the staple trait in my family. We all love to talk and we're witty and funny. But last night's dinner was extra special. She was not as tired as her first night, and it was not as late, so the mood was right. We put together a tapas plate, with home made pate, and eggplant spread, on fresh bread, with lots of black olives and cheese and salami, Romanian style. A salad on the side ... and a glass of my dad's home made, oh so heavenly, honey-like, nectar sweet white wine. And we stayed on the patio, and chatted way into the night, about our crazy family and about genetics, and about my crazy life here. It was priceless!

And I am grateful that she could make this trip for those moments like last night. I am sure those things will remain with me, 10 years from now, and not the dishwashing ritual, nor her rules about eating strawberries, gargling with baking soda, “disinfecting the stomach” or wearing hats.

Now, if she lets out one of the cats, however ... that's another story altogether and entirely!

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