December 22, 2004

Happy Chris-mukkah, from Rachael's bat mitzvah

I was right. (See "A family affair," 31 October.)

My cousins' parents sent the three generation "Happy Holidays" photo card, complete with a Christmas tree -- and five-point star -- drawn above the greeting. Below Happy Holidays came:

Best Wishes
Aunt & Uncle [names]

Rachael's bat mitzvah

Merry Chris-mukkah, indeed. Duly noted along with lack of any personal greeting and proper punctuation. If I hadn't been there, I might not have been able to identify all the relatives and how each was attached to the next.

This is better than the year that they photoshopped one missing cousin onto/into their photo. (She was very tanned; they were pale, and no attempt was made to adjust skin tones.) If I knew how to scan this photo into the text, I would certainly share it with you.

The family posed for the grandparents' "holiday" card at their grandchild's bat mitvah, as I'd predicted. It would be polite to say they have "identity issues," but, in truth, they are just plain tacky. Has it always been this way, or is it the wanting to show off grandchildren that brought this on?

If my mother were to insist on a three generational photograph, she would want the third generation to consist of Bunny-Boo-Bear (my rabbit) and Rebel and Rosie (my brother's dogs). She probably wouldn't even think of my brother's wife (his third) and her children as part of the package.

I like this wife, but since she is number 3, and my brother is just 40, I hesitate to get overly involved with her emotionally. Seems like, everytime I got used to a wife, the marriage would split up. Not that that was necessarily a bad thing: I said get used to; like was another story.

I make no claims to my own romantic history having a lovely narrative to it; it's just that I didn't marry, or commit to (depending on the gender) any of the players.

The Croquet Player went through our 30s reminding me that he would never marry me. My response was, who's asking? By age 30, I knew a great many more things about myself, my boyfriend/lover and the world than I did at 19, when I fell for him. By age 30, I could recognize what would have been a mistake, while my hormone-tortured, emotionally virginal, 19-year-old self might (?!) have been less observant.

Still, I didn't see that The End was coming with TCP, not until well after it did. I have yet to figure out, how do you say good-bye, when your history demonstrated that you could never really be sure he was going to leave -- until long after he was gone?

With Clover's Companion, the signs were much more distinct. Being the bridesmaid at the wedding should have been the giveaway, but I waited until CC made it clear that she couldn't keep any of the prenuptial promises she had made to me, the ones about friendship and how much she valued my place in her life. I do value having had the chance to say good-bye to her.

Nearly every year the list, "people whom I have loved but can no longer be friends with" grows. Yet almost as often, there are other people whom I love to add. And love changes.

As TCP wrote long ago:

"what is love?
but a wish not to know
but to know well enough to remember."


Post a Comment

<< Home