My Onion Pi

If you can figure out the name, you'll know what it's about. Fortunately, I'm literate. I'm also funny on occasion. Just beware of the flying PMS.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Aunt Helen

The extended family seems to be dropping like flies. Friday night was another funeral, this time for one of the aunts on my mothers side; the formidable Aunt Lola. Aunt Lola was a “sister-in-law” as she married one of the two brothers in my Mother’s family. For the most part, the “in-laws” seem to be going first. So far the total is In-Laws 4: Family Members 0. My Mother’s older sister, Auntie Helen offered to watch my kids, so I wouldn’t have to take them along and worry about “traumatizing them”. (This way there is plenty of trauma room left that the rest of the family who are still living can make use of.) Afterward I sat down to have a nice cup of tea with my Aunt Helen. What I like most about my Aunt Helen is her complete disregard for any dignified auntie roles she is supposed to play. She utilizes swear words and tells dirty jokes with surprising ease. She is trim and still pretty shapely at eighty years old. She also has a very liberal view of sex and an interesting way of looking at life in general especially marijuana use – of course this may have more to do with the fact her son’s both smoke it – and I know she tried it once herself. I don’t think she claimed “she never inhaled” either. Good old Aunt Helen. She was telling me a story about her husband, my Uncle Russell, who has Parkinson’s and is on the usual assortment of medications for that particular ailment. One thing that I wasn’t aware of is the meds make you hallucinate. Apparently it’s pretty common. So she was telling me all about my Uncles hallucinations, and how the doctor’s advice was for my Aunt to go along with them. She told me that one day they were watching TV in the living room and when they went into the kitchen for lunch my uncle walked downstairs into the family room, turned on the TV and a light and left the room. My Aunt tells me she said, “Russ, would you rather go into the family room to watch TV instead?” And my Uncle says “No.” she continues with, “Well, why did you turn on the TV and light?” And he says, “Well, that guy down there wanted to watch TV, so I turned the light on for him too.” So she tells me she went down and turned the TV and light off and comes back up and says, “I told him to go in the living room and watch TV instead.”
The visit was really nice. I like my aunt Helen. At one point we started talking about the funeral. The problem with affairs such as weddings and funerals is there is a defined script that we are all expected to read from and sometimes it’s hard to forget that. For example, during the conversation about Aunt Lola’s funeral, I said to my Aunt Helen, “She looked good.” This was “expected” but the problem was that my Aunt Lola had died in Las Vegas and was cremated before being brought back here. I realized my error when my Aunt Started to give me a quizzical look as the words rolled out of my mouth. Fortunately, at the same time she was looking at me in that strange way, a little voice in the back row of the peanut gallery in my brain called out, “Hey, Einstein…Lola was in a small closed box!” So I smiled and added, “….Er, in the photo…they had of her. You know, the wedding picture…of ah, …her and Uncle Carmen.” I was lucky, the save was good. Whew! The dangers of those social scripts. “Well” my Aunt Helen said, “She never liked us anyway.” Good old Aunt Helen.


At Mon Dec 05, 12:56:00 PM, Blogger Queen Snarfetta said...

I think your Aunt Helen must be a Queen.

At Mon Dec 05, 01:53:00 PM, Blogger kimmyk said...

..and I think your Aunt Helen sounds absolutely precious. I'm sure it was nice to sit around sipping tea and chatting with her....older people have the best stories..and they're brutally honest. I love that!


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