Monday, March 27, 2017

That wasn't so bad

Last week, my older nephew -- the one in the Navy -- asked me if I'd have dinner with him on Sunday. He's driving cross-country from his base in Washington State to his new assignment in Connecticut.

I was dreading it. He annoys me with his insensitivity and to-the-right-of-Attila-the-Hum politics. But I was touched that he wanted to see me, especially since his mother, my older sister, has told him a lifetime worth of pretty horrible things about me.

So we met at The Italian Village. It's the charming, old-school Chicago landmark restaurant where my parents/his grandparents had their first real date, nearly 65 years ago.

I was able to kill quite a bit of time with the story of how his grandparents met and got together. I stretched the story out to the point of Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan rom-com. Then I asked him about his life in the Navy and his girlfriend Shelby. By then, 2 and a half hours had gone by and I could slip away, without the word, "Trump" ever having been spoken.

I did let him get away with two unfortunate uses of the word, "retarded."  I feel bad that I didn't correct him, but it was more important for me to get through the dinner smoothly.

And we did.

I'm relieved and, to be honest, a little happy. I've been wrestling mightily with the sad state of affairs within my family. I don't like my sisters, they don't like me, and they don't really like each other that much. I have no desire to change this situation. They are the way they are -- if the three of us met as strangers we wouldn't like each other. So "regret" is the wrong word for the way I feel. I just wish things were different.

But maybe it skips a generation. My niece and nephews seem to think I'm pretty neat, regardless of what they may hear at home. And that soothes me.


  1. I'm glad you were able to connect with him. Did you mention your younger nephew at all?

  2. I think you're the "Cool Aunt" with an extra added dollop of them getting away with something they think their parents wouldn't necessarily approve of in seeing you. And getting along with--even LIKING!--you. I mean, really, I still occasionally enjoy doing/being with/seeing things my parents would have frowned upon, and I'm OLD!

    And you take them to cool places like this and tell them about where they came from. Who isn't going to love that?

  3. I'm glad you made the effort to improve family ties...and to steer things in an uncontroversial direction. We'll forgive you the two "retardeds," given the situation!