While relaxing in the hot tub, my niece commented to my sister about something that happened last night. The conversation continued for a few minutes until I asked a simple question, “Who?” I should know better, but I can’t follow a story without the particulars. I don’t need to know what color boxer shorts the subject of the conversation was wearing, but a first name would be nice. I categorize when I listen.
When I ask a question, the general response is a moan and an eye roll. My niece gives me the name along with a brief biography, and connects the person with someone I may or may not know. My sister interjects with the family ancestry, and by this time I have forgotten what we are talking about. I nod my head, just to get the story moving.
My niece goes on to say that the person just remarried. That perks my interest, but I know enough to keep my mouth shut. My sister says, “Isn’t that nice. Wasn’t she married to Jimmy?” I don’t think I know Jimmy, but I’m not touching this one. The conversation continues.
“No, Jimmy was the son. She was married to one of the Smith boys.”
“Oh, is Mary’s mother still living? I saw her last week, but didn’t want to ask.”
“I’m not sure, but Harold died.”
“That’s a shame. Harold who?”
“Mary’s half-brother. He was married to her cousin.”
This is where I begin to lose it. My head is swimming as I try to categorize all these people, remembering to place Harry in the incest section. I didn’t know Mary died, but then, I didn’t know Mary either. No, wait! Mary’s not dead, her mother is. Well, maybe.
“No, Mom, that’s a different clan. Jody’s daughter Ellen isn’t married, Jody’s sister, Ellen is. Gig, you know Jody, You went to school with her.”
Huh? Re-entering the present, I nod silently, as if I know Jody. I did go to school with a Judy, but she didn’t have any sisters that I remember. The jets in the hot tub are giving me a headache. They didn’t even put my light-up floating flowers in for me. I get the towels, and clean the hot tub, and what do I get? No flowers! Nothing! I’m getting dizzy. My vertigo is in attack mode.
“He never told her about Sophie. Oh, Liz! Her name was Liz!”
“Noooooo, Liz was married to Jimmy! That’s right, Jimmy and Liz.”
Finally! Now we can get back to what’s her name that is getting married, but was never married to Jimmy. That is, if my sister would get her foot out of my foot area. She’s making my knee cramp up. No one bothers to turn on the colored waterfall either. Maybe I’ll just get out. What the hell is my niece babbling about now?
“So, Gig, what did you do today?”
Well, maybe I’ll stay in just a bit longer. There’s plenty of foot room., now that my sister turned on the waterfall.