My dearest aunt and her boyfriend left today to go on their extended summer road trip around the United States and Canada. Yesterday was their last day before they left, so we all met at my grandma's house for brunch.
First, a quick primer on the eccentricities of my family tree.
My mother and my youngest aunt are 16 years apart.
My youngest aunt is only 5 and a half years older than me.
Because of this, she's more of a sister to me than she is a sister to my mother, who is her actual sister.
Does this sound like a grade school math problem yet?
This gets complicated and strange quite quickly, so I've created a handy dandy family tree graphic to further explain. Thank you, MS Paint. You make such elegant illustrations.
The boyfriend and my aunt's boyfriend both find the situation to be hilarious and confusing all at the same time. Her boyfriend, especially, oftentimes gets confused on who we're talking about when we use generic terms such as "Mom" and "Grandma" instead of names. He has yet to fully comprehend that when I say "Mom" I'm referring to her sister, and when she says "Mom" she's referring to my grandma.
Familial confusions aside, the gist of that spiel was that my aunt is basically like my sister and I consider her to be one of my best friends. She's one of the few people in the family that I can fully trust, confide in, and talk with openly. And because we're so close in age, it's easy for us to be friends rather than have that awkward, strained "Aunt-Niece/Adult-Child" relationship that I have with my other aunt.
And she's leaving.
That's the bitter part.
The sweet part is that after their road trip, the aunt and her boyfriend are going to take an extended pit stop in Miami for an unknown period of time before heading off to their final destination of California. And when I say extended pit stop, I mean they might possibly live in Miami for 3 to 6 months. Or forever. Depending.
I am, of course, ecstatic over the possibility that my aunt, and best friend, is going to be staying in Miami for possibly 6 months at the exact same time that I'm moving to Miami.
It will definitely make the transition easier and it will be nice to have someone to talk to, go out with, explore the area with, while the boyfriend is tied up with medical school and busy for 8+ hours a day.
I'm kind of a hermit as is, and social anxiety keeps me from doing most things on my own, so having another person to do things with will, hopefully, get me out of the house some and prevent me from becoming some sun-deprived, pale apartment creeper that resents the boyfriend for being busy with med school and is completely deprived of any social interaction whatsoever.
Grandma made her award-winning quiche. She will never let it be forgotten that it's award-winning. Ever.
The boyfriend and I made fairly authentic Russian Piroshkis - don't worry Peridot, I'll post a recipe for them soon and we can make Russian food together across the globe! Go teh internets!
We made our way to the movie theatre. Got all four of our tickets for free because I used to date the guy at the ticket booth. In the 9th grade.... and he still gives me free tickets.
When the boyfriend and I arrived, the aunt and her boyfriend were busy unloading his car, repacking things, deciding what to keep and what to leave behind, and Tetris-ing everything back into the car.
The boyfriend, his Russian heritage in full swing from a belly full of Piroshkis and talk of Tetris, began doing a Cossack dance and continually humming the Tetris background music.
After they took a Piroshki break and we had chit-chatted for a while, we decided to go see Super 8 at the movie theatre instead of the original plan of going to the local winery with a couple of their friends. The aunt and boyfriend had apparently drank the night before and were slightly hungover and with all the moving of stuff outside in 90 degree weather and intense sunshine, air conditioning and darkness sounded ultra appealing.
|It's not just me.|
I apparently come from a family of mole people.
Somehow, that's not reassuring.
Super 8, by the way, is a FANTASTIC film. Go! Go and see it! I command thee!
Adorable middle school kids + amateur zombie film + train crash + mysteriousness + aliens?!? + evil military intervention = best movie of the summer.
That's all I'll say.
The movie theatre was an all-out binging war-zone.
The boyfriend wanted nachos, but he only ate about 1/3 and I was left with holding the rest. My willpower, as per usual, failed miserably and I ate all of them.
The aunt bought what she thought was cinnamon popcorn, but ended up being cherry cinnamon popcorn. A travesty in its own right. We finally came to the conclusion that it tasted like a mixture of little girl lip gloss, Barbie doll plastic, and whores.
Somehow, despite the plastic-y STD taste of death, I managed to eat through all of the cherry cinnamon popcorn.
And regular popcorn.
And half of a large Diet Coke. No calories, but still, it added to the mass within my stomach.
Thankfully, I was wearing a high-waisted jersey-knit skirt, so there was no post-binge muffin-topping or obvious stomach bulging.
The food baby, though, seriously made me feel preggers. Clutching onto my poor stomach. Rubbing it delicately. Loosening the skirt to accommodate more room. I was like a white-trash man on Thanksgiving. Letting out my belt so that I can watch the football game in more comfort. Barf.
We had wanted to eat dinner in town after the movie, but I was not the only one with a case of the baby belly. We ended up going back to my grandma's house in the next town over, making a pact to walk from her house to a restaurant downtown for dinner.
The first thing we did upon arriving at my grandma's house was collectively lose all muscle control and collapse in the living room on various pieces of furniture and passively watch whatever was on TV. My little brother had it set to Disney. We laid there, bellies distended like small African children, bodies limp from digestion and general exhaustion, and watched an entire episode of Shake It Up.
If I ever have to watch another episode about CeCe and Rocky and their amazing adventures and mishaps, I will shoot myself.
|Like, OMG, you have all my hate!|
When we finally found the strength to lift ourselves up out of Disney-Hell, we started our trek to the Korean restaurant.
In the words of Grandma, 'when you reach the cemetery, you're half-way there.'
Strange, psychic moment # 1.
The aunt immediately exclaimed, [parisienne.love], I was just going to say that! I was thinking about that since we first got to the cemetery and had decided to say that exact line as we walked past the last of the cemetery. How weird!
As we continued our walk, the aunt's boyfriend found a stray bag of weed on the side of the road.
A public service announcement to you all,
There is a reason that the bag of weed you found on the side of the road is on the side of the road. It's shitty weed. It's probably got speed or PCP mixed in it. It might kill you. Perhaps the plant it was harvested from had that marijuana mold you always here about that causes hallucinations and death.
Most likely, it's probably just very shitty weed. And it's been on the side of the road in 90 degree heat for who-knows-how-long.
Don't. Don't. Don't smoke it.
Do what we did, just non-chalantly walk through a small town, sprinkling weed behind you like some sort of counter-culture Hansel and Gretel. It will end much better, I promise.
|Plus, drugs are bad, yo. ;)|
After our run-in with reefer madness, an old man in a pick-up truck slowed down and flashed us a peace sign.
We probably do look like the Sixties.... The aunt commented.
What with your boyfriend with his curly, long hair. Me in my retro plaid dress. My boyfriend with his rolled up sleeves and aviator sunglasses. You with your flower in your hair and sun dress.
Yes. We probably do look like the Sixties. We should have given him the peace sign back.
Funny how the weed wasn't a reason why.
Funny how we probably did look like a pack of young people from a time machine.
Walking on the side of a dusty road. Into a small town that was hosting it's annual summer carnival.
Sprinkling weed behind us.
Sweat dripping down our faces and backs.
Sticky from the humidity.
Girls in pretty dresses with flowers. Hair plastered to our foreheads from the sweat.
Boys in v-necks and retro shades. Clapping at all the cars that move over to make room for our small pack walking on the road.
I wanted a picture. A picture of all of us walking together. In sepia tones with rounded edges. Curling up at the corners from age.
A picture from the past. Nostalgia.
The whole day was weird.
I was continually and awkwardly finding the aunt in tears.
Once finding her boyfriend in tears.
They'd finally been hit with the reality that they were moving across the country for good. That they weren't moving back. That they wouldn't see their families and their parents and their moms except for holidays. That they would have to get rid of pretty much everything. Start over completely. Make a new life for themselves.
I'm anxiously awaiting and simultaneously terrified of when this reality will hit me.
I know that the day the boyfriend and I leave, I will be a carbon copy of my aunt. Realizing the same things. Having the same breakdowns. Not wanting to leave, but so desperately needing to.
I guess I'll deal with that when I get there.
For now, I'm just happy that I'll be reunited with the aunt and her boyfriend in one month.
A bientôt, lovelies.