Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Relativity

Yes, this image is totally in homage to and in mourning of an excellent, and thus cancelled, television show.


I have an aunt. Wait, I have two aunts. (Technically I have more than that but this post happens to be about these two particular aunts.) One is my aunt by marriage. Aunt Teresa. I've posted about her before. The other is my dad's sister. Aunt Gayle. She is generous and good. She teaches special education on the Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona. She sacrificed much to serve a mission for my church. She spent the first decade and a half of her adulthood assisting my grandfather as Alzheimers knotted my grandmother's mind and eventually took her life. Aunt Gayle has also, in all her (polite people do not reveal specific numbers freely) years, never married.

Now, if you noticed from the post on Aunt Teresa, she has mastered the art of the mean-but-loving tease. But what you may not know about her is that she also lacks tact. Really, she doesn't think before she speaks. She can be quoted as saying at more than half of my siblings' weddings that "it won't last." When my brother started preparing for a mission, she said of his goal, "I'll believe it when I see it!" She doesn't mean it with cruelty or ill-intent, she's just says things to say things. I learned long ago to take what Teresa says with a grain of salt, because five minutes later she is bragging about how wonderful you are. Five minutes later she is giving you a handmade gift. Teresa, I suppose, is as contradictory as the next person.

Well, today she outdid herself. I called her to ask some travel advice--which of course grew into a full-on catch up conversation. Which then drifted into her telling me she had a handmade gift waiting for my next visit. The conversation drifted and somehow, as it always does with my relatives, my singleton status came up. Now, most people have well-intended but rather useless advice: "Have you tried online dating?" "Maybe you should try a new singles' ward with a better selection of men." "Have you looked into dating younger/older men?" But not Teresa, no advice on this matter was offered. She simply stated, "Oh, you're not getting married. You're just like Aunt Gayle. Some people are just meant to be single and you're one of them."

Come again? You did not just say that. First off, I found it funny. Because, like I said, Teresa is to be taken with a grain of salt. Then I felt kind of relieved--her predictions (like failed marriages or the unlikelihood of obtaining goals like serving a mission) are swinging one of the world's worst batting averages. She strikes out. A lot. But overall, I was shocked. Who says that? Seriously. Only she would say something like that so off-handedly, so nonchalantly, so cluelessly.

Ultimately, I decided to feel flattered. If I'm just like Aunt Gayle, then that means I am self-sacrificing and good. If I'm like my Aunt Gayle and remain unmarried with the upbeat, positive attitude and class that she has, so be it. If I'm like my Aunt Gayle, then I'm okay with that. Because there are worse things to be in this world.

8 comments:

Jen said...

Although you have taken it like yourself, gracefully and thoughtfully and tolerantly, I still growl at her in your behalf.

Alice said...

Oh Aunt Teresa. She is one in a million. Way to take it like a champ. It's admirable friend.

I liked pushing dasies.

Ashley said...

I wish I knew this woman better. All I know is the crazy things she says! You definitely took the good out of her comment. I would be a little on the pissy side! :)

Hopefully we can get your hair done before Thanksgiving!

Adele said...

That is the absolute best reply or rubuttle to another person's ill words that I have ever read! That's my girl!!
Momsy

Stephanie said...

Oh, family...

I'm glad you could find a silver lining to that!

P.S. I LOVED Pushing Daisies more than anything, and I love that you posted the Aunts!

Rie Pie said...

You are so self sacrificing and good!!

But honey, you'll get married - because if not, that is a waste of a very close to perfect women!! It will happen. No doubt. Until those wedding bells ring, just keep dreaming about Javier until Mr. Eternal comes around.

ps. I got BBC on cable now...umm Robin hood with Armitage playing 'Sir Guy'. 'nough said.

Stine said...

Love her, mean it. But this whole post makes me wish I was home more to give the ol' girl a bit of her own medicine. Because of anyone in the family, I feel the most at liberty to do so. Glad to see you're being the grown-up here.

Kimmy said...

You put my experiences so eloquently. Been there, done that. I had an unmarried older aunt actually put me in her boat of singlehood. No thanks. Why DID they cancel Pushing Daisies, a.k.a, "The best TV show to come out in years?"