This weekend was family weekend.
Last night, POB made a huge tenderloin which didn’t seem so aggressively carnivore-centric, until her vegetarian sister (SOPOB) called to say she and her son were coming. POB’s father (FOPOB) also came over, in part, because he liked the menu. (Not only can you not fool all the people all of the time, but you can’t please them either.)
And to round out the alphabet of “OB”-centric initials, sister of blogger (SOB), husband of SOB (HOSOB) and father of blogger (FOB) also came. HOSOB got a really short haircut and looked so adorable in that way that little boys do when they get their hair cut (except he is 54 or so, but still sooooooo adorable). And not the way an older man looks cute and helpless when he puts on a hat with ear flaps (you know, the “look” that cuts one’s IQ in half).
Since having a child, it makes me happy when those whom I love have home-cooked meals. Of course, POB has to do the actual cooking — I just plate everything and set the table, except when I don’t, and then POB is overworked and I don’t deserve her. But last night I wasn’t a slouch or sloth. (Of course, I think I deserve a merit badge for good behavior, but I digress.)
My nephew didn’t like dinner and was honest about in that way that kids can be. Everyone else was polite and HOSOB seemed to enjoy the carnivorous portion of the meal especially. FOB seemed to enjoy the wine. SOB seemed to enjoy leaving (she later reported having a really sound sleep — must have been vicarious dose of triptophan from all of the food HOSOB ate). FOPOB was non-committal. Our son and nephew enjoyed being together.
Today, another generation descended. A cousin from the Catskills who studied and lived in China for 5 years came for brunch, along with her half-Dutch, half-Israeli boyfriend who went to school in Switzerland and whom she met in Shang-hai. He is now in the States, in New England. It is too confusing to figure out which of the many pairings of culture shock he is currently experiencing. He is sweet and gentle notwithstanding his inherent Dutch directness and Israeli hubris.
Also along was a brother of this cousin who traveled the far distance from the Catskills to a suburban hamlet in Massachusetts. He introduced us to his girlfriend. This was big. His girlfriend was polite, sweet and quiet — i.e., not Jewish. Hey, non-Jews have tamed our family, to wit: my sister-in-law and brother-in-law. So, really, we are scared the non-Jews we love won’t marry into our family because we are so loud, and — hmmm, how shall we say — undiscriminating about our dinner/brunch table discussion topics.
So we were loud, especially my cousin (her boyfriend), and she didn’t seem unnerved by it, even when those cousins started talking about importance of sloping leaching fields in the separation of solid waste from non-solid waste. Septic tanks and the related issues of sanitation are not approved topics of conversation at my table (even though these were favorite topics of their father z”l who was a wonderful, if controlling, human). As I was trying to stop the story (we WERE eating), his sister piped in about the variations of “spicy stomach” she and her friends had in China. Ok, ok, ok. All of this after I lectured them (again) about the inappropriateness of pictures they put on Facebook.
My dear cousin (DCOB) — an elder of my generation — also joined us. He is such a gentle soul. He is very involved in eastern traditions, medicine and meditation. He also has a tremendous collection of American folk music. I know that you are thinking Asian monk living in the splendor of secluded monastery that has access to folk music and occasional WiFi. Think again. Think yin-yang. How yang? He is a criminal defense attorney living in a large apartment complex. DCOB’s wide ranging interests and openness to new and different things was evolutionary in our family. The next generations is more free to focus on their inner muses.
Still, after 3 hours, I called SOB, who prescribed M&M — meditation and medication.