A Relative Adventure
I had dinner with my cousin, Jamey, the other night. I know what you’re thinking: “Whoop-dee-do. Dinner with a cousin. Exciting life that girl must lead.” But I haven’t seen her in fifteen years.
Here’s the embarrassing part: She’s lived in the Atlanta area for ten years.
Ah, you’re thinking, there must be some Southern gothic drama that kept us apart, a family feud worthy of Tennessee Williams’ pen. Nope, just simple laziness.
Jamey grew up in south Georgia, so we didn’t see much of each other when we were kids. I remember when she was born. Her parents were living on a farm, and we drove down to meet her. I was nearly seven, and I was fascinated with this adorable little baby. Jamey’s family would visit, of course, and she’d come up some summer months. I always remember her cute giggles. And her freckles.
Why did we wait so long to see each other? The excuse: We have different lifestyles. Jamey’s the mother of two beautiful girls (her oldest was born the day after my beloved niece), and I’m … well, I’m the mother of two cats. She’s spent the last ten years dashing between cheerleading practice and soccer games, while I’ve been dashing between happy hours and Saturday brunches.
This blog helped us reconnect. Before that, we’d send the occasional joke e-mail, maybe a Christmas or birthday card, but that was it. Jamey learned more about me through the blog, which led to deeper e-mail conversations. And the promise that we’d get together soon for dinner.
As the eldest cousin, I should have known better than to lose touch. And my social laziness resulted in a huge, painful gap in my younger cousin’s life. Jamey — and, God, it hurts to write this — is *gasp* not very familiar with R.E.M. That poor, lost child; what a sad, empty life she must have led. So I stepped up to my responsibilities and gave her a copy of And I Feel Fine: The Best of the IRS Years, 1982–1987. It’s never too late to fall in love.
So, how was dinner? Great fun. We sat down and chatted as if we’d seen each other just last week. We do, of course, share DNA and can chat up a chair, so that’s not surprising. Jamey still has great giggles and fabulous freckles. I’m having a ball getting to know her all over again. And we swore we’d meet up again before 2015.
P.S. The blog is also turning her mama into a bit of an R.E.M. fan. Life is beautiful when you know why you were put here on this earth.
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