Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Gossiping men

Smithsonian's Archives of
American Art via Flickr
While my dad and I were driving up to Pennsylvania last week, he told me that he had an interesting conversation the night before. "Oh yeah? What about?" He told me that my uncle had called him. Now, this isn't his brother we're talking about. We're talking about my mother's sister's husband. Let me put it this way: my uncle on my mother's side called my mother's ex-husband.

This uncle and my dad had gotten along well when my parents were married. They used to grab beers together at the bar down the road from my grandma's when the family used to get together over the holidays. My mother has never really cared for him and I'm sure the fact that he was buddy buddy with my dad didn't help his case. After my parents got divorced though, my dad's connection with my mother's family ended. It wasn't until my brother and sister in law's wedding two years ago that my dad got to see or talk to my mom's family again. This uncle and my dad caught up and my dad got to hear about all the family dirt that I hadn't heard from the female family channels that worry too much about keeping face. They must have exchanged phone numbers at the wedding because my uncle decided to call my dad last week to talk about my mother.

Yes, that's right: my mother's sister's husband called my mother's ex-husband to find out what the hell is going on with my mother. My brother and I apparently aren't the only ones feeling my mother's arctic chill these days. My uncle wanted to know why she was being so distant lately and why she seemed so disconnected with and unconcerned about her family. Her lackluster attitude has some other members of my family turning their heads. And so, my father told him. Everything. Hoarding and all. And, of course, my uncle had no idea.

My mother's secret is starting to unravel despite her best efforts to keep it from those closest to her. All I can do is smile.

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