2012, the year of adventures in vegetables.
We will not speak of the author's rather unfortunate encounter with Nous's homemade glögg on New Year's Day, which led to the author's first learning experience of the new year (one which, had she been a more typical college student, she'd've learned already).
Well. It's not that I wasn't typical. It's just that the Rat, who was also my roommate, Does Not Drink(tm), and so I did not, either. Instead, we tried on other personalities and new worlds for fun. AD&D. Cyperpunk. White Wolf. That hasn't changed. But the Rat has mellowed out about alcohol, having fallen in love with a wonderful woman who loves wine. In fine Rat form, she has decided to learn as much as she can about wine without actually drinking it. You got a question about the grapes that go into a Pinot Grigio or a Malbec, go ask her. Just don't ask her to taste it.
The new year has, however, brought out the shithead in the Rat's immediate family. Her brother, who would not attend her wedding on religious grounds, felt free to ring in the new year by emailing to tell her why, exactly, her spouse would not be welcome at family reunions, although the Rat herself would be welcome to attend. Brother spoke to Uncle Patriarch, you see. There was consensus. Apparently there was consensus all around that side of the family, who sent nearly identically worded refusals to the wedding invitations--except for Rat's sister, niece, and parents, who could and did attend the nuptials (and who did not combust, or grow horns, or become lesbians. They didn't even become feminists).
So I think we all know who the cool people are.
What's surprising is that this brother was not always a dickhead. I've known him since high school. I attended his wedding. He gamed with us. He wrote funny emails from the Army. He did theatre and brought his girlfriends to visit and sent pictures of his kids. I get that people change, sure, but just two summers ago he was out here with wife and sons, happy to stay with his sister and her partner who lived close(ish) to Disneyland. Now, he can't even be arsed to attend their wedding.
So while my new year is starting out well enough, the Rat's is starting with (more) hurt and bewilderment from her only brother.
I am an only child. I don't know what it's like to have siblings. But I have watched my father, grandmother, husband, and friends dealing with their siblings, and I've concluded that one has relatives, and one has family, and only sometimes is there an overlap between the two. The Rat's relatives want a Rat-shaped object at their reunion, to parade around and be her mother's daughter and fill a hole in the photographs. They don't want the writer, the gamer, the artist, the thinker, the feminist, the agnostic, and the one hundred other things she is beside lesbian. They never wanted that person. They still don't.
The Rat's family is much wiser, New Year's Day learning experience notwithstanding. I'm sorry for her that her brother's turned asshole, but mostly I think he's an idiot. He's the loser here, not her.
|2011, some 20-odd years into our relationship. Some things just don't change.|