I only have three cousins, all in their late thirties, somewhat boring, and no where near New York.
We don’t have much in common.
I suppose I’m closest to Lisa, the corporate lawyer with two screechy girls, a McMansion outside Philadelphia, and a worn-down chip on her shoulder. After a short talk with her, I remind myself to swallow extra birth control pills and throw myself down the stairs if anything feels funky. It’s not that the two kids aren’t adorable (they are) or funny (that, too), rather, an aggravating time-consuming pain in the ass.
And Lisa won’t mince words.
I called her on my way to the coffee shop and she put me on hold twice while she argued with her youngest, Ellie, about not bugging her sister. After two minutes, I began to break out into a sweat.
I decided to keep a morning-after-pill stocked in my bathroom next to the huge stack of condoms dipped in spermicidal lube. I was envisioning freezing some eggs and tying my tubes when a thin voice came on the phone.
“Hi.” I could hear my cousin in the background: Who do you think it is, of course it’s her. I just told you. Say hi.
“Hi,” she repeated.
“When are you gonna get married?”
I heard laughter in the background, and Lisa yelling: This was totally unprompted!
“In a few years,” I told Ellie.
“Do you have a boyfriend?” she asked. Lisa was hysterical.
“No, no boyfriend.”
“Are you gonna go on a date?”
Lisa took the phone back before I said anything violent to her preschooler. “Oh my god, I didn’t even tell her to say that. Too, too funny.”
“Yeah, really funny. Hilaaarious.”
“It’s because she wants to be a flower girl.”
I had been en route for coffee but suddenly walked towards the bar. “Right. Uh huh. That’s just what my mom says.”