I have a great aunt (who will remain nameless, mostly for the sake of propriety, and also because you just never know where she will turn up) who is, basically, that crazy relative that every family is blessed to have.
She’s not crazy I-live-in-a-cabin-alone-in-the-woods crazy. More, I-live-alone-with-my-cat-who-I-named-after-a-Chinese-opera-star crazy. And don’t even get me started on the hats…
So every year, this aunt sends out a Christmas letter. A nice sentiment, but you’re thinking “What does a single woman in her mid-70s talk about in a Christmas letter?” Well, lucky you – I’m about to reveal:
If you want to know the order of priorities in the Christmas letter, they go like this: Convention Center, Art Museum, Southglenn mall, new siding (flip the page) her Christmas tree, my grandma, the family ( seven paragraphs down, in case you were wondering) her new digital camera (she’s been having a great time) her house and ‘statuary’ and Cherry Creek Mall.
Here’s what’s worse – somehow, she manages to insult someone in the letter every year. Usually, it’s just the requisite blurb about what we’re up to (Hilary has joined a sorority, ha ha!) But this year, it was worse. It happened to my mom’s cousin Shawn. Shawn is, quite possibly, the nicest member of the family. He didn’t inherit the sarcasm gene, and also managed to escape the I-talk-waay-too-much gene. And when he lived in Denver, he drove my aunt around all the time. But here’s what she had to say about him this year:
“Shawn the middle boy lives in Nebraska and is single…he has his own little house and seems to be content there.”
Points of contention on behalf of Shawn, because Lord knows the man wouldn’t stick up for himself:
1. Shawn the “middle boy” is now in his 40s. Can we say word choice?
2. Is single. So is she. How would she like it if we brought that up in our Christmas letter?
3. Seems to be content. How content is he going to be after he finds out he was just insulted in a two page letter where Victorian trees get higher billing?
Separate points of contention, entirely unrelated to the cousin Shawn issue:
1. Apparently I have done nothing of regard since high school (except join a sorority. Ha ha!) I don’t have two jobs or a double major or anything. It’s cool.
2. Spouses who married into the family get no mention whatsoever. My Aunt Donna didn’t have two boys, Uncle Kurt did – a medical miracle!
3. The siding on the house is more important than the family mentions. I am calling for a story restructure ASAP.
4. The paragraph about the digital camera is entirely true. She has, indeed, been having a great time. However, the day she photographed me standing in the bathroom looking for a nail file is when I realized that I was definitely not having a great time.
But on the plus side, that bear statue in front of the Convention Center is “amazing!!!”