Awkward things I think created a ruffle between Pat's family and mine:
New Year's Eve 2020: I took Reg to the orthodontist that morning. We bumped into Aunt Leprechaun there and her son Lee. Lee, a year younger than Reg, was getting braces, if memory serves. Aunt Leprechaun and I started chatting.
Me: Mini had braces twice. (blah blah, how old were your other kids when they got braces, etc.) I never had braces, only Marie, and Mike did. (*there were 5 of us, so that means that Ann and Pat never had braces, plus me).
Aunt (who is from Ireland and has 6 siblings): I think some of my siblings should've had braces but never got them - (she said this with a chuckle and a shrug)
Me: Hmm, I think one of my siblings needed braces and never got them, too. (It's clear that I'm referring to Pat here, Aunt's husband. He NEEDED braces but never got them because he was told it would interfere with his flute playing. Pat and Aunt met through their shared involvement with Irish music. Pat teased me endlessly when we were kids. He ALWAYS made fun of me for being super tall. I finally called him Bucky Beaver one day. At last, I'd hit a nerve).
Aunt: That isn't very funny, Ernie. (walks away abruptly).
I was shocked. Thick skin is a requirement in our family and Aunt L has been part of the family over over 20 years. Her husband is the most active teaser in our family. It seemed weird, because I'd just said the same thing that Aunt Leprechaun had said. It really isn't a secret that Pat needed braces and never opted to get them. I was messing around, a regular occurrence in our family.
Mini: Uncle Pat is REALLY good at dishing it out. Everyone in the family is good at laughing at themselves, but Pat never makes fun of himself. He teases all the nieces and nephews endlessly, but he'd never tease one of his own kids.
Early covid game night: We were playing a family game. My sibs were group texting. They all have iPhones, and were sharing their emotions, which show up on my Android as a brand new text.
Tank grabbed my phone after the 80th ping and typed a snarky response to my sister Marie's: "I want my kids to do a video on tic toc so we can go viral." How are we related? We all laughed at Tank's: 'sounds dumb' or 'that'll never happen' text. Aunt Leprechaun must've found that offensive because she texted 'good luck Marie, hope you go viral.' I never clarified that Tank sent the text, because I DIDN'T CARE. There, full disclosure - my sibs think I'm an ass. I'm OK with that.*
Additional background. When Coach and I were contemplating putting an addition on our first house, I kept looking at houses online in a very swanky neighborhood that I wanted to live in.
Coach (shaking his head, laughing): WE'RE HAVING ANOTHER BABY. EVERY TIME YOU'RE PREGNANT YOU DRAG ME TO LOOK AT SOME HOUSE OVER THERE THAT'S SMALLER THAN THE HOUSE WE LIVE IN.
I stumbled upon a house online in said Swank-ville. It was outdated. It had the space, but still crazy pricey. Blaming pregnancy hormones for my fixation. We decided not to do an addition and bought our current house in our same town, not Swank-ville.
Later, Aunt Leprechaun asked if I could save my boxes.
Me: Are you guys planning to move?
Aunt L: NOPE.
She lived down the street from the house we'd just moved out of. We were now across town. We talked about when Mini and her daughter would attend the same school.
I found out Pat and Leprechaun were moving when I saw the sign out front. Can you guess?
They bought the house I'd been drooling over online. No joke. They had/have no idea. Only Coach knows. Aunt Leprechaun shared that they were disappointed to be forced to buy such a crap house. They'd planned to buy a tear-down mansion also in Swank-ville, but Pat's salary was recently restructured. Uncertainty made them reel it in a bit. So she was slumming it in my dream house.
I'm not this creative. I can't make this shit up.
MONDAY IS THE POST THAT STARTED ALL OF THIS - THE ONE THAT CAN'T WRITE ITSELF. HANG IN THERE. IT'S WORTH IT.