If you read my earlier blog posts you have seen my story about my ultra conservative family. What I did not tell you is that I have become a cautionary tale to my family (like the boogeyman, but I don’t just hide out in closets). By cautionary I mean I am the one they use to scare their children into submission. It seems to work and it only required one nephew staying with me to scare their kids straight. Apparently when he got home he told his mother (my sister) that he didn’t want to be poor and please not to send him to live in the sad place anymore. I am so pleased that my house is now called the sad place.
Not that I really wanted my nephew to come stay with me. My sister, Janie May, called me to say Peter was in trouble and she did not know what to do next. She said she was sending him to me for a little while. My response was immediate.
“The hell you are!” I thought I was being firm since I really do not want a delinquent in my house. I have enough trouble with two surly cats. I don’t need a teen in the mix. I say that because I have worked in a public school and I know what those kids are listening to today. I don’t want some kid with Bieber Fever in my house. Then Janie May played her trump card.
“You better let Peter in or I will tell mom what you have been doing instead of coming to family meetings.”
“I would so tell her that you went to a liberal political rally. See what happens then.” She had me. It is a real threat since liberal is a dirty word in our mother’s house. Granted, they all know I am a little (okay, a lot) off but that’s inexcusable in this family.
Eventually the boy came around to my house. We spent the first night just staring at each other.
“Mom made me come here.”
“Your house is small.”
“So am I. It works out that way.”
“Mom said you move around a lot.”
“That’s true enough.”
“Mom said you have never had a real relationship.”
“Also true. Sad, but true.”
“Mom says you’re just going to feed me spinach, okra and kale.”
“Your mother is a damned liar!”
At this point, my two giant monsters came into the kitchen and began circling Peter.
“What are those?” He asked as he pointed at them.
“Those are my cats.”
“Yes, they are. Try not to show fear. They live for that.”
“Why are they staring at me?”
“You could be their next meal. Try to sleep with one eye open.”
“Don’t they stay with you at night?”
“They’re not allowed to sleep in my room at night. I’m not going to die that way. Watch out for when you wake up to their sniffing your eyes. That means you are in trouble.”
“How long do I have to stay here?”
“Until I can find a way to get your mom to take you back. The sooner you leave the better. The cats don’t like you but don’t take it too personally. They don’t like anyone.”
“There is ketchup and lettuce in the fridge. That’s all I have right now.”
He stared at me. I stared at him. The cats stared at him. He continued to stare at me. I shrugged. He took out his cell phone and called his mother.
“Mom, I am so sorry. I want to come home and promise I will never do anything again. Please…” Two hours later (after he spent 73 minutes hiding from the cats) his mother came to pick him up. Word of this spread and they still talk about me. No one has ever come over since.
Her Majesty, Kim Bookless, made this better