Thursday, 3 July 2008

Miss You Already

These are some of the members of the Virginia Beach chapter of Young Life- Capernum, a club regularly frequented by my 16 year old nephew, Dan.

Hmmm...A poetry reading by Cletus Cowpie.

Oh Look! There's Dan. (1:42) He's the cute, albeit pasty (by now he's got his tan on), but confident looking dude in the Brooklyn tank. The one with the hot babe. Sure, Dan's a lady's man, but he's learned to keep his cool around the women. "Back off, girls. There's enough of me to go around". He would puke if he read that. I'll have to remove that comment later.

Dan's really coming of age. Getting buff for 'sophomore year'. A lover and a critic. Hurling insults with the greatest of ease one minute, and schmoozing up the next. I try to take it all with a grain of the wound. All kidding aside, I tend to give much consideration to his opinions, as Dan is weak on tact. Holds back nothing, and can be pretty funny and at once hurtful. Like my Dad. Only my Dad would never insult a person directly to their face. He has tact and will tell someone else what he thinks about you, thank you very much.

Up until last year, Dan would hug me and tell me that I was his main girl. Oh sure, his other Aunties got the same treatment, but I always thought he really liked me best. I guess we all thought that. Maybe it was out of pity on my situation, but for years I would have to remind him of the limits of our relationship. " No I can't marry you Dan, I am your Auntie and that's as far as it's ever gonna go. Ever."

Dan is 16 now and well aware of the boundaries, at least with regards to intermarriage. We were on the phone a couple of months ago and he was asking me about my love life.

" So how are things going with the love life?"

I told him that I am working on it,

" working on it, Dan, trying to improve the envelope".

I touched on various elements of my current health and beauty program.

He suddenly asked, " Why are you telling me all of this?"

I sensed the discomfort in his tone. "Because, Dan, you asked. I'm just telling you, I do these things in hopes that someday, somehow, I will attract and marry a good man."


I almost dropped the phone.

" Of course you're not, Dan. WHY would you think I'm trying to impress you?"

" Because why would you tell me you are doing all these things?"

" I am saying these things because, as you recall, you are the one who told me, the day I was driving you to the doctor, that he better not ask me out. Remember, Dan, you said I was 'unattractive, fat looking, and undatable'...Do those words strike a familiar chord?"

" I said no such thing."

" Yeah ya did. You know you did."

" When I said those things, Aunt Gina, I was looking out the window at another girl."

" OH RIGHT. Of course."

" I was just playing with you."

" Well it felt like you were being serious."

" No!!! I was only kidding, Aunt Gina."

" Ohhhhhh. So now I'm not unattractive, fat looking, and undatable?"

" No, you're fine."

"Phew. Thanks for clearing that up. Here all this time, I thought you were serious."

"Yeah, you're fine the way you are, Aunt Gina."

" So you're sorry you said that stuff to me? You take it back?"

" Yeah, I'm sorry. I didn't mean it."

"Thanks, Dan. I feel so much better."

" Good." ( i could tell he was just glad to get out of that one. But he was serious when he said it. There was no other girl he was speaking to. Not that it matters. He's just a 16 year old. What does he know about what's datable?)

"OK. Now put your mom back on."

Sorry Cletus. The poem is precious, Cletus. Keep em coming.

These are the exact same faces I saw last year, doing whacko things like surfing and sky diving! Some of the activities at these camps are just insane. Last year, I watched in horror as they carried a paralyzed dude, yes, a 'quad' into the ocean so he could surf! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? I saw the video footage. With a little help his pals, he was hanging ten. Well not really but they got him on the board, pulled him out there and surf he did! Not standing up and of course. but he was having FUN! FUN! FUN! 'til his Daddy took his T-bird away. His friends stayed with him as he rode the waves. He probably dreamed of doing that for years! Now THAT's what I'm talking about! He was seen on several YOU TUBES doing all kinds of wild and exciting things. It was probably the best year of his life or one of them. All kinds of friends and fun. He was who he was and he was having fun.

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