Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The pearl anniversary cometh

My parents thirtieth wedding anniversary is looming. I should be filled with pride and joy. Instead, I find that I am mostly filled with a nameless dread. Heres the thing. My parents both come from large families. Vocal families. Musically talented families. And therein lies the rub. My parents both swear with straight faces that neither my sister nor I are adopted. I even questioned them separately. I've leapt out from behind the fridge and popped the question suddenly. I've woken them up at two in the morning with this most pertinent question. No luck. They've stuck to the story and at two in the morning my very grumpy mother can describe her painful labour and subsequent cesarean in long and gory detail. Yet, miraculously enough, amongst the host of musical cousins my sister and I stand out in all our tone deaf glory. We cannot sing. We are unable to play an instrument. What is the relevance of this to the anniversary? I am glad you asked. As various aunts and uncles have trouped passed various milestones of wedded bliss, appropriate cousins have burst into tuneful song. They amass friends and family and then, at the drop of a hat, burst into touching, tear-jerking melody. 'You are the wind beneath my wings', 'You raise me up', you get the gist. As the last moving notes linger in the air there is not a dry eye in the house.
During our wonder years if either my sister or I bemoaned our lack of talent to our mother or aunts, we were reminded that we were the smart ones in the family. At school we got our grades with seeming ease. We were held up as shining examples to the teeming masses of cousins. I now have a job that requires regular use of the old grey matter, and my sister is acquiring her doctorate and is required to cut up mice at an alarming rate towards this noble end. I completely fail to see how this is supposed to help with the anniversary. I can hear the cousins snicker. Perhaps I could read at the audience. Or do a demo of getting a good test score. My sister could try to tear folks up by bopping a rodent on its head and proceeding to extract its tissues.
The date draws ever closer, the pressure mounts. The family looms on the horizon. Excuse me, but I have to check my rat traps.

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