The rumor was that when the Arthurs and the Connors got together it was supposed to be a hell of a party. In reality it was the most fucking boring family reunion ever. Quite truthfully I really had no idea what the hell I was doing there. My parents were part of the Conor bunch, but my mom was part of it by marriage and technically I wasn’t part of it at all. My step-dad was a nice guy, but his family was more than a bit weird. The Arthurs were relations of the relations I was not related to. I wasn’t really sure who belonged where. I was just there to be tortured.
I was hanging out by the table with all of the food on it, trying to avoid my cousins who weren’t really my cousins who happened to be either the same age or older as me. My mom and my step-dad were laughing and hanging out and having a beer. I was also trying to avoid my sisters, who seemed intent to dog my every step. Somehow I realized the food table was probably not the best place to stay if I didn’t want to be noticed, but the brownies were damn tasty.
Maybe I’d try my hand at being a social butterfly, but I didn’t count on it to work so well. The people I actually knew who were adults seemed to avoid me like I was some sort of terrible misfit. I tried not to give a shit but it still stung, they were supposed to be like family after all.
I passed by a small group of my step-dad and his brothers. They were laughing uproariously and I was pretty sure I heard something about childhood and fishing, somebody falling in the pond? Hick talk, urg.
My mom was with my step-father’s brother’s wives (try saying that five times fast) and alternately watching my sisters, trying to keep them from ripping each other’s throat out. My predominately male cousins were shooting hoops in the drive, and I was left to fend for myself with a bunch of people I didn’t know.
I entered into several very different conversations. The questions and answers went something like this…
“Well hello honey, what’s your name?”
“Alice Devereux.” (Have to admit it’s a pretty awesome name.)
“Who are your parents?”
“Jean Connor,” I would reply, enjoying the looks on the face of the speaker and their little grouping as they tried to work it out then the realization would dawn eventually.
It was pretty much like being the illegitimate child. Oh wait, I was the illegitimate child, silly me. I’d walk away to their murmurs and whispers, but I didn’t care. I was quite proud to be my mother’s daughter. The only reason I did anything was for her, and so I sidled over to her and the other wives and plopped down into the empty seat next to her.
“Hey,” I announced myself to her at least.
“Hey, having fun?”
“Oh yes, loads,” I smiled.