Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Aunts Honey, Act 1


Nothing could have prepared me for the introduction to my husband's relatives. By the time I met my Knight in Shining Armor, I was divorced and had a young daughter. I had a useless ex-husband (no one will disagree) and was raising this child on my own. I was working full time, mothering full time and carrying 12 credits in nursing school. If not for my parents and my baby brother, I'd have floundered. I was so busy, I barely had time to acknowledge that I was intensely lonely.

Then out of the blue, I met my soul mate. He caught my eye across a crowded, smokey bar and I was smitten. I was out celebrating the end of a brutal semester of nursing school with my friend who was celebrating the end of a not so brutal semester of art school. We were sitting at the bar, oblivious to the free drinks being sent our way. For whatever reason, the men around the bar were outdoing themselves in an attempt to be the next one to send us drinks. We weren't looking particularly beautiful or slutty sultry. At least I don't think we were. We for sure weren't wearing signs that said for a good time, buy us a drink. And I know our names weren't scrawled on the john door in the men's room-at least, I don't think they were. I think it was an unspoken challenge. One of them would send a drink and we'd thank them, but that was it. Nada. We didn't ask anyone to buy us a drink. It was their game, which Marybeth and I were playing in a rather sporting manner.

My husband recounts this episode differently. He always has had a different interpretation when he reminisces about our meeting. He recalls us flirting with all of those men (uh-uh) and thinking he didn't have a chance. When he walked up to me at the bar (something the fellows sending drinks did not do) it was like I'd been struck by lightening. Something definitely clicked. I recall that he towered over everyone in that bar that night. He was 6'4" and very handsome. He is still handsome. He'll laugh about this, but it was his eyes that sold me. And his laugh. It wasn't his dancing, that's for sure. But, I digress.

Some months after we began dating, he introduced me to his sister and his mother whom I loved instantly. I kept wondering when I'd meet his father. It was quite a few months more before he let me meet his dad. I kept wondering why. Was he ashamed of me? I mean, I wasn't exactly unsullied goods. Looking back, I know better. I think he didn't want me to go running from the asylum when I finally did meet his dad. He is a little larger than life and by that, I don't mean tall. I mean overwhelming. You do recall, this is the same guy who screamed at me in the doctors office, forcing me to go home and change my underwear.

It was an even longer time before I was introduced to my husband's aunts. Aunt Honey and Aunt Honey. I always called them that because that's all they ever said, "hi honey, how are you honey?" Honey, honey, honey. I remember wondering if they ever said anything else. They were spinsters (well sort of) who lived together. Aunt Honey the First was married at one time but had to divorce her husband on account of her neurosis. It seems he had a non-contagious form of tuberculosis and she couldn't wash the dishes enough because of it. She would wash the skin right off her hands trying to kill his non-infectious form of TB. What could she do? She had to leave him or face life skinless and perpetually oozing. I can't say I blame her as it is the lesser of two evils.

Aunt Honey the Second seemed like a nice enough old lady. She didn't truly have a mind of her own though. Like a bobblehead, she'd just continually nod in agreement with whatever the other Aunt Honey said. Honey the First definitely was the boss of that relationship. They would always be so nice to me, but I could never get rid of the feeling that somehow, they weren't very sincere. It wasn't until my wedding day that I found out what they really thought. Of course, they'd never tell me to my face until the deal was done. Those women were nothing, if not shrews, I mean shrewd.

I didn't want a big wedding. Really, I didn't. I wanted something small and intimate, but Mr. Larger Than Life was not going to have that. This was his only son's wedding day and he wanted to go all out. So, all out we went. We invited about 250 people, most of whom I did not know, to the most expensive joint in the area at the time. It was hotter than Hades that day. Close to 100 degrees with a matching humidity. We did the whole reception line at the church and then again at the hall. We ate a little dinner and then made the rounds of the guests. As we approached "our" Aunts' table, they were smirking. One pulled me close so only I could hear and asked "Do you really think you should you be wearing white-seeing as you aren't a virgin?" The other Aunt Honey sat there bobbing her head in agreement.

That was my aha! moment when I learned there and then that these two spiders spinsters in sheep's clothing, really only used the honey to catch their flies. Throughout the years, on occasion, what they really thought would accidently on purpose, slip from their tongues and cement my beliefs.

Next week, don't miss The Aunts Honey, Act 2 where the Aunts go Christmas shopping in the attic. It was there they would perfect the art of regifting.

13 comments:

Sandy said...

That was a fun read and I had to laugh at the crossed out words...hahahahahah.

Wonderful reading you.

Rose said...

Great story; always sounds better in retrospect though doesn't it? Thanks for your kind words and good advice. Have a great weekend. Oh, and I definitely want to meet up with you at the MS&W Festival next year!! I've wanted to go for the past 3 years and this will be the incentive I need to get my butt up there!

Rudee said...

Sandy, thanks.

Rose, I couldn't make these two up if someone held a gun to my head. As I was writing this, it occurred to me that there will be at least 3, if not 4 Acts to this series of stories. I don't even have to say their real names, just the Aunt Honey and my friends know who I'm talking about.

I am seriously planning the MS&W hook-up! I'll start in January. I'll twist my sister's and Niki's arms to go with us. It'll be fun!

Amy said...

I find it oddly comforting to read stories of other people's oddball families. Hmmm...

Anonymous said...

Found your blog most factual except for one point.

The reference to your husband's dancing. My, the critics use to say Fred Astaire could not dance early in his career. Let's live the dancing critiques to the historians!

Anonymous said...

Make that.."let's LEAVE the dancing critiques to the historians"!

The Rotten Correspondent said...

Oh my god. Are these Middle Eastern Aunt Honeys? Because if they are - I know them. Both of them. All of them.

My aunts (all 512 of them) all do the same thing "How ARE you, honey? You need to EAT, honey" "Are you really going to wear THAT, honey?"


Oh, yeah. And they all have that same little Freudian slip habit. Yikes.

Rudee said...

Of course they were Middle Eastern RC. I know it's universal with these aunts of ours but sheesh, these two were something else!

She Knits Socks said...

I'm so glad I found your blog. All of us know someone like Aunt Honey, we just didn't realize it. I'm going to stay tuned for Act 2 of this one!

Anonymous said...

Let us not forget that the really crazy Aunt Honey used to be in love with Dean Martin. Whenever he would show up on the television, she would kiss the screen!

Once, a non Arabic Aunt had the audacity to say Dean Martin wasn't "all that beautiful". Aunt Honey did not speak to her for seven years!

Rudee said...

Anon, you have the best storytelling tales from your side of the family. I promise, sometime soon, we'll discuss some of my relatives. Uh-oh. Don't worry FTM, it won't be you!

Brenda said...

Funny story Rudee! I could relate to it for sure. Going to read the next post or Part II....

Rudee said...

Thanks Brenda. Part 3 at midnight.