Much like Carrie of Sex-and-the-City fame had her Mr. Big, we’ll leave the cousin-in-law known as the “Cabbage Patch Cousin-in-Law” and otherwise nameless. You know, to protect me from lawsuit, and not so much as protecting the not-so-innocent.
She’s been in the picture for nearly half my life. When we were all young, back when everyone used to get together on the holidays at Grandma’s house, she first entered the picture. My cousin’s previous girlfriend was really sweet, but had been given to awkward loud belches which seemed hardly possible from her petite frame, but alas, that’s how she’ll be remembered. The next girlfriend was Cabbage Patch. She too had been aware of the previous girlfriend and made fun of her belching. That’s all I remember of that.
It seems a year later they were getting married. She really wanted me to come out for the wedding, but my cousin had met her in college and they were way out in the middle of America land. She told me all about her best friend she wanted me to meet—he was going to sing at her wedding. She got married. He got married. I got married. Years pass.
I’m divorced and the scene is back at Grandma’s house. I had gotten it into my mind to take my Orange County born-and-bred southern California Jewish boyfriend to Indiana in February—his first time meeting the family. What isn’t hilarious about that idea?
The Cabbage Patch cousin-in-law and my cousin drove from middle of America to meet us in Indiana for the mini cousin reunion. Growing up in different parts of the country, we really hadn’t gotten to spend too much time together besides holidays. Now here we all were drinking—grown ups!
Cabbage Patch took to my SoCal boyfriend like white on rice. I think she dug that he was totally squeezable in that she’s got a few more pounds than extra herself kind of way. Another night later though and she comes diving in at me—he doesn’t believe in Jesus?!
I’m not sure what part of obvious she had missed.
The next night as he and I were literally standing by the door leaving to head back to California, she brings it up—she wants me to meet her best friend—who is just split up from his wife. (You remember, that one from years before that sang at her wedding.)
I was aghast. Honestly, I don’t remember what I said, if anything at all. I just remember Brian and I looking at each other. We were outta there.
Cut to years later. After four years of dating, I moved to San Francisco leaving my SoCal Jews-don’t-believe-in-Jesus boyfriend behind. (We’re still friends to this day.) Cabbage Patch cousin-in-law is visiting her best friend—you remember the one: the one I’ve been hearing about for the past FOURTEEN YEARS—in San Diego for Memorial Day, and I should come visit her! Um, yeah. Not happening…
We can meet half-way! She pestered me via email (oh, how I missed the days of snail mail) telling me all about her best friend who gets a little frisky when he drinks and how much fun we’d all have. Um, no. Besides, she has no idea that there is no half-way between San Francisco and San Diego.
Then I realize that I’m going to be in LA that weekend anyway. I give in, and agree to drive down to meet up with her and stay.
To be honest, it was more about the fact that I had met an adorable guy that weekend at a vineyard in Napa who also happened to be from San Diego, and we’d been texting back-and-forth.
I drive down from LA, and meet cute-vineyard boy (a blonde haired blue eyed Jewish boy) for sushi and hang with him and his friends that night. We danced and had a blast. The next morning “breakfast” is burgers and eventually I finally head over to see her and her best friend she’s been nagging me about for the last half of my life.
… to be continued.