TRAVEL BUG TALES: RELATING TO RELATIVES
So last week I talked about the differences between visiting my two grandmothers. That led me to thinking about the other people connected to my family – especially my cousins. Let me introduce you to the crowd.
The Mobleys VS the Caves
My mom was the baby of eight siblings. These eight aunts and uncles only produced nine offspring and most of those were significantly older than me, so at Mobley get-togethers, my sister and I were usually surrounded by adults .
Meanwhile, my dad was the eldest of six, but they were much more prolific in the reproduction department. Everyone had at least two kids, while two of his brothers had significantly more. I’d be hard-pressed to give you a definite number of cousins on that side.
The Geographic Divide
For my first five years I was an only child and I was the only girl cousin who would show up at most of the Mobley holiday events, in part because the other girls didn’t live nearby. At the Cave shindigs I was just one in a sea of faces which seemed larger every year.
Then, at about the same time as my sister was born, we moved to Georgia. Our appearance at any family shindig rarely coincided with a holiday and the opportunities to bond with my cousins were few and far between. Then about six years later we moved back to Texas. By then, my Mobley cousins were all grown up and had moved on to other venues. The Cave family continued to add faces, but Susan and I didn’t know any of them as well as they all seemed to know each other. We weren’t sure of our place in the pecking order.
The Uncomfortable Exception to the Rule
On the Mobley side there was one exception to my isolation and his name was Patrick. He was just a year or two older than I was and he was the bane of my existence. Here are some of the reasons:
- He talked me into jumping on the roof of my parents car.
- I ruined a pair of brand new shoes because he told me it was OK to drag them when I was riding on the back of his bike.
- He shoplifted a candy bar from a convenience store when I was with him.
- Our parents made him drive me to school my first year of senior high, but he still managed to skip classes and somehow that was my fault.
His greatest sin against me was that he always argued with me about cereal. Whenever our families would stay with one another, our mothers thought it was smart to get those variety packs of cereal, so everyone would have a choice. The problem was the only cereal Patrick wanted was whatever box he could get me to admit I wanted. Giving him first choice did no good, because then he’d say I was making him go first so I could trick him. Telling him which one I wanted and giving it to him didn’t work either, because he would accuse me of lying to him about which one I really liked. Whatever I did we ended up in an argument and I would be the one who got in trouble, because my mother told me I was not, under any circumstances, to let him draw me into an argument.
Yep, I knew Patrick very well and it was not a blessing! At least not in those days. It’s been a decade or more since he’s been in touch with the family, so I guess he didn’t like us all that much either.
With so many more cousins to choose from on the Cave side, I also have a lot more happy stories to tell. I’ll share some of those next week.