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Thursday, January 03, 2008Bathing in the blood of virgins
My parents live to tease each other. Not only is it fun to watch but at times it proves to be educational as well as was the case on this particular day. All we had wanted was some advice and instead ended up with a history lesson….
The table had been cleared of dinner dishes and my sister and I were just wandering around the dining area and living room waiting to have a word with our parents about one thing or another. Caity would go after dad because he can never say no to her and I would talk to mom because I needed some advice on certain expenses I was planning. My father was going over the monthly bills with my mother when she handed him the bill for her insurance premium. He looked it over and teasingly said “You know babe the day you kick over I’m going to a wealthy man.” Mom gave him the evil eye while trying to unsuccessfully suppress a smile. “I have no intention of dying before you do, au contraire ma cher it’s you that will kick the bucket before moi! “How you figure?” he asked. “Simple if you take genetics into account.” “What?” Okay let’s do the math...how many funerals have we been to for your family since we’ve been together?” As he did the mental tally she walked over to him and ran her fingers through his hair, “Well how many?” “A lot” he conceded. “Face it man your people are dropping like flies! Now in the 26 years that we’ve been together with the exception of my mom, how many people from my side have died? Go on take your time I’ll wait while you add it up.”
She looked up at the ceiling and playfully drummed her fingers on the table, he caught her hand and brought it to his lips and gave it a quick kiss before she snatched it away and flicked his fingers with hers, “Don’t try to distract me hombre. Well how many?” He sighed and said “None” “What was that?” and sarcastically added, “I couldn’t hear you; your eyes distracted me. How the hell do you get them to change colors like that?” He let out a laugh and said, “Thank you. I have no clue and the answer was none.” “Of course the answer was none! Hello my people don’t die, they refuse to die in fact they’re almost immortal. You need to drive a stake through our hearts to get us to shed this mortal coil baby.”
My dad got desperate at the sight of my mother launching into her victory dance. Refusing to accept defeat he tried to change the subject, “Wait that’s not fair your people originated in Aragon!” Mom looked at him as if were stupid, “ Huh? What does that have to do with anything ?” The Aragon comment caught my sister’s attention. “That place is real? Isn’t that the place of legends, St. George and The Dragon and that mythology stuff?” my little sister asked. Mom looked at her dumbfounded, “What the heck are they teaching you in school? Yeah Aragon is a real place. It wasn’t made up and before you ask no the dragons aren’t real.” “Wait I thought your family was from the Canary Islands?” “My mother’s side is from the Canary Islands, my dad’s great grandfather moved to the Canary Islands before immigrating here but my dad’s family originated from and the majority stayed living in Aragon. A few spread out over Albacete and Andalusia and the rest of Spain.” At the mention of Albacete my father saw an opportunity to tease mom some more and jumped on it like a cat on a can of tuna fish. “Caity that’s where the Don Quixote is from, that’s why your mom’s peoples are kind of crazy must be something in the water there. ” “Yeah, yeah we’re always tilting at wind mills I’ve heard the jokes before don’t make me jack you up pendejo.”
He seized the opportunity to creep away from his losing argument and give us a history lesson, “Your mother’s family had history kids. They fought under King Sancho IV and were given a coat of arms and everything.” It was all a little bit too much for my sister who was getting hyper on the info overload, “We have a coat of arms? Are you serious?!” “Yeah I have a copy of it in one my files. I’m sure you’ve seen it.” Mom described the coat of arms to my sister it turned out she had seen it several years ago. “Oh I that I thought it was a logo to something.” “Well I guess in a way it is a logo, it’s my family logo.” My sister thought about what mom said and then asked, “They were like knights and stuff?” “Na not that I know of at least it’s not mentioned in family history. What I do know is that my family fought in several campaigns against the Moors for the king, which is kind of funny when you look at it because some of my family were shacked up with Moors in Albacete.” “Sleeping with the enemy, huh ma?” “Knowing your mom’s family Caity they were doing more than just sleeping.” My dad added laughing. “Good one, good one I’ll give you two points for that one hon.”
“So ma..” I interjected, “what are you ___ of Aragon?” I asked totally mispronouncing her first name in the process and choosing to leave out her entire name out of the conversation for fear of massacring it as well. Na more like Maggie of the upper west side and Park Slope, Brooklyn now relocated to El Bronx. Now back to the real subject at hand…your dad losing this argument. ”
She cleared her throat and recited a list of ancients in her family while my dad kept time to her list by shaking his head back and forth. I found out that day that there are quite a substantial number of people in her family close to and over 100 years old. Oddly enough they were all from the Aragon side of the family, her paternal side. The woman was not wasn’t playing around when she said those peeps were practically immortal! When mom was done with her list and dad had admitted defeat ma jumped up and yelled, “Ta-da! To the victor goes the spoils!” and flipped pa the bird as pa tried to protest the victory.
Mom’s family has great genes. They all look fantastic for their ages my grandfather who is in his sixties looks decades younger than his age. My mom in her mid 40’s is constantly being mistaken for a 30 something. Between you and me I think that family is bathing in the blood of virgins or made a deal with the devil something’s up with those people. Especially my great- great aunt Eva; not only is she bathing in it but she must be drinking it too. Somewhere in the back of this woman’s closet is a picture that gets older and older while Eva herself maintains a youthful appearance. The woman is in her 90’s and looks 30 years younger. Not that I’m trying to start any rumors or anything but umm Eva always seems uncomfortable whenever I sprinkle garlic on my pizza. I’m just saying…
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