Going backwards in time just a tad from before going away to “Mission College”. Very recently my brother shared some pics of his family. This month he’s celebrating his 17th wedding anniversary. That year he married he finished his baccalaureate degree and also gained admission to a law school in Texas. After getting married him and wifey would move there.
You know what this means he’s getting married and I have to join his wedding party. It was expected I suppose, but never something I wanted to do. Perhaps it was the introversion as I knew eyes would be on me. Well not entirely but my family both sides definitely had their expectations.
Funny part was that I had danced with someone at the wedding (don’t remember who) and cousin Natalie who came up for the festivities just decided to force herself to giggle at every unfunny thing I said. Wasn’t in the mood for her no matter what. Even funnier still no one laughed at a random remark – “maybe you will find you a girlfriend” Natalie remarked -she made upon learning I was going to a bar to meet with an uncle. That uncle for some reason was absent from my brother’s wedding, and I wasn’t going by myself as my mother and two other uncles were coming. Yours truly was still underage at the time.
Now to set up what happened way before the wedding my brother and I had been at odds. My time in community college was a bit of a struggle, I wasn’t working and my brother chose to ding me on both at the time. He saw something wrong with that picture. Perhaps there was – and yes he was coming on too strong – at the same time well I was a bit aimless at the time. My brother never gave me something to work with at the time, no one did other than their expectations.
My mother during this period randomly suggested “Don’t you want to join the national guard?” Not sure where this came from and besides I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, got this college thing stuck in my head. Though ironically enough I did speak to the navy that summer, but never made a move at all. Funny thing is we did discuss this during my high school years and she was somewhat involved with my meetings with recruiters from the armed services, however, her expectation that I’d be very successful in college was wrong as it turned out at the time.
Soon the wedding was over and the “pretentious” new couple were moving to another state. No more ceremony, pomp & circumstance, family, or even snooty bridesmaids. Time to get back to reality.
Which reminds me, during the course of that year after my brother and I had a serious falling out that was totally unnecessary I called an uncle months earlier who lived in Virginia. We talked for a couple of hours and suggested at random that I come out there – perhaps a week, perhaps a summer. Then i told my mother and it became a whole drama that in small ways I attempted to quell.
Didn’t happen that way! My mother brought it up at random to her sister in-law at which point I told her to “keep your mouth shut”. Then we went up to visit a great-aunt in Wisconsin and it came up again. This time I said nothing but really had no intention on talking about it. But it was something very exciting to my mother and again she had the expectation that I would go out east to visit with him.
My mother even told people at work and as I handed her my resume – with no work experience – to look at & she just quickly changed subjects saying “You won’t do what I ask you to do” quickly pivoting to making reservations to head out east. She mentioned someone at work asked her about the trip and my mother well had no answer as I was still at home and the summer was almost over.
My thinking on why I didn’t just go out east to visit my uncle. It may have a little to do with the fact that my mother starting talking about it. At the time I also thought about money while I had my savings account with a few bucks in it she still would’ve paid for the ticket to go out there. However, what else would I have to contribute very little. But it would be my first trip without my mother since my dad passed away. I suppose the random mentions of this when I had least expected dampened my interest…
One final “coup de grace” was Claudine – my retired military officer aunt -who started to take an interest in this. Early that summer – before my brother’s nuptials – my mother and I met Claudine and her daughter in our southern hometown. At the time Claudine lived in maryland and she was already talking about sites we could visit there.
And my thought was I was going out there to visit my uncle not you. What are you doing getting involved with me going out there to visit my uncle and you trying to convince me to come out. Claudine even went so far as to note when she got me on the phone “you better come out here, the summer is almost over”.She wanted me to come out there and made the same level of effort as my mother.
Meanwhile my uncle was silent we never further talked about me coming out there at least since the phone call. He didn’t encourage me any further one way or the other he put the idea out there and the women in the family after knowing about it started working on me. Essentially it didn’t work as I wanted to discourage this behavior.
By the way, I never figured out how Claudine found out about it. Perhaps her and her brother talked about it or perhaps my mother brought it up to her at random. She decided to put on her own pressure. Other than that the summer of that wedding, was largely uneventful.