Sunday, March 18, 2012

Cousins Talk, I Listen: Family Values in the New Millennium

Conversations I've had with cousins in the past week--distant ones, but kin nonetheless: 

She's a superb businesswoman.*  Lives on a square mile of land, and manages that farm like an expert.  She's more like Granny than any of us. 
And did you ever know about her little rat terrier B.?  She taught it to bite her husband.  Leads him around with a ring through his nose.  Her husband, you understand.  Not B. 
When B. died, she made contact with a pet psychic, and she now receives messages from B.  He's told her she and our mother are both going to die. 
B. was mean when he was alive.  He seems to remain mean in death. 
Sister went through a hard patch a few years ago when several of her horses and dogs all died around the same time.  Went to a therapist, and it was a match of b-word to b-word.   
The therapist says after listening to her, "Why, I believe you care more for animals than you do people!" 
Sister looks at the doctor like she's the crazy one and says, "Well, of course I do!"  And huffs out of the therapist's office.  When she gets back to her farm, the therapist sends the sheriff to have her put into the mental hospital, and she complies, but--and who ever would have imagined otherwise?--she has herself out of the hospital in ten minutes.


So that was conversation number one.  The second (entirely unrelated to the other, although on the same side of my family, but the cousin below is a double cousin related to me through two family lines):

Me: You know, if you start counting up the number of members of our Batchelor/Bachelor family who have been teachers since the family came to Arkansas in the 19th century, you'd find the number is remarkable, generation after generation.  We've educated the state of Arkansas! 
Him: If so, we've done a piss-poor job of it, haven't we?

And so it goes, family and more family, day moving after day, night following night, A.D. 2012 as Easter approaches.

*This is a cousin telling me about her sister.

The graphic is the work of New York artist Michael Scoggins, from the Saltworks Gallery in Atlanta.

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