wearing my heart on my (virtual) sleeve


i have always been rather independent.  i propelled myself from home and once i muddled through the obligatory earn-this-degree and be a semi-functioning adult in this world decade post-high school, i not only moved to new york city to find my destiny but also found myself traveling the world – hmmm…trying to find my destiny love.  there are lots of people i grew up with – and i’m sure this is true for you or for many people you know – who stayed close to home.  they built their lives around what they knew and function happily there (i’m sure for some, unhappily). 

after much world-wandering, i found myself with roots in brooklyn.  first a tiny apartment in brooklyn heights and then, once i was the other half of a couple, sharing a house (a house in nyc~!) further out in midwood.  my family scattered far and wide.  we all used to be in philadelphia.  and when i say all, i mean pretty much all.  my maternal grandmother was one of 13 children and there were myriads of 1st cousins on my father’s side.  we used to have a ‘family circle’ and i remember trips on big rented buses to washington, d.c. as a big family.  we saw my mother’s side a lot when we were younger and less as we grew older.  now, for both sides, we find ourselves scattered.  a few remain in philly but we’ve flung ourselves to new mexico, atlanta, maryland, new jersey, and california. 

imagine my surprise when i found out that a cousin – a real cousin – lived mere blocks from my office.  i found out by accident years ago when a real estate broker mentioned the name of her buyer for a house and that name, rather unusual, was my mother’s maiden name.  this cousin and i shared a great grandfather.  i got in touch and, perhaps as it was a turbulent time in his life – a child on the way, a new house, a wife who may not have been so motivated to socialize with family that was not hers – we never got together.  i knew that something had happened between our parents – something subtle but perhaps his parents weren’t so keen to socialize with mine.  i never got the whole story – as i think it sat more on his side than mine.  one adult not liking another adult.  one non-related adult not liking their spouse’s related adult.   these things happen. they also were living a very very upscale life – a wildly grand house in the plunk middle of the fanciest part of park slope, brooklyn and parents who retired to the very exclusive hamptons. 

i let much time go by.  last year, teenage daughter turned 14 and i remember thinking that it was so silly that she – my only child – had a cousin mere blocks from her school and didn’t know her.  so i emailed.  imagine my surprise to find out in a cordial return email that she had two younger cousins nearby (what a difference a few years make) and was told all the right soothing things:  nice to hear from you; oh yes we should get together; let’s talk at the end of the summer and make some plans.  time passed.  my adult cousin showed up on fb and i friended him.  we went through the same dance.  i have never been shy about taking the first step.  in this case, i took the first step 3 times over 3x as many years.  well, all things in 3’s.   a full facebook-year later, today, i unfriended him.  whatever his issues are, whatever social plane he thinks he lives on, i am finally unwilling to share my small bit of fb feelings with the cousin that doesn’t want to be a cousin.  it was a valentine’s day release.


4 Responses to wearing my heart on my (virtual) sleeve

  1. Carol says:

    Good for you, Bean. Let it go. He sent a message loudly and clearly. I’m sorry for Hannah but with friends like that…

  2. i might not have guessed this was outstanding a number years back then again it is funny exactly how time changes the means by which you see different ideas, many thanks for the post it is good to see something smart occasionally instead of the basic crap mascarading as a blog on the net, cheers

  3. chips zynga says:

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  4. rebeany says:

    lol i’m not sure if chips is a spam poster or sincere but i’m leaving it here!

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