Friday, June 26, 2009

Does A Slightly Embarrassing Cousin Count??

My most embarrassing relative...

This week's topic is a tough one for me because I can't remember any embarrassing relatives! The closest I have is a cousin, two years younger than I, who was a holy terror when we were kids. No secret. Even he admits it. Neighbors would flee when this six-year-old stalked the sidewalks, slingshot in hand.

I remember one particular bus trip when "Bobby" (not his real name), his mother, my mom and I were going "uptown" to shop. (I should explain that "downtown" was the shopping district in our small hometown. Shopping "uptown" meant traveling about an hour by bus to Louisville, the largest city.)

Anyway, when "Bobby" wasn't thoroughly annoying every single passenger by running up and down the aisle sticking his tongue out at them, he was hanging out the bus window, thumbs stuck in both ears, fingers waving, giving the, naaaah-naaaah-naaaah salute. For you younger readers, this would be equivalent to one of the more disrespectful gestures of today. I still remember my mother's shock and embarrassment, but I thought it was pretty funny.

Amazingly, "Bobby" grew up! Especially considering, when he was about 8, he wrapped a bath towel over his shoulders, climbed onto the roof of his house and did a Superman impersonation. Results? Six months in a leg cast.

I'm not sure if it was that incident or divine intervention, but before he got into high school, he changed. The brat was gone; replaced by a quiet, studious teenager. He still had a funny side and was a great practical joker, but the jokes were all in good fun. He went on to become a successful businessman with many lifelong friends.

So, that's all I've got. A slightly annoying younger cousin. I don't know if I simply don't remember being embarrassed by my relatives, or if I was just too busy being embarrassed by myself.

Mary Cunningham is the author of the award-winning series, "Cynthia's Attic," and "Ghost Light," 'tween fiction/short story (Kindle).

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Pam Ripling said...

Cousins absolutely do count! I had 3 of them, all boys, all younger than me... I loved them except when my other neighborhood friends came around. My cuz's all called me "Ping" and it was so embarrassing when they shouted it out in front of my pals!

Mary Cunningham said...

I think "Ping's" kinda cute! (heard worse!)


Ophelia Julien said...

Pam's right: cousins do count, especially if you have to live with them, or at least close by.

At least he grew out of it!