Welcome to the Family
I hail from a large family. Like with all large families, indeed, any large group, rumors sometimes get spread around. In my family, we often find humor in the rumors and will even embellish upon them. Thank God our nieces and nephews have grown up with our sick, and even morbid, senses of humor.
When one of my brothers passed away, the rumor mill spit out that his ex-wife had probably murdered him in order to get his social security checks.
I was horrified that one of his children would suffer the pain and sting of such a comment while mourning their father’s death so I reached out to them. The first person I sent a text to was Jackie.
Me: I know your mother is bat shit crazy, but I hope you know she would not and did not kill your father.
Jackie: Yes, we know that.
We talked for a few minutes and she reiterated that no matter the bad taste in jokes, she knew it was just that and she did not take any offense.
Her younger brother Jason seems pretty flippant about such matters so I was sure he blew it off, but the oldest; Jerimi was just a tad bit more serious than the other two. I reached out to him as well, with the same message about their mother being bat shit crazy but not a murderer.
Two hours later, I get a reply back: I think you have the wrong number, but please continue. This promises to be interesting.
Me: This isn’t Jerimi?
Her: No. I’m not even a he. You must not talk to Jerimi very much, though, because I’ve had this number for a couple of months.
I’m digesting this new information. I can’t believe that little turd did not let me know he change phone numbers.
Her: Who are you?
Me: I’m Aunt Michelle. Who are you?
Her: I guess that makes me your niece, Brittany.
Me: I don’t have a niece Brittany.
Her: You do now.
Me: Well, welcome to the family. We’re a group of sick people who make sick jokes and have an uncouth sense of humor.
Her: With sick rumors. I feel welcome already.
I go silent for a few minutes as I check around and yes, Jerimi did change his phone number several months earlier. He’s aware of the rumor and thinks it’s laughable… as long as he’s okay I was fine. Meanwhile…
Her: Aunt Michelle, are you still there?
Her: Are you going to finish the story? Who is Jerimi?
Me: He’s my nephew – his father died a few days ago and someone in the family was joking around that his ex-wife probably killed him.
Her: Was my fake-daddy rich?
Me: LOL No!
Her: Why would fake-mama kill him then?
Me: For his Social Security checks.
Her: I need to have a talk with fake-mama. That’s just plain stupid to kill someone for their social security check.
Me: She didn’t do it, though.
Her: How did fake-daddy die then?
Me: He likely had a heart attack (which it turned out later that is what happened).
This exchange went on for a couple of hours with the two of us going back and forth. It was hilarious and she was a good sport about me getting the wrong number. I promised to keep her informed if anything else happened.
In the end, we both agreed: There’s nothing like other family’s dramas to help you cope with your own.