family legend

this week’s This American Life is a rerun about Family Legends. it’s about the stories families tell over and over that become legend. sort of like the story the sister club tells about our mom pounding on the door of McDonald’s because it was closed though it was allegedly supposed to be open, and how the McDonald’s workers told sister #4 at school on monday how insane her mom was.

it’s also about family secrets, and things you don’t talk about. well tonight we’re gonna talk about the family that’s driving me fucking nuts this week.

it all started on tuesday (or maybe monday) night, when i answered the knock on my door. standing there was my cousin keith and a blonde teenager. even though i hadn’t seen keith since grammu’s funeral two years ago, i knew it was him immediately. of course, i can’t quite name the last time i had seen him before grammu’s funeral. i remembered, with the help of sister #2, an incident where keith made out with jodi hanson at Anna & Kevin’s fourth of july party. but that was when i was still in high school. other than that, i don’t remember too much about keith. i’m sure he was at holidays when i was younger, i just don’t remember it.

what i remember about keith is that he was the bad kid. he was in trouble and may or may not have spent some time in jail. he may or may not have a bunch of children. i do know, that, he introduced the blonde teen with him as his daughter. though, allegedly, she’s a stepdaughter.

so keith is in town (i’m not sure where he lives) visiting his dad, my uncle george. uncle george lives upstairs from me. uncle george has sequestered himself away from him family because he owes them all a lot of money. he’s got a bit of a gambling problem (a problem that runs rampant in the family).

and keith randomly showed up at my door, which is odd. because we have nothing in common and have never, as far as i can recall, ever spent any time together. as soon as i closed the door on the awkward reunion, i thought i was done.


last night he came knocking on my door at about 10 o’clock. i didn’t answer it. i was smart, and heeded sister #2’s advice to look through the peephole before opening the door. sure it sounds rude, but i knew the only reason he’d be knocking is because he wanted something.

then today as i was leaving for the grocery store, i was accosted by the blond teen and a friend of her’s. they wanted to borrow my DVD player for the night.

what? i said no.

then, when i was coming back from the grocery store, i ran into the blonde teen and friend again, this time they needed to borrow my phone because apparently uncle george doesn’t have one and they didn’t have any money for a pay phone.

blech. i, of course, let them use it.

i’m waiting for the next knock on the door where they want to borrow gas money so they can get home. i just don’t get it? what is with people who think that they can basically impose on a stranger merely because they are related? i would never think in a million years to knock on his door to borrow anything.

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