Sunday, December 03, 2006

Family Bonds

Today, Geo and I had the very big pleasure to be part of my cousin Bern's engagement to his girlfriend of two years, Bee.

This was very exciting for many reasons:

a) my cousin and I went to high school together, him one year above me. We were really close back then, to the point that some mistook us for brother and sister rather than cousins. I admired my cousin beyond anybody else, tried to copy him as much as I could, and never succeeded - for he was just the epitome of coolness, and I was the epitome of a pimply nerd teenager who never was invited to the in-parties. He got me into learning to play the guitar some 13 years ago - simply because he's done it first, and I just had to copy everything he did. Which I am quite thankful for, because not only did my first heartbroken crush on a teacher stem from this, but also the glorious year of 2004, which marked my success with my band Vudu Iguana in Los Angeles, where I rocked on the bass (- and probably would have gotten a record contract, wouldn't I have decided to leave and go back home, meh.)

b) after he graduated, one year before me, we lost touch completely. Family meetings weren't exactly plentiful, and when we did see each other about once a year around Christmas, we were awkward with each other to the point that I did not even dare talk to His Cousinness at all, for all his being so cool and grown up and moving around in higher spheres which were beyond the realms of my imagination. All this - also because of my 3 1/2 years absence while studying in LA - lead to a whole decade of not speaking to each other more than 3 sentences total, and that's including "Hi." and "Bye."

c) after returning from LA with Geo, I suddenly received a phone call - the first phone call from him in my entire life - and about an hour and a half later we had a "date" for dinner with our respective significant others to "catch up", and ever since then, as if nothing had ever happened, our friendship and closeness snapped suddenly back into place with an audible *click*.

Now he's calling me out of nowhere just to chat, we are going out all four together on a quite regular basis, even signed up for ballroom dance lessons together. I really like his now-fiancée, and she really seems to like me too, and that helped our friendship along greatly as well.

Considering all this, naturally I was floored when he called me up some 2 or 3 months ago, to tell us to mark today in our calendars, for today is Bee's birthday, and was also to be the day he would ask her to be his wife. He said to me on the phone: "You know... I want to celebrate this together with our closest and dearest friends, that's why I want you two there with us."

I floated on a cloud for the rest of the day afterwards. :)

And to top it all off, out of all the people present tonight I was personally appointed their photographer, and was allowed a front-seat view of his proposal - hidden behind trees and bushes on the torch-lit pathway that led up to the pedestal of the ring in the forest next to the medieval castle where the party took place afterwards - witnessing the very beginning of their "official" life together.

Why am I mentioning this so very lengthy here?

Bee and Bernie are planning a baby of their own - just as we are. And from day one since we let each other in on our respective plans, Bee and I have been speculating about "trying around the same time", to "be pregnant at the same time", and "drive our men crazy together"... not to mention our children being around the same age, growing up together.

We are trying already - they will be starting to around this summer or fall. Ideally, our kids will be one pregnancy apart in age. Since my own sister currently swears to never ever procreate, with the full backing of my brother in law, Bernie and Bee's kids will be the closest cousins our own children will have, the closest nieces/nephews I will ever have. It is a wonderful thing to look forward to, and even greater to have the feeling that the two of them feel just the same way about our kids.

There is nothing greater than to find dear friends within the bounds of one's very own family. :)

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