All things (relatively) relative
August 11, 2022
With my car freshly washed, lubed and oiled, and gassed, my playlist relatively perfected, I put the top down and hit the road for my four-hour drive to Seattle last Friday. I was heading to the last of my cousins’ children’s Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. My music and I headed west to Seattle’s relatively cool 95-degree weather.
My family is well known among my friends as one that comes together to attend family events no matter where they are held. And as usual, we all showed up in Seattle. Brother, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends arrived from Chicago, New York, Boca Raton, Los Angeles, Texas, Northern California, Indiana, Washington D. C, and Waitsburg. We are also known (and rightly so) as the family that eats from one event to another.
I arrived at the hotel around 3:30 p.m. to find my brother, aunt, and uncle in the lobby strategizing cars and rides to the evening’s dinner at one of the cousin’s homes. Transportation logistics are always a challenge, and my response to being a driver was, “I can fit one person in front, one or two in the tiny back seat if they are small, foldable, and flexible, but first, I need a shower!”
It amazes me how we always pick up where we left off. It is as if we’d seen each other only last week when it’s been years. After about ten minutes of multi-generations catching up, we gravitate to our “tribes.” The twenty-year-olds were seated in one area while we “elders” planted ourselves at the table nearest the wine. (With age comes wisdom). The young kids played everywhere.
Saturday morning at 7:30, I was awakened and told to hurry down to the lobby. One group of cousins was preparing to make the trek for coffee and crumpets. At breakfast, we scheduled to meet the other cousins for lunch at 11:30. This left us little time to change clothes, digest breakfast, and re-strategize cars and riders to arrive at the service by 2:00.
After the afternoon’s event and two hours before the party, we, of course, needed sustenance. Down to the lobby bar, where we again tried to strategize riders and cars to the party. After a few drinks, we unanimously agreed Uber was the way to go.
The party was boisterous with lots of cocktails, wine, beer, and food. My cousins and I unabashedly raided the children’s table for curly fries. Experience tells us that grease is a great compliment to cocktails.
All generations took to the dance floor as we boogied and hula hooped. Sadly, I seem to have lost my hula hoop touch; so disheartening. Relative to my current ineptitude with the hoop, I remember being a star. I think age has taken a toll.
Sunday morning, there was a brunch because an hour awake without food is unconscionable. Again, we had to go through the car-and-rider strategies to get there. Sitting outside on the patio in the relatively cool 90-degree weather, I enjoyed reading the Sunday New York Times in relative perfection as I was about to head back to the 100-plus temperatures of Eastern Washington.
No strategy needed this time; my car, now dirty, loaded with water bottles and fish from Pike’s Market was ready. I said my goodbyes and headed out, but not before my cousins wanted to pack up sandwiches for me to take on the road. I graciously declined; miraculously I made it home without even a nibble.