Saturday, August 21, 2004

Family Matters

i attended this family get-together last weekend. it was a reunion of sorts with all kinds of relatives whom i hadn't seen in years. there were maybe 35 of us sitting down to eat crummy russian food at this restaurant with crazy slow service. i slipped into a dress, high heels; i even washed my hair. and then i braced myself to face the relatives, which have been known to be quite the critical bunch. luckily, i passed this time, as they all agreed i looked nice and healthy. i encountered a compliment each time i greeted one of my aunties and great-aunties (there are mostly women in my extended family). that, of course, was nice to hear because most of the time i get "plumped up, eh? you should lose some weight" or "you'd look better if you pulled your hair back" (this time, i came with my hair already pulled back).

but nope, nothing but the good stuff this time around. ALTHOUGH, there was something qualitatively wrong in all the compliments. they were usually couched in the terms "you look so much better than the last time i saw you," which really made me wonder what kind of monster i looked like before. it must have been maybe 2-3 years ago that i saw them last, and that means maybe 10-15 pounds ago, but 10-15 pounds isn't 50 pounds. i was disturbed, especially when my 'high society' auntie asked me whether i had had plastic surgery. it was if, "damn, girl. you probably had to pay someone to lop the fat off your ass and brighten up your face, because you ain't no natural beauty."

and then there was the old standby: "When are you going to get married?" and this time around, it was confounded by the compliments, i.e.: "What's going on with you? You look so nice, why can't you find a man to marry you?" then the aunties would list off the various FOBs they knew (FOB= fresh of the boat, as in recent immigrant in search of a greencard). after a few glasses of wine, i felt brazen enough to respond to the "when you gonna get married" question with "never" (Nee-kug-da in Russian). to this, i would usually hear "but you HAVE to," though some oddball aunties did pull me aside and say "you know what? that's good, honey, you live for yourself. i wish i did."


in other news, my current temp gig that i've been so in love with has been extended another two weeks, which means money (yay!) and getting up at 4:30am to get to work by 6am (boo!). it's been great, though. i feel super challenged by and engaged in my work; the early start actually makes the days zoom by, leaving me with plenty of daylight once i get done at 3pm; the pay's not bad; the people are nice; and i'm working for a brand and cause i believe in. so, in short, i'll never get a perm job there, because good stuff like that just doesn't happen to me. i'll take the crumbs, though.

otherwise, i've been a movie-going mama lately. seen so much in the theaters in the past few months: spidey 2, bourne supremacy, collateral, what the bleep do we know? and napoleon dynamite. only ones i'd truly recommend are 'napoleon dynamite' and 'bourne supremacy.' rest were subpar.

tonight should be very interesting, as i have my 10-year high-school reunion to attend.

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