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Letters to Nowhere

Friday, February 23, 2007

Cookies and Manliness

My wife of four months has a complex relationship with her family, and a sometimes uneasy relationship with mine. At least, certain members of it. This is a problem that has caused bitter discussions, as regular readers might know. It almost caused some hard thinking on her part on the idea of marriage, I expect. Still and all, we DID marry, happily. For that I am grateful. However, there are certain aspects of my relationship with my own family that must be as foreign to her as the very country she'll be moving to.

I am the youngest of my siblings, and although I am going to be forty-three this weekend, I still get somewhat spoiled. Now, granted, being the youngest child in a family does cut into your credibility. Sometimes, if engaged in a family discussion, I get looked upon as if my having an opinion is cute, at best, or seen-but-not-heard at worse. I still work at it, despite the problems that I might endure in regards to my impact on family dynamics.

Still and all, there are benefits.

Today, I received a rather large package that my sister and mother sent me....for my birthday. This file box contained such things as a coffee machine, coffee grinder, Starbucks coffee (not available here, unless you drive for twelve hours south), three novels, some pictures and cigarettes. Best of all, I got three containers of my mother's cookies. Now, I tell you, there is nothing better than Mom's cookies (No, your mom's aren't better, give your head a shake!). I do get indulged; no other kid gets cookies in my family, I'm pretty lucky. Peanut, chocolate chip, oatmeal cookies. Just lovely with the coffee they sent.

Now, I talk to my wife on the phone daily; this is the contact we have to maintain, given our current distance apart. It's not enough, but we get by. I tell her with some excitement what I got in the package, and I'm getting a less than excited response, for whatever reason. I suppose I understand this. However, she makes the point that, when she and her son move up, these packages might not come as often, or at all, as they realize that we make our own family circle. I have to joke and say " look, you don't HAVE to come up. That way, I could at least still get cookies! Or you could make them." She doesn't bake.

I ask her if she is upset with me getting a CARE package from home. I get the impression from her manner that I might be too old for such things. She insists she doesn't. I get defensive.

"Just because my mom sends me cookies, doesn't mean I'm not a man!!!"

'......................................'

That sets us off for fifteen minutes. Coffee was spit. Breath was lost. A lot of heeheeheeheeheehee. We must have sounded demented. Sometimes I can really blunder. Ah, well, I got mom's cookies. And I don't have to share. Yet.

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