At 5 p.m. tonight, I found myself in Kramerbooks in D.C. with a woman claiming to be my 2nd cousin. She and her husband and their four children were visiting D.C. from Michigan, and they were very aggressive about seeking a meeting, despite the fact that we'd never communicated.... I fended off their requests to meet at my home, suspecting they'd be more difficult to extract than six wisdom teeth, and suggested the Kramerbooks meeting. I'm pretty sure they wanted to stay with us, as they mentioned a number of times that they were having difficulty finding a hotel.
As I was driving to Kramerbooks, I received a text: "We're here! We're all wearing bright green t-shirts"
Displaying inner strength even I didn't know I had, I kept driving.
I arrived at Kramerbooks and told the tattooed, pierced waiter that I was meeting a group in the cafe. He sneered and waved me in the direction of their table. They were all blonde, hearty, and indeed wearing bright green t-shirts, including their 2-year-old daughter. What they'd neglected to mention was that these were custom t-shirts. The front said, in huge black letters: OBAMA. ONE TERM. The back read: HOPE... FOR A CHANGE!
I choked down a glass of wine rapidly while they drank six identical milkshakes. Then [my husband] arrived. He couldn't contain his laughter when he saw the shirts. He promptly began urging the family to spend a lot of time walking around Dupont Circle that evening, if they wanted a "real D.C. experience," saying that it was a much more lively, interesting place than the typical tourist attractions. The sadist.
My cousin then asked me if we had met the president "or the former president, as I like to call him," she giggled.
"Yes," I responded. "My brother-in-law worked on the transition and we went to one of the balls."
She then asked about my older brother.
"Oh, [he's] doing great," I said, happy to change the subject. "He's married to a wonderful woman. She's from Pakistan, and they're living in Japan now."
"Is she.... Japanese?" my cousin asked hopefully.
"No," I said. "She's Pakistani."
"I see," she said, taking a restorative sip of milkshake. "It all sounds so.... exotic!"
As we left Kramerbooks, [my husband] swept me up in a joyous hug. He had previously complained about having to go. "It was so worth it!" he gushed, as we watched our relatives head out to experience a "real D.C." night.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
A friend reports: