We have an aunt, we have many , but this one in particular is, well, I don’t actually have words for her.
She is my dad’s sister. She is THAT aunt, you know the one, holds you too tight while hugging you, pinches your cheeks- telling you how old you are getting and shoves a fiver into your hand acting like it’s 1000 Euro,if you didn’t overly thank her, she would give out about you to all your other aunties and uncles. She likes to ask questions, give her expert opinion and tell you where you are going wrong, it seemed the older you got the less she felt the need to filter her questions.
My younger brother, Mucker, was still living at home up until a year ago, he is 31.
I don’t see this aunt much, as I’ve not lived at home since I was 18, so I tend to have a lot more patience and tolerance for her than my younger brother, who saw her every few months when he lived at home.
He rang me one evening in hysterics.
“Mac, you’ll never guess what I’ve done…oh my” fits of laughter. My mother had picked up the other line “Jesus, how can I go back in Geraldine?”I could hear a smile tickle her voice. “What are ye on about?”
Getting these kind of phone calls are completely normal from my family, they talk all at once,talk to each other instead of the person they rang.
“Oh jesus” my mother was now laughing. ” What?” I began laughing,I could hear Mucker trying to control his breathing as he gasped for breaths in between fits of laughter. “Oh , that little fucker, I’ll kill him, do you hear me Anthony?” Mucker was now in an uncontrollable fit of laughter.
“What mam?” I was smiling. “What did he do?”
“Shit, your father is coming with aunty V, Anthony stay up there until she’s gone”, my mother took a deep breath, calming herself, “Coming now Willie, I’ll talk to you later Geraldine” she hung up her line.
Mucker was still laughing. It was annoying me now, I wanted to know, I needed to know~ maybe I was more like my aunt than I realised.
“No way” I gasped at the thought, “Wha, what did ya say?” Mucker was now just down to drips of giggles. “If ya don’t tell me I’m hanging up!” I demanded. “Puds just came in” he began to laugh again, I could hear Puds in the background laughing , then I heard Baby come in, our youngest sibling, she too was in fits. I hung up.
An hour later, my oldest sister Queen, she’s called that because she used to boss us all around when we were kids.( she still tries to do it to this day!) .She would send us to the shop and give us 10p for our troubles, and believe me it was trouble going to that shop. We literally took our life in our hands crossing that road. Then there was the guys you had to avoid- the ones that smoked! Being a child,I thought that meant they were trouble.
QUEEN~ “Did ya hear what Mucker said to aunty V?” I could still hear the other three laughing.
ME~ “Are they still feckin’ laughing. Jesus. Go on” I smiled as I could hear Queen telling them to shut up until Mac gets in on the joke. Good woman Queen, involve me, please.
QUEEN~”Aunty V was doing the usual questioning of Mucker, ya know, where are you working now Anthony, Do you have a girlfriend yet? Are you..”
ME~ “Yeah, yeah, the usual shite”, I was very familiar with aunty V’s line of questioning, I was also very aware of Anthonys’ distain for her and her fucking questions.
QUEEN~ “Well, she was asking him why don’t you have a girlfriend Anthony, you’re getting on a bit..”
ME~ “What’s Anna then?” I smiled, knowing Mucker would never tell our aunt about his girlfriend of three years.
QUEEN~ “I know yeah, but anyway..”
ME~ “Where were you and the girls?”, all my sisters lived at home too. The economy played a huge part in that, much to my fathers annoyance. “It’s out I want ye” he had moaned while carrying in their bedding!
QUEEN~ “At work, thank God. Anyway, she was going on and on, picking on poor Mucker when she told him he was too old not to have a girlfriend, he..he..” She was now laughing ,”Here”
BABY~ “Hi, so anyway, like, he, he, he turned to her and said,”I’m here, I’m queer and I take it up the rare, now aunty V, put that on your next Christmas letter”, he ran off then leaving mam and dad and V staring at each other. Mac, Mac…he had actions and all” she roared with laughter.
I hung up and ran to tell D through bouts of laughter.
Turns out my aunt never said anything to anyone about it. It was my father who spread it through our extended family, who all got such a laugh out of it that it sort of became a party piece for Mucker at family get togethers.