Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Family Email Chronicles, vol. 1

Among the things my family never gave me: a trust fund, a shiny red convertible with a bow around it on my 16th birthday, and an in-ground swimming pool (despite the fact that when my father said, "You can either have a pool or a college education," I clearly stated that I would take the pool. To which he said, "No," in a blatantly unfair and dictatorial maneuver. It's a miracle that I still send the man Father's Day cards).

What they did give me, through both nature and nurture, is a delightfully dark and twisty sense of humor. My family shares a love of the darker side of humor, the sarcastic, and the just plain wrong-but-undeniably-hilarious. And, honestly, it's served me much better and longer than any of the items I mentioned above. (I'm still open to the trust fund idea, though).

Occasionally, either from sheer boredom or deep-rooted, unresolved family issues (hi, still waiting for that in-ground swimming pool), we like to mess with each other. Such as in this email thread from last week (somewhat edited for clarity, length, and to make me look good)...

From: Mom
To: Dad, Jenn, Pat, Tom
Subject: bummer
Not sure what's going on, but I don't feel at all well this morning. I talked to Jenn for a while, then struggled to get some cookies baked. I've been sipping on tea, but that isn't settling my stomach. I'm going to lie back down for a while and see what's what around noon.
BTW, I did some research online this morning. Gracie [their cat]definitely has a cold. I felt her body, and she has no fever. She really has the sniffles this morning, but is otherwise acting fine.
I wonder if Gracie picked this up in the vet's office last week? I can't imagine where else she would have been exposed.

To: Mom, Dad, Pat, Tom
From: Jenn
Subject: RE: bummer
Mom, it kind of sounds like you're blaming not feeling well on me, despite my living 1000 miles away. I've decided to take offense, but can be appeased with plane tickets to Italy. (I like to fly first class).

Some viruses do skip between humans and cats, so I suppose you're going to blame Gracie's cold on me, too. (I like to stay at the Ritz-Carlton). Love, Jenn

To: Jenn, Mom, Pat, Tom
From: Dad
Subject: RE: RE: bummer
I think your self-declared Trophy Wife status is going to your head. You may try to exploit this with Tom, but not us - sorry. Neville Chamberlain taught us that appeasement is a slippery slope. -Dad

To: Dad, Mom, Pat, Tom
From: Jenn
Subject: RE: RE: RE: bummer
Is that something along the lines of "never negotiate with terrorists"? I've decided to take offense at that, too. If you ever want to see your grandchildren again, I'd better be lounging on the Amalfi Coast this time next week. -Jenn

To: Dad, Jenn, Mom, Tom
From: Pat
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: bummer
Jenn? A trophy wife? Bwah hah hah hah! I had to live in fear of her my entire childhood! Only if a trophy is intended to torment, dress you in the other sex's clothing, and generally make your life seem not worth living. -Pat

To: Pat, Dad, Mom, Tom
From: Jenn
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: bummer
Yes, but look how well you turned out. YOU'RE WELCOME. It was all part of the master plan.

And FYI, that was not "the other sex's clothing". That was my Sassy Walkin' Doll's clothing. Technically, she was not human, and therefore sexless. But her pink pants fit you quite well. It's almost like I knew that skinny jeans would be fashionable one day. I call that rather prescient and fashion-forward for a six-year-old. -

PS - Have a bottle of champagne waiting in my hotel room in Italy, and we'll call it square.

To: Jenn, Mom, Pat, Tom
From: Dad
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: bummer
I told your mother we should never have helped you with your house renovation. I'll have her read King Lear... -Dad

To: Jenn, Dad, Mom, Pat
From: Tom
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: bummer
You know what? I'm also not feeling well today AND I spoke with Jenn this morning. Interesting coincidence...

To: Tom, Jenn, Mom, Pat
From: Dad
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: bummer
In your case, Tom, it's having a trophy wife like Goneril Regan , I mean Jenn. (What did she eat last night? Seems like giving a Gremlin food after midnight). Dad

To: Dad, Pat, Mom, Tom
From: Jenn
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: bummer
Sigh. You people make me tired. How on earth, Dad, do you remember arcane movie trivia like feeding gremlins after midnight makes them morph into tiny monsters? Do you stay up late at night watching crappy 80's movies? I will note, though, that the ferocious monster gremlins were far more interesting than the insipidly cute n' fluffy gremlins. Since I don't do cute, I choose to accept the gremlin reference as a compliment, as I'm sure you intended. They were cunning and strong-willed, with daring hairdos. My kind of people. Jenn

PS - I always thought Cordelia was kind of a wimp.

To: Jenn, Dad, Pat, Tom
From: Mom
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: bummer
I am finally awake and getting caught up on your messages. All I have to say is:

1. I am feeling better. I just needed a nap.

2. NO ONE is going to Italy without me. End of discussion.

3. As I recall, Jenn, the slacks you squeezed your brother into were from a set of female doll clothing. You still owe him an apology.

4. You can skip the bottle of champagne, but I'm fine with the other arrangements for OUR trip to Italy.

5. Is it too late for me to be a trophy wife?



Anonymous said...

That's brilliant. I love family interactions. I've got four older brothers who love to tease us youngers sisters mercilessly.

And I thought pink was the new black. Your brother was hip and he didn't even know it.

Jen on the Edge said...

I really want to meet your hilarious and brilliant extended family.

Linda said...

Thank you, Jen on the Edge - no one has ever called me "brilliant" before.

Shhh! Don't tell Jenny, but we DID give her brother a shiny red convertible for his 16th birthday as a consolation for what he had to endure while living at home with Jenny. Keeping it hidden when she visited wasn't easy!

jenn said...

God damn it, I KNEW it.

parnola said...

And a sweet car it is! Check it out:

Pat's Convertible

jenn said...

Dear Brother,
You suck. And if you ever get Alzheimer's and are put in a nursing home, I'm going to instruct them to dress you in women's clothing.


parnola said...

Dear Sister,

Thank you for the kind words. I have just written you out of my will.

Love always,

jenn said...

Dear Brother,
By which I meant only that I feel pink is your color and it makes you look manly.

Much love,

Country Girl said...

Love it, you all are a hoot. Now I see where you get it from!

Susan said...

You are a wacky bunch!

Dawn in Austin said...

Oh my! You guys are all too funny! You're now my favorite sit-com since I don't watch TV.

imbeingheldhostage said...

Has your family ever considered adoption? I'm available!

Linda said...

So THAT'S what that pile of money was that we tucked away. Huh. I guess we forgot it was your trust fund. Oh, well. Too late. I guess I should thank you for the trip to Europe and the cruise. Fortunately there's enough left over for your dad and me to go to Italy later this year. That's a country we're anxious to visit.

Life of a Doctor's Wife said...

Thanks for your comment! So nice to find your blog - you are hilarious.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I envy people with witty families. Thus, I envy you!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

What fun!