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…at least, there was pie…

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Long Slice of Pie Ala Mode 4 of 4

So Thursday morning came about. I was really not feeling well, due to a number of reasons, one of them is something I would rather not write about. I didn’t even go to the office, but worked from home, then went to pick Kevin up at school around 11 a.m. then I drove two hours to pick up my sister Emily at base. Having Emily join us made it a lot more happy occasion to drive all the way back to Jerusalem. Have I聽 mentioned that Emily is one of my constant Harel Skaat concert going companions? So we listened to music and talked about Chanukah plans. We were also rather odd looking, she wearing uniform, I a pink shirt and Kevin dressed in a pine green shirt, but with the oddest tie…
Anyway, we got to the hotel, we were seated in the restaurant and then we waited. I was kind of relieved that the whole meal was supposedly kosher, so there was at least that much that couldn’t go wrong. When Mr. and Mrs. Phillips walked in and emily introduced her stepfather to us, the first thing he said was, “Call me Paul!” He was a nice Utah Mormon, and he immediately made me feel uneasy. While I lived quite a bit of my life in the States and now I live in Israel, where everyone is on first name basis, but I was raised to address people properly. Which I still do.
I have to admit that I had been stressing about what to call Mrs. Phillips for days before our meeting. I settled on sticking with ma’am. One can’t go wrong with that. 馃檪聽聽 The two kids were really pleasant, there’s a 13-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl. They both speak more English than I expected, and Kevin put his Russian to use talking to them.
I have to admit that pretty much the first sentences blew my fuses.
“Your mother has told me a lot about you,” Mr. Phillips said. I smiled, and replied.
“She is not my mother. I have proof of that from the court.”
It wasn’t the only time I had to remind them several times during the dinner that Mrs. Phillips ceased to have the right to call herself my mother when she and her husband dissolved my adoption. She is not my mother and hasn’t been that for a very very long time. To be honest, she was my mother only for about 1/3 of my life.
The group they travelled with was an LDS group. For some odd reason they didn’t use Mr. Daniel Rona’s company, no idea why, but it was several families from their ward and from the Jewish LDS group. So there was a big LDS prayer before the meal, which we didn’t participate in, but being the good Jews we are, Emily, Kevin, a couple other Jews and I recited the apropriate blessings for the food. It made Mrs. Phillips roll her eyes.
Mrs. Phillips told me that I had to let her see her grandkids. I reminded her that I hadn’t seen any of her grandkids for about a year now, because I last saw my nieces and nephews over Chanukah last year. She didn’t understand at first, so I had to point it out that my children are not her grandchildren.

After a while I needed to get some fresh air to help the throbbing headache I was having, and Kevin and I went to the terrace, holding hands and when I was getting a little cold, he hugged me. We came in, sat down a little further away, and ordered coffee. When we went back to the table, Mrs. Phillips remarked, “You are embarassing me.” I have no idea how I didn’t respond to that, maybe because Emily hissed at her that it wasn’t me, who wanted to meet with them.

And then there was pie. Fabulous cherry pie, lovely chocolate pie, tasty pumpkin pie. And over pie, I had a realization. “Aunt Mary, I can have you in my life as an aunt, but not as a mother. That ship sailed long ago. Please let me know when you can be a loving aunt to a fabulous gay man, who is Jewish, and who doesn’t give a damn whether you approve of coffee drinking or same sex marriage.” I remember saying that. Kevin says I said a lot more, making my point clear in a calm and reasonable manner. And I can’t really believe I used the word fabulous to describe myself. I’m anything but!

Saying good bye wasn’t difficult. We will see how things go.

6 Responses to “…at least, there was pie…”

  1. Boz贸t says:

    Man, you have the weirdest family ever… At least there was pie 馃檪

  2. Boz贸t says:

    Oh, and you ARE fabulous! 馃檪

  3. Bones says:

    Hevel, I haven't been in blog land for a while but did just catch up a bit on some of your posts. This reunion post made me cringe! I am so sorry you have been through this nonsense, first as a child, and now, having your nose rubbed in it as an adult. =0( From what I read, you *ARE* fabulous and seem to have an amazing life with your family. You are very strong and resilient. You have so much to be proud of, namely yourself and sticking to your true self.

  4. Leah S. says:

    Do you know, I think your aunt just needed to be able to tell her husband that she had a "son" living in another part of the world. You know, kind of like a band groupie. LOL Like if my brother's best friend's sister gets a Nobel Prize, well that almost makes ME a star, right? Clearly she doesn't realize that SHE was party to all that happened years ago, no matter how well she has disassociated herself from it in her head. I am very proud of you. You kept your cool. I would have either 1) spewed sarcasm at every chance or 2) played along with her delusion just long enough to get me out of there! You were far more respectful of yourself.

  5. Annie says:

    I quite agree that you are fabulous and am glad that you realize it on some level. That sounds dreadful for everyone! But, somehow it was civil that you all agreed to get together. Was your aunt trying to say that she didn't agree with the disruption? Or, wanted to "rescind" it in some way?

    I couldn't have enjoyed the pie, that's for sure.

  6. Hevel Cohen says:

    I know it sounds dreadful that I'm fabulous! 馃槈

    Now, being a tad more serious. No, she never says anything about the disruption. She doesn't mention it, and when it comes up, she changes the subject ASAP. She mostly pretends it never happened, and I'm crazy to think she is not my mother. This annoys me to no end. She is trying to act all motherly and give advice and participate in my life in ways that I don't feel comfortable with. Including chosing to ignore my religion, my relationship with my bio family and the fact that there are more people in my family than Matthew, Justin and I.

    The pie was awesome, and after we ended up paying for our own meal, I wanted to make sure there was something I actually enjoyed. The turkey was pretty good, too.

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