It may have taken me a month, but I'm finally ready to tell the tale of the Aunt Florence experience from our trip to the States. I would hope to have a massive response to this post given the subject matter - people spitting coffee at their monitors or laptop screens, so overwhelmed by the sheer hilarity of my fucked up family - but even two whole pictures of The Stroker only got me 15 bleedin' comments, THE STROKER people, THE STROKER. Recognise.
Last time Aunt Florence was discussed, I mentioned her new party trick of asking my Mom if she could have a) a stone rabbit keyholder and b) one of her dogs. You know how it is when you don't hear or see something firsthand you doubt its occurance? Say, if someone told you of the existance of an open-minded Republican who didn't always yammer on about September 11th, defending our freedom, and denying civil liberties*. You would wonder if this mythical beast existed. Such is Aunt Florence.
Aunt Florence lives about 5 hours away from my Mom, so she(thank god)is unlikely to just drop by. She came to P's birthday party and was as sane as she could bring herself to be. Aunt Florence didn't want to share us, so she demanded that we set aside a day soon after the party where we could monopolise The Crazy. The Dude was pissed that we had to cross off an entire day of our trip to humour her, but if we didn't, she would no doubt spend the next six months whining to my Mom that we didn't spend enough time with her.
So on this visit day Flo wasted no time providing blog fodder. For this, I thank her. We were sitting around awkwardly, with the TV on in the background serving no purpose but to give us all somewhere to look so we didn't feel pressured to make idle chat. She glanced at the table to her left, piled high with dozens of pieces of paper, magazines, a nail file and assorted other detritus. She picked up a lone sock and said to my brother C, "Whose is this?" When it was confirmed by C that this raggedy old sock was my Mom's, Flo seemed instantly buoyed by the good news, then asked, "Do you know where the other one is? This is niiiiice." C and I tried desperately to act as if this was perfectly normal behavior and somehow managed to pull ourselves together as Flo fondled the sock.
C and I had to go run some errands, and luckily for The Dude and P, Flo wanted to come with us, allowing them a few moments of rest and recuperation. Flo was in top form in the car, pointing out a house she lived in at 23 when she was a student nurse in a local hospital. Harmless enough, right? It is, on its own, but not when the addendum is, "...and I was still a virgin then. At 23! That's practically unheard of. I wasn't what you'd call sexually experienced. When I did lose my virginity at 24, it was to Arthur (her current boyfriend). Of course, I was his first too!" After this revelation, I just sat in the back of the car unsure of what to say. C, because he is one of those freaks who knows the right thing to say in the most awkward times, managed to say something funny in response. Somehow, in this alternate universe, we found ourselves laughing at the loss of my aunt's virginity.
The rest of our car trip was like a scene from a surrealist film from the 30s. All three of us sang along to "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" by The Carter Family, playing on C's iPod hooked up to the car stereo. At some point, likely apropos of nothing, the subject of pot came up and Flo volunteered that she still had a bong somewhere, and perhaps some roach clips too. We somehow managed to avoid the topic of aunt sex for the rest of the journey.
When we got back home, we reassumed our places on the sofas in the TV room. My Mom was there, so Flo took this opportunity to ask if she knew where the mate of the 12 year old sock could be found. My Mom, a bit shocked but able to tell where this was heading, declined any knowledge of the whereabouts of the absent sock. Flo, dejected and more than a little disappointed that she wasn't able to score a free pair of used, decade-plus aged socks, put in a request that should the mystery be solved, that she would like to be the heir. For the benefit of you all, I took a picture of said sock, so that you may understand the lure of its beauty.
Thus endeth Socks, Pot and Virginity: A Sordid Tale of Flo.
*To quote Sarah Palin's speech - "Al-Qaida terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America ... he's worried that someone won't read them their rights?" I nearly choked on my own throat when I read that. America, send help!