Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Re-defining Family

It is incredibly annoying when circumstances beyond one's control intervene on one's well-laid plans.
As the MOB there is so much to do -- and in my case, as I've mentioned, in such a protracted period of time -- I was getting twitchy (and testy).  The digital read-out on my nutritionist's high-tech scale wasn't moving fast enough in the correct direction; my shoes weren't even close to the perfect crystalline beige, yet not quite beige hue of marron glacé I had specifically chosen; and my hair wasn't growing fast enough.  I had more than enough to deal with on a purely personal level. 

Now really, what do I care about my body fat/muscle ratio and what percentage of the number on the scale is water weight? In a perfect world perhaps, but my world was closing in on me and I was simply wishing, hoping and actively working for an overall reduction in the big numbers, not a detailed spread sheet -- so to speak.  (The "more information than you need to know" scale pictured below is from Escali, with it you can see if you've lost an ounce -- how exciting is that?)

Really, I was overwhelmed and felt this was not the moment to be confronted with any extraneous requests or meaningful lessons in life.  I had appointments.

I was busy trying to schedule all the make-up, treatments, diet, hair-streaking, figure camouflaging tricks and interventions without scalpels I could cram into my nine months of pre-nup prep.  I had neither the patience nor the interest in an epiphany.   At a time when my priorities were focused exactly where they needed to be -- on me -- I neither expected nor appreciated life intruding on my agenda.

I still hadn't found someone I could trust to clean my divine, coral suede Chanel evening bag; decided on what I was going to wear to the chi-chi all girl dinner party preceded by salsa dancing lessons hosted by friends of Andrea's I hadn't seen in more than a decade -- I mean, pressure, pressure, pressure -- and on top of all that decisions, decisions, decisions.  Should I or should I not wear white pants to the rehearsal/out-of-town guests dinner where I would be meeting Will's family for the first time and seeing ex-in-laws I haven't laid eyes on in at least 15 years or more, even though I had packed a VERY long black tunic top. . .

Well, you get the picture.  I needed to concentrate on me.

Then along came Catherine.

Catherine is Andrea's half-sister and was her sole attendant.  I had met her over the years perhaps a half-dozen times, briefly and coolly at graduations, a brunch, a huge buffet dinner party, but we barely spoke.  

Just weeks prior to the wedding, Andrea informed me her sister would be bicycling through France and wanted to use us as "home base" and furthermore she would also be spending Christmas with all of us this year.  Was that o.k.? 

Ah, well ummm, sure.  Who can say "no" to a bride who days before the main event was still making tiny ceramic apples and pears as favors for the guests and wasn't getting anything close to her daily eight hours of bed rest?  

So in the midst of my primping the decision was made and the rest is history.  Alexandre and I now introduce Catherine as "our niece" because it's too complicated to explain she's Drea's sister and wait while one's interlocutor registers the word and then tries to work out the family ties.

And it's thanks to Catherine with her infinite patience, that my blogs exist. Truly she has been a life-changing experience and it's lovely for us to know Andrea's sister.

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