My Great Aunt, the Romulan

So my great aunt really wasn’t a Romulan but for all you Star Trek fans, you’d be hard pressed to not admit with her very black dyed hair, blunt bangs and the bowl cut that she didn’t remind you of the Federation’s nemesis.  So she was missing some pointy ears.  Big deal.  But she did have a way about her that her way was the ONLY way.  I clearly remember the Thanksgiving arguments with my dad, uncle, and cousin (her son) and they were all usually on the same side!  Unless it was football, then it just sounds like a bar joke.  “A Hurricane, a Gator, and a Seminole walk into a bar….”   (For you noncollege football fans, that would be the main three Florida teams.)  Religion and politics?  Same sides of the same coin yet they would all still find something to disagree upon.

My aunt wasn’t really all that eccentric, but when I saw this week’s topic was “Eccentric relatives”, I was nervous because I really don’t have any.  I mean, maybe they are to the rest of the world, but to me, they’re just…normal.  I suppose it’s possible that I have eccentric relatives on my husband’s side, but that’s a whole other can of worms I refuse to open.  Plus, it’s far more aggravating than entertaining and I won’t go there.  Repeat.  Will NOT go there.

My great aunt was a serious bargain hunter which was passed onto her grandaughter (my favorite second cousin – not to be confused with my second favorite cousin because I really don’t know who that one would be).  I’ve heard stories about their epic finds at garage sales and such.  I had no idea you could talk the produce manager into discounting food at the local Winn Dixie, but apparently, my great aunt was a master of this.  Sure, I expect some haggling at a yard sale, but Winn Dixie or Publix?  I just can’t do it.  (Probably because my grocery store trips are of the “Get in, get out, get everything on the list” variety.  I don’t have time or SKILLS to argue about the prices of less than stellar produce.  Like I could even identify it.  Good=I buy it.  Bad=I don’t.)  I thought I was the deficient one until I learned that the bargain shopping gene apparently skipped over my great aunt’s daughter (my favorite second cousin’s aunt) as well.  Whew!  I started to think I was the family freak.  Well, maybe I am, but it’s nice to know I’m not the only one or even the original.  It was that cousin who got me hooked on those cute MAC eyeshadows and damn good wine.  She makes me feel welcome everytime I make a trip to the Bay Area in California.  (And her husband ALMOST convinces me that I could become a baseball fan.)

My great aunt’s son though captured the prize for tackiest Christmas gifts.  We’re talking one year each of my kids got a Walmart bag (that was the wrapping) full of candy.  Lots of candy.  Like Halloween levels of candy.  Then there was the year we all got flannel shirts.  So.  Not.  Me.  But you know what, it was a classic M (cousin’s name) gift.  I realize as I’m typing this, it’s a lot funnier to me than it is to the rest of you.  M passed away within the past year, and it’s things like the non-wrapped Christmas presents, used tools, ginormous amounts of candy, and other tacky-yet-quintessential-M gifts that bring a smile to my face when I think about him.  Eccentric might be too high-falutin’ to describe my relatives and this particular blog post, but it’s like M’s Christmas presents.  I did the best with what I had laying around.



About Micki Gibson

Young Adult fiction writer
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7 Responses to My Great Aunt, the Romulan

  1. tonettejoyce says:

    Your great aunt’s son definately qualifies as an eccentric relative…and if you want any more,I have enough to spare! Seriously, will you adopt me?I don’t know if I have any really ‘normal’ relatives! Your great aunt sounds like my late mother-in-law; she could talk anyone into marking things down,or even to get them to give them to her. My husband had to realize right away that usually,I can’t even get what I am entitled to! (I say if I had to ask for air,I’d be gasping on the ground.)
    Enjoy your normal family…whatever that is!


    • Micki Gibson says:

      M was kind of the family jokester as well. I remember his earlier, better days. Back in the 70’s he used to drive a convertible and just looked so cool for a dad. My dad (his cousin) was always covered in grease because he owned (and still owns) a machine shop and rebuilds auto engines. I sometimes wished my dad had one of those jobs where he carried a briefcase, but now? Good grief, I just can’t picture my dad any other way. I may never know what to get my dad for his birthday or Christmas, but a briefcase will NEVER be on his wish list. As much as I love my relatives, I’m not sure everyone else could love them the way I do. I always picture an “eccentric” relative as someone more aloof than what M was. He was too sociable to be “eccentric”. Offbeat? Definitely.


  2. jeff7salter says:

    It sounds like they enjoyed debating (i.e., fighting) just for its own sake.
    I’m just the opposite: it’s very rarely you’ll see me involved in an argument, because I hate conflict. Some people thrive on it so much that life actually seems too dull without it.
    I think most every family has at least one member who buys odd-ball gifts, but your relative seems to have taken it to a level of ART.


    • Micki Gibson says:

      M also got many of his gifts from the flea market. And oh, yes, they did love a good debate. I try to stay out of it, but then my dad doesn’t really have anyone to argue with and I refuse to get into the middle of any debate where I know I can’t hold my ground (thus ruling out politics and religion).


      • jeff7salter says:

        I find it tiresome. Wastes a lot of energy and nobody is ever going to be swayed from their own ideas about whatever subject. So my attitude is “Why bother?”
        I knew a guy in college (Mike) who was always bickering … especially with a guy named David. Often their debates got quite heated. I asked him once why he kept gravitating to David and engaging in those awful disagreements.
        He said, quite simply and with great honesty, “David loves to talk and I like to argue.”
        A perfect pair: each enabled the other.


  3. Funny how we both picked an aunt. Wonder if we shall be someone’s eccentric aunt someday? Or maybe now?????? LOL


  4. tonettejoyce says:

    I was planning on talking about an aunt, too…I am sure some consider me eccentric.


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