I was raised by my great-great aunt. I was adopted within our family. My mother had me when she was, I think, 15, 16. They tried to get her to have an abortion and she refused. So, my 'mama' adopted me, which was really her great aunt, which was really my great-great aunt, who was named Viola Dickerson. I was told that my mother was my sister.
She had been to her Great-Aunt Willoughby's before, and she knew exactly what to expect. She would be asked about her lessons, and how many marks she had, and whether she had been a good girl. I can't think why grownup people don't see how impertinent these questions are. Suppose you were to answer: 'I'm the top of my class, auntie, thank you, and I am very good. And now let us have a little talk about you, aunt, dear. How much money have you got, and have you been scolding the servants again, or have you tried to be good and patient, as a properly brought up aunt should be, eh, dear?' Try this method with one of your aunts next time she begins asking you questions, and write and tell me what she says.
Aunt Mercy put down her tiles, one at a time. I-T-C-H-I-N. Aunt Grace leaned closer to the board, squinting. "Mercy Lynne, you're cheatin' again! What kinda word is that? Use it in a sentence." "I'm itchin' ta have some a that white cake." "That's not how you spell it." At least one of them could spell. Aunt Grace pulled one of the tiles off the board. "There's no T in itchin'." Or not.
I suppose I should include Uncle Jimmy, Aunt Alexandra's husband, but as he never spoke a word to me in my life except to say, 'Get off the fence, ' once, I never saw any reason to take notice of him. Neither did Aunt Alexandra. Long ago, in a burst of friendliness, Aunt and Uncle Jimmy produced a son named Henry, who left home as soon as was humanly possible, married, and produced Francis. Henry and his wife deposited Francis at his grandparents' every Christmas, then pursued their own pleasures.
My brother has two children now, so I've been playing aunt Renee. They're two and four. It's chaos. Moms out there, kudos to you. The cool thing about being an aunt is like, I can leave. No offense to my big brother Drew, but that is slavery. I dare you to take a shower. You can't do anything unless they let you. It's a dictatorship. They're little dictators in their crib.
When a homemaking aunt scolds a niece for following her evangelistic passion instead of domestic pursuits, her reply is interesting. First, she clarifies that God's individual call on her doesn't condemn those in more conventional roles. Then, she says she can no more ignore the cry of the lost than her aunt can the cry of her child.
You don't know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain't no matter. That book was made by Mr. Mark Twain, and he told the truth, mainly. There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth. That is nothing. I never seen anybody but lied one time or another, without it was Aunt Polly, or the widow, or maybe Mary. Aunt Polly""Tom's Aunt Polly, she is""and Mary, and the Widow Douglas is all told about in that book, which is mostly a true book, with some stretchers, as I said before.
But Aunt Habiba said not to worry, that everyone had wonderful things hidden inside. The only difference was that some managed to share those wonderful things, and others did not. Those who did not explore and share the precious gifts within went through life feeling miserable, sad, awkward with others, and angry too. You had to develop a talent, Aunt Habiba said, so that you could give something, share and shine. And you developed a talent by working very hard at becoming good at something. It could be anything - singing, dancing, cooking, embroidering, listening, looking, smiling, waiting, accepting, dreaming, rebelling, leaping. 'Anything you can do well can change your life', said Aunt Habiba.
In some ways I admire Aunt Helen's unwavering certainty in God's divine plan. It must be comforting, to have faith like that. To believe so concretely that there's someone-something-out there watching guard, keeping us safe, testing us only with what we can handle. I've never believed in anything the way Aunt Helen believes in God.
It's kind of freaky to send your picture over the Internet to someone you don't really know and then have to sit waiting for their judgement on how you look. Maybe that's why my aunt Penny, who got divorced two years ago, hates online dating so much. Mom's always nagging her to go back on Match.com but Aunt Penny says she'd rather have root canal work - without anesthetic.
Sarah Darer Littman
"But even if he has been wicked," pursued Rose, "think how young he is; think that he may never have known a mother's love, or the comfort of a home; that ill-usage and blows, or the want of bread, may have driven him to herd with men who have forced him to guilt. Aunt, dear aunt, for mercy's sake, think of this, before you let them drag this sick child to a prison, which in any case must be the grave of all his chances of amendment."
You'd think that would have been forgotten long ago. But no, no sooner has a little grass grown over it than some clumsy camel comes along and rakes it all up again." Caroline giggled. She was probably imagining Aunt Glenda as a camel. "This is not a TV series, Maddy," said Lady Arista sharply. "Thank goodness, no, it isn't," said Great-aunt Maddy. "If it were, I'd have lost track of the plot ages ago.
Aunt Loretta has something that maybe you could call class. It's not the made-up kind that Grandma has, fake pearls and Sunday hats, but something that comes to you as if you were born to the king and queen. Aunt Loretta understands better than Grandma that reading a big book is more classy than wearing fake pearls watching TV.
Miss Edmonton: I don't even know where to start. It's too horrifying to even speak of. Jenny: Nonsense. Let's start with the basics. What did your aunt tell you? Miss Edmonton: My aunt said that my husband will come into my room and pull my skirt up. And then he'll put himself inside of me. She said it hurts. She suggested I hold my tongue and pretend I am somewhere else until he is done. Jenny: Yes. I should think it would hurt if you did it that way. Good heavens.
Stored away in some brain cell is the image of a long-departed aunt you haven't thought of in 30 years. Stored away in another cell is the image of a pink pony stitched on your first set of baby pajamas. All it takes to get that aunt mounted on the back of that pony is to eat a hunk of meatloaf immediately before going to bed.
As a rule, you see, I'm not lugged into Family Rows. On the occasions when Aunt is calling Aunt like mastodons bellowing across premieval swamps and Uncle James's letter about Cousin Mabel's peculiar behaviour is being shot round the family circle ('Please read this carefully and send it on Jane') the clan has a tendency to ignore me. It's one of the advantages I get from being a bachelor - and, according to my nearest and dearest, practically a half-witted bachelor at that.
P. G. Wodehouse
Aunt Petunia burst into tears. Hestia Jones gave her an approving look that changed to outrage as Aunt Petunia ran forward and embraced Dudley rather than Harry. 'S-so sweet, Dudders...' she sobbed into his massive chest. 'S-such a lovely b-boy...s-saying thank you...' 'But he hadn't said thank you at all!' said Hestia indignantly. 'He only said he didn't think Harry was a waste of space!' 'Yeah, but coming from Dudley that's like "I love you.
J. K. Rowling
Aunt Petunia burst into tears. Hestia Jones gave her an approving look that changed to outrage as Aunt Petunia ran forward and embraced Dudley rather than Harry. 'S-so sweet, Dudders... ' she sobbed into his massive chest. 'S-such a lovely b-boy... s-saying thank you... ' 'But he hadn't said thank you at all!' said Hestia indignantly. 'He only said he didn't think Harry was a waste of space!' 'Yeah, but coming from Dudley that's like "I love you.
If You Knew What if you knew you'd be the last to touch someone? If you were taking tickets, for example, at the theater, tearing them, giving back the ragged stubs, you might take care to touch that palm brush your fingertips along the lifeline's crease. When a man pulls his wheeled suitcase too slowly through the airport, when the car in front of me doesn't signal, when the clerk at the pharmacy won't say thank you, I don't remember they're going to die. A friend told me she'd been with her aunt. They'd just had lunch and the waiter, a young gay man with plum black eyes, joked as he served the coffee, kissed her aunt's powdered cheek when they left. Then they walked half a block and her aunt dropped dead on the sidewalk. How close does the dragon's spume have to come? How wide does the crack in heaven have to split? What would people look like if we could see them as they are, soaked in honey, stung and swollen, reckless, pinned against time?
For a while he'd tried molding himself into the tragic Romantic hero, brooding and staring clench-jawed off into space as he composed dark verse in his head. But it turned out that trying to appear tragic in Incontinence, Indiana, was redundant, and his mother kept shouting at him and making him forget his rhymes. "Tommy, if you keep grinding your teeth like that, they'll wear away and you'll have to have dentures like Aunt Ester." Tommy only wished his beard was as heavy as Aunt Ester's---then he could stare out over the moors while he stroked it pensively.
Aunt Prue was holding one of the squirrels in her hand, while it sucked ferociously on the end of the dropper. 'And once a day, we have ta clean their little private parts with a Q-tip, so they'll learn ta clean themselves.' That was a visual I didn't need. 'How could you possibly know that?' 'We looked it up on the E-nternet.' Aunt Mercy smiled proudly. I couldn't imagine how my aunts knew anything about the Internet. The Sisters didn't even own a toaster oven. 'How did you get on the Internet?' 'Thelma took us ta the library and Miss Marian helped us. They have computers over there. Did you know that?
Imagine that you wanted your children to learn the names of all their cousins, aunts and uncles. But you never actually let them meet or play with them. You just showed them pictures of them, and told them to memorize their names. Each day you'd have them recite the names, over and over again. You'd say, "OK, this is a picture of your great-aunt Beatrice. Her husband was your great-uncle Earnie. They had three children, your uncles Harpo, Zeppo, and Gummo. Harpo married your aunt Leonie ... yadda, yadda, yadda."
Brian X. Foley
Juvenalius, 15 and gay, has been raised in a difficult family and has been held in his aunt's Diana suffocating iron grip for all of his life. He has been made to feel worthless and ashamed; with no freedom, only obedience. Yet this begins to change one day when he meets a boy named Davis at his high school who has drawn the meaningful letter 'C' on his right hand. Now Juvenalius has hope but his behavioral changes are seen as an act of defiance in his aunt's eyes until she catches Juvenalius and Davis kissing out back under the school's library windows. Then Juve's life is unexpectedly transformed.
My aunt just stood there, and in that second it was as though the world and the future collapsed down into a single point, and I understood that this-the kitchen, the spotless cream linoleum floors, the glaring lights, and the vivid green mass of Jell-O on the counter-was all that was left now that my mother was gone. Suddenly I couldn't stay there. I couldn't stand the sight of my aunt's kitchen, which I now understood would be my kitchen. I couldn't stand the Jell-O. My mother hated Jell-O. An itchy feeling began to work its way through my body, as though a thousand mosquitoes were circulating through my blood, biting me from the inside, making me want to scream, jump, squirm. I ran.
She dared to cry? On this day of all days? I was the one who would be married at sunset, and I hadn't let myself cry in five years. There was ice in my lungs and in my heart. I was floating. I was swept away, and out of the cold I spoke to her in a voice as soft as snow, the gentle and obedient voice I had used to consent to every order that Father and Aunt Telomache ever gave me, every order that they would never give Astraia because they actually loved her. "You know, that Rhyme is a lie that Aunt Telomache only told you because you weren't strong enough to bear the truth." I had thought the words so often, they felt like nothing in my mouth, like no more than a breath of air, and as easily as breathing I went on. "The truth is, Mother died because of you, and now I have to die for your sake, too. And neither one of us will ever forgive you." Then I shoved her aside and strode out of the room.
History is a funny little creature. Do you remember visiting your old Aunt that autumn when the trees shone so very yellow, and how she owned a striped and unsocial cat, quite old and fat and wounded about the ears and whiskers, with a crooked, broken tail? That cat would not come to you no matter how you coaxed and called; it had its own business, thank you, and no time for you. But as the evening wore on, it would come and show some affection or favor to your Aunt, or your Father, or the old end-table with the stack of green coasters on it. You couldn't predict who that cat might decide to love, or who it might decide to bite. You couldn't tell what it thought or felt, or how old it might really be, or whether it would one day, miraculously, decide to let you put one hand, very briefly, on its dusty head. History is like that. Of course, unlike your Aunt's cat, history is going on all around you, all the time, and is often quite lively. Sometimes it rests in a sunbeam for a peaceful century or two, but on the whole, history is always plotting, and it bites very hard. It stalks around the world, fickle and dissatisfied and often angry. It demands to be fed just a little earlier each day, until you find yourself carving meat from the bone as fast as you can, faster than you thought possible, just to satisfy it. Some people have a kind of marvelous talent for calming it and enticing it onto their laps. To some it will never even spare a glance.
Catherynne M. Valente