The B. stands for BAD INFLUENCE

This morning we decorated our eight-foot Christmas tree, and I remembered that my cousin GEORGE! was here last year at about this time and had helped Jon lug the tree up the front porch into the house. It made me sad that he wasn’t here this year — I miss the way he spooned the dog as they shared the couch at night, how he used to walk around the house in sweats decorated with iron-on letters that spelled HOT STUFF across his butt — and I confided in Jon that I feel like GEORGE! is the cousin I never had. Except for all those cousins I do have.

Coincidentally GEORGE! called a few minutes ago to let us know that he’d be making a trip to Utah for his birthday in January. Whenever GEORGE! calls his mother’s name appears on our caller-ID and I’m not sure why. I suspect that it has something to do with the fact that he lives in Texas. I always answer by yelling in an almost unintelligible Southern accent, “MABEL? MAAAAABBBBBBEEEL?” And he always says back, “No, it’s not Mabel, Heather.” If he doesn’t say it back then I refuse to talk to him. We all have our traditions, and if he can’t honor mine then HE IS NO COUSIN OF MINE.

Toward the end of the conversation he told me, “So, yeah, a few weeks ago when you linked to my website? Ever since then I’ve been contacted by so many women.”

“Really? Have they been nice?”

“Nice? Vagina has been FLOCKING to me.”

Definitely the cousin I never had.