Saturday, January 31, 2009

Lunching

This lunch-time, following a morning of football practice and our game of darts-and-farts (the winner at darts gets to fart on the loser), Alex was to be collected from home by his uncle (his Dad's brother). I was looking forward to this. In the two hours that he'd be out at lunch with uncle, aunt, and cousins, I'd get to work on the bathroom (DIY blah), whilst listening to Stoke City suffer a cruel defeat at the hands feet of the Manchester City squillionaires.
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On cue, there came the knock at the door: no aunt, but uncle and cousins (inc. one tiny one* that looked like a Yorkshire pudding) - on foot (* with trendy pram-type contraption).
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'Walking - how healthy', I thought.
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'Alright, Shane! Fancy a pint?' spoke uncle.
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Gulp!
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Now, uncle and I get along, we're beyond civil - we're friendly - but we only ever need to be in chunks of, say, two minutes maximum. To push the boundary and take this to the level of having a pint - with three children in tow (not ideal), well that's the sort of thing that I would never have envisaged. Did I fancy a pint? Not really. Was my own lunch in the oven at that very moment? Yes it was. Was I committed to being a useful bathroom-orientated DIY kind of person?
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'Where were you thinking?'
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'Just round the corner'
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'I'll get our coats'
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And so we walked to the pub - boys talking about swapping football cards, men talking about babies. (Link credit) In the hour and a half that we were at the pub, there came a moment when my mind wandered. I was unable to imagine what reaction would splutter forth from a couple of old girlfriends, as I considered that I was in a pub - relaxed, having a pint - the manly thing, you might say - with the brother, nephew, niece and son of Ed - my partner's ex. Immersed in the family of my partner's ex. I think the most pleasing detail - or quality - here, is that (apart from this kind of blog post) the manner in which this non-nuclear family formation has emerged, has been very lo-fi. None of us are inclined to sing, dance or be particularly demonstrative about our set-up. Whilst I am open to expressions of alternative lifestyles and family formations, I am prone to wonder about (be suspicious of) those people for whom such expressions seem to be a core part of their identity - especially where they seem to be emphatically positive. I think this comes from the same perception - or maybe is the same perception - as the one about social liberals simply being different kinds of social conservatives. Mm. Much of this - not the crude social stereotyping bit - is fairly important to me.
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I'll sort the bathroom out next weekend.

9 comments:

Carnalis said...

i did the gender question - apparently 86% woman here.

I seem to have plunged from 'traditional' to 'undefined' family unit; still lots of creases to fall out, but if the children are thriving then i'll ride along with it.

PI said...

Now we would have 'got us coats' but then we were commoner.
Shane you confused me a little because you didn't close the brackets but I think I got it.
I'm surprised - you are so much younger - and even I have got used to this extended family thing now.

PI said...

Oh God! You did close the bracket. Sorry - my glasses are steamy.

Shane said...

C - Children first: when adult/s fuck-up, that's 99% of what matters.
P - My point is not so much about getting used to the family set-up, but rather about becoming a bit more secure over the past decade, I think. Or maybe it's about something else - if there is a point, that is. And thanks for your steamy windows detail - that's rather flattering.

Meanwhile... said...

Ah. It's good not to feel you have to be demonstrative or showy sometimes.

As the Meanwhile family discovered while reprising The Good Life on their little arcadia in downtown Longport recently - giant marrows just out of shot.

I am 55% all-man. Grr.

Shane said...

M - Perhaps oddly, the family are just as I'd imagined them - though with flatter hair, in some instances. And if I may: that's good technical knowledge that you have - linking to a webpage within a blog comment.

PI said...

Giggle giggle!

LB said...

I would crawl a thousand miles over broken glass for a similar family set-up. I don't know whether your are lucky or whether luck has nothing to do with it and the fact that you are all clearly right-minded people makes it happen this way.

Both, I suspect.

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