so this weekend was the family reunion in florida at a place called the villages, only the largest retirement community in the country--it is its own city with 80,000 senior citizens. i wish i had the cord to my camera so that i could put up pictures of all the pimped out golf carts down there. you think i'm kidding? my favorite were the jaguar cart and the hummer cart. maybe i'll put pictures up later. it was quite a place. 280 holes of golf, maybe 5 people under the age of 30, rampant problems with alcoholism and stds (yeah gross, i know). all i know is that this crazy western idea of "retirement" where you go off and play golf and do nothing else is really weird in so many ways. and i even like golf.
but the weekend wasn't really about the place really, odd as it is. no, there were several hilarious things about this weekend, as i expected with my volatile italian/irish family getting together. let me give you a few stories:
~ i took more crap this weekend for my beard than what is just decent. i knew i was going to be looked on as the family bum, but didn't realize that it would be one of the main topics of conversation all the time. it's like, there is a lull in the conversation, hey, there's luke's beard, let's rag on that again! at least it got me lots of attention, which i just love.
~ apparently though, the beard did not scare away the kids, as i was the official kid magnet of the weekend. it was my second cousins mostly. they flocked to me. probably because i was the only one that would give them any real attention. three healy kids living with their single mother--i felt connected. i hope a little male attention was good for them. they were adorable and i was reminded how much i love kids. i want some. but i guess for that i probably need a wife first...and that requires a woman...and that requires a loss of sanity...damn, tough spot.
~ best story of the weekend: my cousin lance, who is about 40 now, is just hilarious. now one of the things about a reunion like this is that inevitably all the younger generation talks about how crazy and weird the older generation is, and we're able to relate on how oddly similar many of our experiences were growing up. my dad isn't quite too similar to my uncle in a lot of ways, so know that going into this story.
anyway, so lance decides to tell a story about his dad and his parenting methods. this is called "the brackets of life" story. when lance was about 14 his dad found some pot in his room. so the next day his dad takes him out to lunch and sits him down to talk. and lance is thinking, oh you just try to tell me anything because lance knew that his dad continued to do more than his fair share of lighting up the grass. as they're sitting there, his dad takes the cocktail napkin and draws a set of brackets on them. "son" he said, "these are the brackets of life. and the goal, is to get inside these brackets. now you're way down here," and he pointed to the bottom of the napkin. "if you start going off and doing all these things that will take you off course, you're going to veer off to the side and miss the brackets." his dad paused to look for understanding. lance nodded. "you see," his dad continued, "if you start these things a little later in life" as his hand pointed higher up the napkin, "you might veer off a little but you are still going to make it inside the brackets."
thus, the parenting theory of how it is ok to do anything as long as you don't start too early.
i could tell more stories but i won't keep you any longer. instead, enjoy this wonderful commercial for where i spent my weekend. don't let the song get stuck in your head....