I have my mom's family picnic today. The Speciale Family. That's actually our name. Special, with an 'e'.
We don't see each other enough any more for reasons too many to share here, and most of them completely innocent at this point. (That's right, I said innocent. They never proved anything.) So once a year we pull ourselves together for a little picnic and enjoy the closeness that you just don't get anywhere else but with your family, no matter how often you do or don't see one another. I particularly enjoy it because it's the one day out of the year when I'm still considered young enough to be a whippersnapper!
It's also predictable. Too much food, lots of trips to the bathroom. And talking. We'll be talking about three things, invariably: how big all the kids have gotten, the Bears and the weather. Since you won't be there and I have to tell someone - allow me to share a little of what I expect on just one of these topics.
It's my luck that it's going to rain on the one day a year we have a family picnic. As such, at least 5 paunchy Italians will be spending the afternoon having this conversation: 'Well, Jo, remember when we were kids it never rained like this here?' 'Oh I know. We never had this rain. We had rain. But not like this.' 'Yeah - Russ - you remember that time it rained at Vicki-boy's party? That was a good rain.' 'No, I don't remember.' 'Yes, you do. You were there. Aunt Gray was wearing an orange blouse.' 'I don't remember.' Yes you do, Russ. You were there. You were five. Or was it Charlene?' ((Char)) 'It wasn't me.' The conversation will loop from there and will include at least 20 minutes on how modern rain is a pox on society and is probably owed to television or the crap we eat.
It'll go along swimmingly unless someone from one of the generations beneath them complains about the rain. Then the conversation will take on an entirely different tone. 'You're complaining about the rain? Hah! In our day, this woulda been nothin'!' 'Yeah. In our day we had picnics in the snow!' 'We didn't care about a little rain. Ma coulda baked a cake in the rain. Without an oven! And we'da had a great time!' 'Yeah, Char, you remember that time we made mud pies and Dad got mad that we tracked mud in the house?' 'No, I don't remember.' 'Yes you do, you were there.' 'No, I don't think so.' 'Of course you do. We made mud pies. Then Dad got mad. You remember?' 'No.' 'You had lost a tooth! If ma hadn't a come out Dad was gonna give it to us... or was it Connie?' 'It wasn't Connie.' This part of the conversation will loop incessantly around Connie, her brother Henry, and how children today are so flimsy even the slightest breeze could knock them over.
I can't wait.