Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Farting Cousin

Dear Farting Cousin,
Happy belated birthday. This blog's for you. I love you!

For the past three months I've been hiding a boyfriend from you all for reasons that, if you've been keeping up, should seem kind of obvious. I am the girl who cried "love." But that's a whole other blog in itself, and I promise to get there soon. Nevertheless, I recently found myself trying to school my bf, The Scientist, on my family, as he was getting ready to be included in our annual dirty santa gift card giveaway. I explained who was who and who would be there and who would be missing, and when it came time to tell him about my cousin I couldn't help but introduce her to him as "My Farting Cousin." I went on to tell him a story about why I have dubbed her with such a nickname. It goes like this:

A handful of years ago I found myself shopping with this particular cousin who is about 6 years younger than me. She and I bare a family resemblance, except that she is blond, buxom, and shall we say bootylicious. I am none of those things. But still....we look like cousins. We were in a major department store in between two racks of clothing when she came up to me quickly and muttered under her breath, "We gotta go. Move...go. Go now. We have to go."

I was confused as to why I had to suddenly drop the clearance priced sweater in my hand and get the hell out of dodge so I asked, "Um...ok...why?"

And the blond, buxom, bootylicious one replied with, "Fart and run, Fart and run." She had, evidently, lost control of her flatulence and left a rather unpleasant cloud of toxic vapor waiting for the next unsuspecting clearance shopper.

This isn't the only reason that I have nicknamed her My Farting Cousin. It's enough of one. But it's not the only reason. She is proud of her gas. On numerous occasions I have witnessed her lift one butt cheek from her chair in order to let a slow rumble emerge. And when she does it she laughs about as heartily as E does when he farts. And he's four. Our family suspects that she has an intolerance to gluten, because no blond, buxom, bootylicious young woman should produce such excessive amounts of gas, and yet she does...every time. It's got to be because of the gluten. And maybe the dairy...

But there's another reason that My Farting Cousin is so special. She isn't just blond, buxom, and bootylicious. She isn't just gassy. She isn't just good with kids or kind or funny. My cousin has been blessed with "it." I'm sure you know "it". It's the indescribable thing that some people have that can't be categorized. It has nothing to do with kindness or smarts or intentions or purpose. It's just "that thing" that you can't put your finger on or adequately quantify with words. It's an essence or an aura that reaches out from behind a bright smile or the sparkle in the corner of an eye that digs back behind your ribs and makes friends with your dark places. My cousin has the ability to light up a room simply by walking through it. She is by far the easiest person I have ever had the honor of being around, because she has the uncanny ability to quickly find her place in the room and fill it up with joy. And she does it effortlessly and without the slightest realization that she's doing it. "It" is what happens when a genuine spirit plays tag with easy laughter, an absence of judgment, and an open heart. The result of this sweet, unassuming, friendly little game is a person who drips little drops of sunshine into the path of every soul that she briefly brushes by. Someone like that is a gift to know, and my cousin is one of them. Wherever she goes, people are certain to be blessed.

As long as she hasn't had gluten. And possibly dairy.

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