Monday evening my favorite uncle dropped by to visit my mother. Naturally Mama called me immediately to let me know, ie tell me I needed to get over to her house ASAP. So over there I went.
Now I dearly love my uncle. And it is always a pleasure to visit with him. However, somewhere in the conversation suddenly my mother was talking about feats I never knew about my brother or his children. Although my nephew is a very talented athlete, I don't think that the scouts are already looking at him - at age 11.
Then it got more interesting when she started going on about my children. I had no idea that my youngest daughter made straight A's in high school and was a star soccer player. I also learned of some of her college accomplishments I was unaware of. And, I'm sure my oldest daughter would love to know that she was the most popular student in high school and her teachers still stop my mother in the grocery store and talk about her. Also, there were college achievements of hers she never shared with me. Who knew?
It got more bazaar when my travel schedule for work suddenly became this clandestine agenda of international intrigue - to Richmond, Virginia? Really? Where did that come from? And, my job unexpectedly was a covert mission on computers working with the "internets".
Then it came to me. She had this compulsion to compete with my uncle and his seven grandchildren who have all been accepted to and were attending very prestigious schools. My sin was asking him about them and congratulating him on their success. I had always been impressed by his children and grandchildren. And, I shared his pride in their accomplishments. Obviously, this was more than my mother could handle.
All the while my uncle sat on the sofa, just listening. He didn't ask a question, just smiled and nodded his head. But then he had known my mother a lot longer than I had. What they say is definitely true, you can pick your friends, but you're stuck with your family.