Monday, March 20, 2006

A funny thing happened on my way to Chicago

I get off of the plane at O’Hare and, like any moderately intelligent budding socialite would do, I immediately check my cell phone messages.

“Hi Aly, it’s Alan.”


“Call me back please.”

He leaves two numbers.

I only know one Alan. He’s my uncle. But I haven’t talked to Uncle Alan in 2.5 years. And the caller left the uncle prefix off of his name.

Could it be?

I listened to the message a second time, snapped my phone shut and shoved it into my pocket. Not worth thinking about now. Concentrate on finding Aunt Louise and Uncle Ed. Worry about your interview.

On Friday morning, while killing time before my interview, I listened to the message a third time.

Had to be Uncle Alan.

Couldn’t be anyone but Uncle Alan.

I put a call into my dad.

“Did you talk to Uncle Alan?”

“Uh, no.” I was quite certain that was the answer, seeing as none of us had spoken to him in over two years. “Why?”

“I think he called me.”

“Call him back!”

“I think I’ll wait until I get home. Maybe on Sunday.”

“Call him! I want to know why he called! Callhimcallhimcallhimcallhim!”

“Maybe after my interview, dude.”

As soon as I hung up, I called the first of the two numbers he left.

It was his office.

“How’s life?” he asked. There was a slight bit of sarcasm in his voice.

I told him that I was in Chicago for an interview. He told me all about how he would move to Chicago, Columbus, Cleveland, Minneapolis or Madison if he were my age and he could live his live over again.

Okay. I haven’t seen you since I was a senior in college, but, sure, feel free to barge into my life and hurl unsolicited advice my way. I’m certain that I will take your brilliant ideas into account. I may even write them down and tuck them under my pillow.

“The reason I’m calling...this might make you laugh, but I hope it doesn’t make you pee your pants, because you might not have another pair of pants to wear to your interview...”

I laughed a little at his preface, because I knew he was trying to be humorous.

“I want you to teach me how to ice skate.”

No fucking joke.

My uncle, who might as well have been dead the last two years, calls me out of the blue and expects me to TEACH HIM HOW TO SKATE?!

I couldn’t decide between being insulted and amused.

I was speechless. Very confused. Somewhat panicked. And I said that I’d do it.

And that is why I win Jackass of the Year.

Because anyone who spends her precious free time teaching her estranged uncle (the one who didn’t come to her graduation party and who makes her grandma cry on Thanksgiving and didn’t even call his youngest sister over the course of her three-week hospital stay) how to ice skate wins Jackass of the Year. Hands down.

How am I going to get myself out of this one, kids?


Mrs. Architect said...

Wow, how random.

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