Monday, December 20, 2010

The Name Game

When D was a little girl, she decided she was no longer into her given name. Well, actually, she had it in her head that if she changed her name, she could change her family. So, at the tender age of four, she demanded that she be known as "Vanessa" and adopted my uncle's last name. Apparently, she was not satisfied with me as an older sister and wanted a baby sister: my uncle's newborn daughter to be exact. For months, if you called her by name, she wouldn't answer. This caused no small amount of consternation to dance teachers, teachers, parents of friends, and especially my father. "What's wrong with that kid?" He would ask (oh-so-subtley in front of "that kid"). But not to Mama Lo, who found the entire situation hilarious. "Kid says her name's Vanessa," she would say, "call her Vanessa. She'll get over it."

As usual, my mother was right, and "Vanessa" learned that you can't change your identity by insisting that everyone called you by a different name. And she embraced her original life, and learned to play the hand she was dealt. She came to grips with having an older sister and a baby cousin, though I maintain that her discovery of what happens in those diapers is mostly to thank. I guess having a sister who was potty-trained and didn't drool all over her toys had its charms, even to a toddler. But the point is that she was a small child when she had this odd little identity crisis. And by the time she was an adult, she'd grown out of such insanity (and into all new types of crazy).

We should all be so lucky.

As people who know me in real-life already know, and the rest of you are about to find out, I have a crazy cousin (well, I have several, big family and all that, but this one is the definitive nut job). The stories are legend: ultimatums, temper tantrums and grand delusions. This is a woman who gave her boyfriend a proposal ultimatum. And when the deadline passed, she went out, took a loan, bought herself a ring, brought it home, and told him to give it to her when he felt like it. And then called everyone to tell them she was engaged. And then called us all months later to tell us when she was "officially engaged." Unfortunately, she called me during finals, with the mistaken belief that I gave a shit (I don't). I didn't recognize the number, or I wouldn't have answered, and my response was "Uh, didn't you get engaged months ago? Well, enjoy . I gotta go. I have a test to study for. " Somehow, over the past 26 years or so, she has somehow missed the fact that we're not close. Never have been. The older we get, the more I realize I just don't like the vapid, manipulative, shallow, lazy bitch. The delusional harpy thinks we're friends. Honestly, I don't know how ANYONE could fail to realize I don't like them.

That dear readers, was about three years ago. No movement on the wedding front. Until D got engaged. CrazyCousin tried to pull off a shotgun wedding. FatherTime, her ancient fiance, would have none of it. Then, CrazyC's little sister got engaged. All. Hell. Broke. Loose. We were treated to a rant about how everyone is "conspiring" against her and trying to "steal her thunder." "Next thing you know, it'll be Lola!" First off, bitch, let's not act like that's one of the horsemen of the apocalypse. Second of all, what thunder?

Then, there was her Christmas card. Aside from the Derek Zoolander-esque photo she selected, there was the fact that she signed her fiance's last name, despite the fact that everyone receiving a card knows that she is not, in fact, married.

Which brings me back to my original point. I thought it odd that she thinks that just by signing a different last name, her life would magically change and she'd have what she wants. Nevermind that anyone could go to shutterfly, pick a picture of themselves with a current or ex-boyfriend and sign his last name and accomplish precisely what she did: look completely unbalanced.

But I totally underestimated the absolute level of crazy this woman has achieved. She sent D a card signed, not, her legal name, Crazy Rose Lawless, but her "new name:" Zarea Marie K******. Apparently, she now insists that we call her by this ridiculous new name, much as my sister did at the tender age of 4. Whatever. At 4 it was kinda cute. Once you're over 25, not so much. I refuse to indulge in this absurdity. I will refer to her as Crazy until we die. And when she calls me on it, I'll just say "I'm sorry. I forgot. It's just such a stupid name."
Telling Jay this, he replies, "Maybe she has mental stability issues."
"Oh, I think it's pretty clear that she has mental stability issues."

1 comment:

  1. Oh CrazyCousin. Aren't the holidays just fabulous?