You know I love a family reunion.
So seeing my dad and boyfriend dressed in similar ties before we headed to church on Sunday had me grinning.
We were in the deep South for the gathering of my dad's family. And my New York-born and bred manfriend handled it like a champ.
But getting there was a headache. We got to the airport in good time, only to find that though we booked on United and our printouts said that, we were actually leaving from US Airways. We got on a airpot shuttle to get to our gate. That bus went everywhere but where we wanted. I was fighting the feeling that we were going to miss our flight. Finally we get to the gate. I'm wondering if they will let us check in and mad at everyone including my boyfriend for not being as mad as me. We check in but our seats are gone so we are now both in middle seats. Le sigh. At least we made it.
We land in Charlotte and the rental car company of course tries to slide in weird charges. We start the 1.5 hour drive and there is a Bojangles on every block. We definitely aren't in New York anymore. I sing off key to the radio and Steph cracks jokes if all my family will be singing. I let him know he is in store for a treat. We get turned around a few times, but finally we arrive in Cheraw, SC.
We check into the hotel then head over to the banquet hall. The first person who spots me is my Aunt Sug, better known as Gloria to her lawyer friends.
For the next 40 minutes its more of the same as I get warm hugs from relatives and introduce this man who means enough to me to bring to the reunion. It felt good to be surrounded by so many people who love me.
My grandmother was pretty in pink and commented on how good we looked together. Her brother, the funniest and oldest guy in our family regaled Steph with stories of his time in the big city.
Then the busy body cousin was upon me to pay my dues. I paid and introduced her to the boyfriend I mentioned last summer. She replies by introducing me to her husband. She was single at last year's reunion. Work!
We played cards, ate good and caught up with family for the rest of the day. Sunday morning we spotted my great uncle and cousin looking sharp as they got ready to head to church to lead the service. We headed to my grandmom's house where my dad was happily preparing breakfast. He wanted to spend more time with Steph and got it over a plate of grits and eggs. Dad was quick to invite him to Atlanta for some of his legendary fish, and was confident I had told Steph about his cooking skills. My brother is als a good cook. Having the three most important men in your life cook better than you as a woman is very new age. I'm getting use to it.
I'm also getting use to my 11-year-old sister continuing to grow. She gave me some cute white sandals and I wore them to church. Someone had given them to her and they were too small. Yes, you read that right.
We headed over to the family church which sits across the street from my grandmother's house. Before I could get too comfortable in the pew, my aunt was telling me and other cousins around to head to the choir loft. The family was the featured choir. As I tried to think of every excuse, I got beckoned again.
Well, guess Im in the choir and they'll be some singing Jacksons after all. We loudly whisper hymnal numbers down the row. Then its time to sing. I snuck this picture of my dad and his brother from my seat in the choir loft. It's the same head!
After service we grabbed a plate at grandmom's then it was time to head back Charlotte. But not before different relatives gave me their feedback on my boyfriend: they liked them, they liked us together.
We played punchbuggy but with Bojangles spottings. I won 6 to 2. See how many Bojangles their are in Charlotte?
Even though we were only in South Carolina for a day, it felt like five with all the time we spent with my relatives. Gotta love family.
"A woman who is willing to be herself and pursue her own potential runs not so much the risk of loneliness as the challenge of exposure to more interesting men -- and people in general." - Lorraine Hansberry
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