No, I mean German-Czech-Polish-influenced wakes in Central Texas.
You know: funeral, everyone brings casseroles and barbecue and sausage back to the house and cries, beer starts at two (because barbecue), subtle margarita transition by three, and then everyone's like fuck it and the cases of Wild Turkey and Crown Royal come out, triple strength margaritas are mixed, and the Great Aunts and Weird Cousin unpack the equivalent of two liquor cabinets from the back of the truck.
Ten minutes in: everyone talks about the shitty church hat Aunt F wore with a segue into how she banged Uncle F's brother and the deceased who is totally a saint except actually what did happen with his first wife in California? Related SomefuckingHow J goes off on everyone but in Czech, one to three grandmothers tell their husbands they're shitty lays and always have been, Great Great Great Aunt who still speaks fluent German drags out eight decades of family warfare, and if the original participants are dead, their kids, grandkids and great-grandkids pick up the standard, and you find out your first cousin's biological father may now be something of a question mark. Also, Mom and Aunt hate each other and express it with broken glasses after two shots but six shots later are sobbing their apologies into each other's arms.
Four fights between married couples, four to eight cases of dramatically ugly crying (half will be men), and by nine, all the women eighteen and older are in the backyard with giant sour pickles on sticks waving them in the faces of men who may or may not be passed out, there's no way to tell. Police stop by at ten-thirty and ten minutes before midnight, then everyone takes a breather before a quick liquor run, craps, and poker until four, and hugs it out before going home.
(God, I miss those days; it was great. )
Yeah, that's tumblr right now.
Personal Note: I always looked forward to the day I'd be grown up enough to get drunk and tell Aunt B exactly what I knew about why she took that job in my parent's bar and also, i know she stole my good calligraphy paper when I was twelve and I would never, ever be over it. But no: in these degenerate days, everyone talks quietly and respectfully, leaves a casserole or platter from Chick-Fil-A, and then goes home to Netflix. It's bullshit.
Personal Note #2: ...the pickles, yeah.
This isn't actually as random as it sounds; throw a stone at a rural Texas bar, and you'll hit an industrial size glass jar of giant pickles. I do know where these came from: my parents bought gigantic jars of super-size sour pickles, pickled pigs feet, and pickled eggs in bulk for their bar because that's the preferred meal of drunk farmers, so on a guess, they were in the trunk of the car.
...what I don't know is the exact series of events that led to fifteen women to twenty women between the ages of eighteen and ninety putting giant pickles on sticks and running around the backyard or what it meant (though considering the size of those pickles, I have some theories). Being the second youngest of the teen group (fifteen), I just followed the lead of the others as we watched our direct ancestors be crazy and contemplate the existential horror of our collective future. (I was a very dramatic child.)
However, to clarify: the pickle thing wasn't standard for funerals, it came out of nowhere.
I feel like I lost the thread of this entry somehow, but I'm not sure exactly where.
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