Chopped liver gets a bad rap. Believe it or not there are lots of people who think it’s absolutely delightful.
Not so, my sister-in-law.
According to Gail, my failing to ask her and my brother, Frankie, plus other Batsons to our annual family reunion in the mountains had everything to do with that deli meat and their resemblance to said occasionally coveted, but more often than not, maligned, piece of offal than the fact that they have, in fact, never, ever been invited to the annual family reunions we’ve had in the past ten years we’ve been visiting the mountains.
Gail never even knew about these trips before.
Then, I made the mistake of sending my latest mountains trip blog post to the “Batson Family” group chat on Facebook messenger, and she Hulked out.
This was Gail’s reaction:
“That’s real nice and all, that the “BATSON’S have a big FAMILY REUNION” in the Mountains every YEAR, I guess the Jacksonville BATSON’s (Your Brother) don’t count and we’re just like they say “Chopped Liver”, NICE! Ya’ll have a great time!
She hissed at me (virtually, of course, as it came to my attention through a Facebook messenger post, brought for me to look at by my sister, who was clutching her phone in her hand, and running down the stairs yelling “shots fired, shots fired!” before showing me the post).
For your enjoyment, I copied the message above verbatim. The punctuation and words yelled at me in all caps are all Gail’s doing.
I wouldn’t want to take away from one iota of her glorious diatribe.
This was clearly her moment in the sun. Who was I to touch one capital letter or move one misplaced apostrophe of such a masterpiece as this?
And to think, all this vitriol came spewing out of her brain, into her fingertips, and onto a keyboard, where she then had to find the “send” button next to my family’s group chat icon and click on it in order to hurl the angry message through cyberspace to my waiting eyes, which weren’t even waiting because I was working on another blog post and totally missed it.
If it weren’t for the fact that it was shown to me by not only Elizabeth, but by Greyson and Stella, too, I might not have seen it to this day.
I get really hyperfocused on my phone (which is where I write my blog posts) when I’m writing.
And, I didn’t even get an alert sound when the message came in (or so I say, I may have just ignored it because I was busy sliding down my next thought with my stylus and G-board, phone screen in my face as I watched words appear from the tip of the stylus, come together, and then form that next thought before my very eyes).
Yes, yes when technology is involved, I am a small child.
But I digress.
Gail is normally a sweet, good Christian woman who wouldn’t hurt a fly.
No matter what I may say in this blog post today, (because I’m just petty like that), I still love her. She’s got a lot on her plate.
- Her son, my nephew, “Buddy” Batson has cancer. Here is his GoFundMe page. Every dollar helps. He’s terminal, and only in his 30’s. The doctors say he may make it to 45 or so, but we live to hope.
- Frankie Batson, my brother and her husband is practically agoraphobic. He finds it hard to leave his yard.
- She takes care of her mother and father. They don’t live with her like Dad lives with Elizabeth, but they’re near and that’s still stressful.
Now for more petty stuff:
- Where did she get it in her head that this was a Batson family reunion? There’s only one Batson here; my Dad, Ken.
- Frankie and Gail have had to watch Dad a few times, for a few days, but Elizabeth has to take him to Jacksonville every time. They won’t come to Cornelius to sit with him where he’s more comfortable. They don’t want to make the four hour trip, but the cabin we’re in now is another two hours from Cornelius, straight up a twisting mountain road, all the way at the top.
- Frankie can’t leave his yard, but he could go up a mountain?
- I love my sister, who is originally a Batson (as am I), but I most love these trips because I get to see my children, grandchildren, and nieces, who are Poutas/Masters/Krajnik.
- We’ve done Poutas/Krajnik/Masters mountain cabin trips for ten years.
- Dad Batson didn’t start coming until after Mom died last year and we got a cabin in Waynesville near the Biltmore Estates which is where we laid mom’s cremains to rest in the Rose Garden.
- Mom didn’t care for any of the Jacksonville Batsons (Dad’s three sons were from his first marriage). Mom was a hard woman sometimes, but then again the Jacksonville Batsons (there are nine or ten of them) weren’t very nice to her most of the time. They made her feel like an outsider. She was pure blood South Korean and spoke with an accent.
- We went back to the Biltmore Rose garden again this year to visit mom’s final resting place.
- John and I paid for the entire trip this year, and usually pick out, and pay for, the cabin every year.
- John said there’s no way in hell he’s letting any of the Jacksonville Batsons come on one of our mountain cabin trips.
Plus, the cabins we rent sleep, at most, 16, and there’s usually a bunk bed room, which doesn’t accommodate adults easily.
Add our 14 to their ten. I know of no cabin that accommodates 24 comfortably.
I discovered via Gail’s message missive through messenger, that even a self-proclaimed, “good Christian woman,” knows how to be so hateful so quickly it’s almost impressive.
- Oh, and how’s that annual cruise all you Jacksonville Batsons take together every year treating you?
- Word on the street says you all go to Disney world together once a year, too.
- My invitations must have got lost in the mail.
- Or maybe it’s the internet, and I’m just not getting my phone calls, emails, or texts with the invites from you guys every year.
- Damn that Sprint service.
O.K., I’ve vented. I’m closing this chapter.
I forgot to tell you guys yesterday, Cali leapt out of her tube to recover a soggy, dirty baseball cap, almost drowned herself getting it, then decided she didn’t want it and was going to throw it back.
It was just so Dad, I took it from her to wash it when we got home.
Of course I don’t know where it is now. You think I’m all of a sudden going to be what John calls “situationally aware?”
We went to an Escape Room called “The Kidnapping,” last night.
There was no walkie-talkie for me to hold to get the clues. All clues were given over a loudspeaker by our handler who was listening in (!)
There were, however, nine people crowding each other, mixing up clues and bumping into each other. It was general chaos, and John kept taking my reading glasses. I couldn’t read anything half the time.
John finally just sat down. There were too many people going after too many things. He had figured out a few clues by then anyway.
Once I got my glasses back, I found a color code and pointed it out when we had the other part of that clue in hand.
Yay me! I did one.
They let me hold the blacklight when they were through with it.
We won! We got out in time. Victory sip.
Then, all nine of us went to The Mellow Mushroom for pizza, beer, and calzones.
We had to walk a ways, and my purse weighed like two tons. Ben ended up with it.
He carried it crossbody, too. It didn’t threaten his manhood at all to be carrying a two ton woman’s purse through downtown Asheville.
He’s secure in his manliness.
Ryan was in heaven because there were like 100 different types of craft beers and he’s just foofy like that.
The only people left at the cabin were Dad, Georgie, Nehemiah and Eliza.
Poor Georgie. But she’s secure in her ability to be a mother. I’m sure she had to baby Dad, too.
So the lessons learned today are to work as a team if you have to, and always be secure in who you are.
Nobody can take you away from you unless you let them.
Remember that. Nobody.