I will never be your Great Aunt Marcy

Nov 05, 2006

#Social Clutz Loveable Spaz

My Grandfather’s sister, Marcella, lives in San Antonio. I grew up in Houston so we’d go there every so often and Uncle Charles would tell us about the pecan trees in his backyard and Aunt Marcy would make us pecan pie and we’d eat brisket and mash potatoes. It was always cooler in San Antonio than when we left Houston and the adults would talk about humidity while my sister and I did cartwheel and handstands in the yard. I have this memory etched in my brain from a variety of visits spanning years and years. It was always the same.

After we moved to the North West, Aunt Marcy still sent us birthday cards, promptly, starting in 1989. There are a few things you can count on in life. Death, Taxes, and your birthday card from Aunt Marcy. She is timely, she never ever forgets, and there is never any money or a gift card in it. It’s a card. That’s it. Every year. And I love it.

Right now, with the move and all the puking and nausea, I go to the mailbox a lot less often. The trek up the hill to the group of boxes is a major undertaking and even then, the stash of mail gets piled in the “in box” until bills are (past) due. We’re living a new, very unorganized version of ourselves. (This is saying A LOT, people.)  I could’ve titled this post, “Please don’t let me hold your baby or I will drop it like all the other balls in my life right now.” ‘Cause that’s about right.

I’m losing it quickly.

Friends have had birthdays, anniversaries, children, moved locations, graduated, won academy awards, the lottery, and lost relatives all while I sit in the midst of my boxes with my laptop and my two year old running around my silver puke-bowl and say, “Ummmm… Errrr…. Uuuhhhhhhhhh…......” and then I go take a nap because I can’t imagine what I was going to do.

Today I finally opened my birthday card from my Aunt Marcy. She is 87 years old, her husband has had major strokes and been hospitalized several times. She’s had a few grandchildren born this year and helped her daughter out of a sticky mess. Even so, she sends her great niece a birthday card just like she’s done for the last 17 years. Because Aunt Marcy is the pillar of hallmark. The woman is a rock. Or at least a paper one.

It’s such a tall order to live up to and I fail, miserably, every day.


  1. Ummm, Aunt Marcy isn’t pregnant with a toddler running around.  That would be my guess.

    And really, while a SO is in the hospital, you need something to do from what I’ve heard.  My mom made dozens of baby blankets/quilts (by hand) during my dad’s surgery, recovery, radiation appointments, etc.  She kept telling me to think of people to give them to, and I finally ran out, so she’s got dozens of blankets at home (I’ve already got 14+) waiting for my single younger sister to get knocked up.

    By lanna on 2006 11 06

  2. Aw. Go easier on yourself. You’re still in the midst of so many big changes. You’ll get there. And if you don’t, so what? You have to be YOU and not Aunt Marcy (great as she may be).

    By Colleen on 2006 11 06

  3. What a cool aunt Marcy. You should ask her how she behaved when in the first trimester herself. I’m sure she has STORIES to tell.

    By texasbelle on 2006 11 06

  4. I’m not gonna be an Aunt Marcy either.  I don’t even call for the kids birthdays anymore.  With everything going on in my day to day insanity I’m lucky my kids get fed, let alone someone else get a b-day card.

    By sue on 2006 11 06

  5. Les, try to give yourself a break.  Moving is HARD.  It is at the top of my list of “most stressful events.”  Not to mention moving with a toddler while you are pregnant.  It will get easier.  Just hang in there.

    Oh, and I could not tell you the last time I remembered to send a birthday card to anyone.  If I manage to get birthday gifts sent to nieces and nephews before their NEXT birthday comes, then I figure I am doing great!

    By Carolyn on 2006 11 06

  6. Pregnant or not, mommy or not, I’m just not the type to get cards out to people, timely or otherwise.  If fact (please don’t tell anyone) I still have a few thank-you cards that didn’t get sent for people who gifted Claire after she was born.  My mother is mortified at this little nugget of information.  At least I usually get my christmas cards sent…at some point!

    By Charla on 2006 11 06

  7. You have so many other great traits to offer. Sending birthday cards is not something I would worry about.

    I have an Aunt and Uncle in Houston. My cousin is a Anchorman for the local news. I think in Dallas or Santonio. My other cousin is a Speech Ther in Dallas.

    By Amanda on 2006 11 06

  8. I agree…don’t be so hard on yourself. You just moved AND your pregnant, which are two huge life stressers AND you are working from home with a 2-year-old which is like juggling greased pigs. I bet Aunt Marcy hasn’t done any of those things in a long while. But it’s nice to get a good ole snail mail card isn’t it? smile

    By Jamie on 2006 11 06

  9. Aren’t people like that amazing? I think it’s just an etiquette thing that got drilled into their heads at an early age and they never shook it.
    I love people like Aunt Marcy. Do you think she’ll send me a card?

    By Renee on 2006 11 06

  10. Mom mom has a friend that has a huge box of cards for all occasions- which I think makes things easier- my problem is remembering to go to the store to get the stupid card, and I always feel like I have to find the perfect card- and thats hard.

    My mom did lots of stuff when my dad was in the hospital- crotcheting and stuff, and I remember when my grandfather was sick she did the same kind of things-I learned how to knit while my grandfather was sick.

    By Sara on 2006 11 06

  11. In my former life before children, I was Aunt Marcy.  Now, I figure if I get my own kids’ birthdays celebrated I’m ahead of the curve.  BUSY BUSY!
    Besides, I think if you sent cards to anyone these days….they’d probably just smell like vomit.  And really, who wants a vomit-scented card?

    By Sonia on 2006 11 06

  12. If I asked nicely, would you let your Aunt Marcy adopt me?  Please!

    By mdvelazquez on 2006 11 06

  13. Welcome to my world! Only I’m not pregnant and i’ve been in our new house for three months now!  If you’re a failure, then I must be in Hell.

    By little miss on 2006 11 06

  14. Your aunt sounds wonderful, but so do you.  You’re great!  And you’re pregnant, you have a toddler, and you’ve just moved.  You need to be easier on yourself, sweetie. 

    If I lived closer to you, I would totally come over and help!  Sending you a big hug.

    By Heather on 2006 11 06

  15. I don’t know if you will try alternative medicine for depression, but bach flower (rescue remedy) would help and it doesn’t have side effects (I think - check at your local health food store).  Also, homeopathy might help you.

    By Sarey on 2006 11 07