The Lasso Annihilation

When I was in third grade, I remember that I had a couple of cousins in my class.

Only they weren’t related.

And so explains most Filipino families. The sense of community in rural Salinas back in the 70s and 80s was very strong to the point where my family knew every Filipino in town. There was such a sense of pride in knowing someone from the same town or province that as a child, I was taught to call my parents’ friends Auntie and Uncle, and their children my cousins.

I didn’t question it. These kids were calling my parents Auntie and Uncle. I was always greeted like I was family, like I belonged in their homes. In fact, it was so ingrained in me that I didn’t realize I wasn’t actually related to all of these Filipinos until much later.

It gets slightly more complicated when it comes to ACTUAL family.

Both my parents come from large families. End result? I have dozens of cousins and second cousins. In the past few years, now third cousins.

My brother and I are the youngest of our generation (we are 36 and 39, respectively) on my father’s side with my oldest cousins having children slightly younger than us. Because of the generation distinction, these second cousins have become my nieces and nephews and they’ve been told to call me Auntie from a young age. By that I mean, I’ve been Auntie Alma for as long as I can remember. In a twisted turn of events, a few of these nieces have children of their own and are trying to get their kids to call me Nana!

That makes me giggle. Mostly.

Last week, I had the honor of being a part of my niece’s wedding as one of her sponsors. My husband R and I were supposed to wrap the symbolic cord around the couple during the ceremony. {R couldn’t come because he needed rest before his surgery and it is a seven hour drive to Los Angeles.}

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I teased my niece C about my duties relentlessly. Do you want me to make one? I’m sure I can find something on Pinterest. Do I need to take lasso lessons?

When the wedding rehearsal finally rolled around, traffic delayed our arrival by two hours and I rushed into the church as the wedding planner lined up the procession. I blurted out, “Where do the lasso people stand?”

She showed me where to stand… And began to call the cord a LASSO.

I laughed but suddenly I noticed other people were saying lasso as well. The deacon (kind of the assistant priest but not really a priest). THE ACTUAL PRIEST.

Oops.

Speaking of oops, my family of nurses made me realize that despite a round of antibiotics, my ear infection did not go away. I still had ear pain. I still couldn’t hear out of my right ear. I grudgingly agreed to go to an urgent care clinic the following morning. I had time. I wasn’t due at the church until 1 in the afternoon. I did not want to spend any morning, let alone the wedding morning, at a hospital.

But first, we had to party.

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P.S. Yikes! Sorry the images are humongous. I will figure out how to fix it. Eventually.

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