I have become one of them.
Worse things could happen – I mean every family has got one, right?
Until recently, in our family it has always been my Mother-in-Law. It was just common knowledge. We all had gotten used to her – for the most part – and I am mildly ashamed to say that we did joke about her from time to time. May she rest in peace.
Perhaps I have taken on her role, and my family is now paying the price.
As we were gathered around the dinner table having a nice conversation, I excitedly announced to my family,
“Turns out that that Charles was actually born in Michigan – not Vermont! I found it on an 1850 census!”
My youngest son stopped eating, mid-bite, with his fork frozen in the air. I glanced to my EC, just it time to see her mouthing the words to my boys, “It’s OK, it’s OK.”
It wasn’t an isolated incident.
The teenage FOML asked me if I watched any of the Pacers/Hawks playoff game last night. My reply? “Did you know you had ancestors that lived in Indiana? back in the 1800’s?”
My youngest asked me what I was doing on my laptop. My reply? “Just saving souls, son. Just saving souls.”
My EC and I were in front of the TV. I looked over at my wife, and she was crying as credits came up. I slowly closed my laptop and eased it to the ground next to me, then asked her what was wrong. She said, “That was so sad…were you even watching?” Oops.
Later that night, I dragged myself to bed at 1:00am. I carefully snuggled up to my EC. She stirred, and asked me if everything was alright. I whispered in her ear, “Everything’s great. Turns out that Harriet had two different husbands.”
Yes, I have become that person. The Most Un-Interesting Man in the Family.
And it isn’t just here at home: People on Facebook are sending me messages, checking to make sure if everything is okay – because they haven’t heard from me.
The thing that makes it so weird is that I have never been the family history person. Nothing pained me more than hearing details of long-dead ancestors that I have never met – or even knew existed. I recall sitting around the Sunday dinner table trying desperately to change the subject when my Mother-in-Law got revved up about her research.
I guess I owe her an apology. I am sure she is up there somewhere laughing hysterically at me. In my defense, this stuff is like a drug: Addictive, and occasionally euphoric. If you want to know how I first got ‘caught,” I wrote about it here.
I imagine that this obsession will pass, as do most of my righteous flurries. But for now, while I am knee-deep in brand-spankin-new pink and blue cards, I need my family to be patient with me.
I need my EC to squeeze my hand at the dinner party and gently say, “Not here, honey. Not now.”
I need my sons to feign interest when I suggest we all get up at 4:00am so we can get a few baptisms done before start the day.
I need a better battery for my laptop, and some good stretching exercises. I need some sleep.
But I feel like Kevin Costner as Elliot Ness, from The Untouchables,
“I have become what I have beheld, and I am content that I have done right.”
(You know Elliot Ness’s parents were from Norway. Yep. My great-grandma’s third husband was from Norway. FYI.)