Thursday, March 17, 2011

kiss me (i have NO idea if i'm) irish.

My knowledge of my heritage is what one could refer to as patchy, at best. Part of this probably has to do with the fact that apparently my ancestors would mate with anyone that hung around and looked interested. At least no one can call us bigots! So I'm most likely some sort of European mutt, which is fine because I'm like, omgz totally one-hundo percent American. GO USA!

As a child I was extremely inquisitive. If you've ever played the "why?" game to annoy the shit out of whomever you're with, then you get the idea. So naturally, I was curious about where I came from... and not in the biblical sense.

This all stemmed from a single interaction. In kindergarten, June, this boy in my class, could and did proudly proclaim that his family was from India and we spent like 20 kindergartner minutes (read: more than my attention span would normally allot for a single task) learning about about his heritage and family traditions and cool clothes, etc, etc. I was jealous. I was insanely jealous of the fact that I could not one-up all his culture with our common Christmas tree, Easter-egg hunts, and pathetic Thanksgiving turkey. ALL OF THE OTHER KIDS HAD THOSE THINGS. UGH, they were used, lackluster, jaded. I, of course, wanted proof that I got to be more than the other kids when it came to a little thing known as worldliness.

Can we see now how the compulsion towards turning everything in life into a competition was already forming?

Yes. We. Can.

I can actually see my miniature self speaking very calmly to my mother from the backseat of the car as to not alarm her or let her catch on to the heirarchal thought stream spewing through every channel of my mind.

"Mom, where are we from?"

"Your Daddy and I are from Columbus, Ohio, and you were born in Pennslyvania. You know that stuff, silly!"

"I know where we're from in AMERICA, Mom. I mean where we our people from BEFORE us. Like your great grandparents."

"You know what, honey, that would be a great thing to talk about with your grandma and grandpa or Nana and Papa next time you see them."


My mother saw my innocent curiosity and met me with COMPLETE AVOIDANCE. To her credit, I was high-maintenence child, and the best method to prevent an extremely involved family project was probably to casually dismiss some of my more labor-intensive queries.

Travesty, anyone?

From that point on, I was constantly hounding every family member I could corner for clues about where I was from. Okay, maybe not constantly,  but whenever I remembered June, or not gettting answers, or not feeling as awesome because another kid had something I didn't. The way I saw it, I still had one very important factor on my side, potential. Since I wasn't told I was basically the same as everyone else that fled Europe or wherever they were before to pursue something better with the grand illusion of a much better livelihood, I wasn't merely that. Not yet.

Occasionally, I would get random tidbits of information to piece together, such as my mother proclaiming that she's "mostly Irish!" or my great-grandmother stinking up her home making cabbage rolls that ew, gross, I wouldn't even taste and thus I would learn that she was Hungarian... thus, so was I! I learned my Nan's maiden name was German and some of our cousins on that side spoke German, so we were somewhat Germish. German? Yeah, that's better. There was some talk of "lineage" at one point at a family wedding where everyone was plastered and I think partial English blood was discussed. I was patching it together.

I'm a mutt. Whatever.

And then... I started not caring about it as much. I worried about things like boys and cars and clothes and sneaking out to go streaking with my friends. Things I could really win at, and that were in my control.

Until last summer.

Last summer I was visiting my fraternal grandparents, Nan and Papa at their home in Ann Arbor. We basically played Scrabble, walked around U of M while they told me stories of their glory days there and when they met, sat around drinking cocktails, and looked through thousands of old family photographs.

I honestly had no idea my Nan was schlepping around 8927348937 pictures from house to house that they moved around the country. As I was looking through them, and she was encouraging me to take any of them I wanted, because, hello, time to get rid of some of that baggage, I came across a bonafide breakthrough.

I'm sitting next to my WASPY seventy-three year old grandmother looking through snapshot 376376 of 2837498374. I'm sneezing because everything. is. so. damn. dusty.


Anyway, yeah, allergies can go blow a whale.

We're sitting on the couch together and we come across a old ass photo of a man that turns out to be her father. And then my dear, dear, Nan, my biggest influence and person I look up to most on this earth, says offhandedly:

"Oh, this is right after he came over from the old country."

My ears perk up ever so slightly. "Oh, yes, Germany, right?"

"No no no, Sarabara, from Romania of course."



Old country = Romania.

And that is the story of how I found out that I'm badass and a vampire and my family is from ROMANIA. Don't get my wrong, I fully realize the whole vampire thing is kind-of worn out and quite frankly kind of annoying ever since Twilight pretty much stole the soul that was the coolness of vampires. But take a long look at yourself, and really dig deep into your soul and answer honestly when I ask what I'm about to ask.

Wouldn't you TOTALLY ride out the awesome and cool vampire-darkness heritage you JUST found out about?

I knew you would.

Now I just need to find that June kid and let him know that actually, I win. Again.

But since, according to my mother, I'm at least a little Irish too, I'll be celebrating all the snakes leaving the Emerald Isle or whatever all this madness is about today. Just in case. Wouldn't want to make my ancestors feel unappreciated.

If you see me tomorrow, be gentle.

XO Sare.

1 comment:

  1. Romania?! That's awesome. As is Ann Arbor.