@loripalminteriTweets by @loripalminteri
A Shocking Kiss
Look, I know I kind of hoodwinked you into reading this blog with a juicy title. Yeah, you. The person who only sometimes reads my blogs based on the titles. I’m talking to directly to you! You saw this one and thought, “oh, Lori is going to write about her love life.” Well, I tricked you. But you’re here any way, so you might as well stay and subscribe to my patreon (I’ve yet to muster the balls to ask people to pay for my bull shit content but I guess that’s coming because that’s one of the main ways artists feed themselves these days).
My sister works in accounting, which means I’m the cool one. No, I’m kidding. It means she’s busy as fuck during tax season. But seriously, I’m definitely the cool one. And it was a low bar. I was never really cool to be honest. Mitch was the cool, good looking and funny one— goddamn him.
My sister’s husband does something for insurance where he has to look at damaged property or something, I won’t bore you with the details, mostly because I don’t know the boring details because when anyone starts telling me something boring I start fantasizing about whales or vampires. Anyway, he has to travel for his job sometimes which means Lisa will summon me for assistance with their two little ones. I’m unsure about my place in the universe, as everyone should be, but if there is one thing I can pride myself on, it’s being a good Aunt.
Likely, I’m a product of my own family. My parents are both one of six kids. Which means a lot of aunts and uncles and a shit load of cousins. Throughout my life I had extended paternal and maternal figures. Cousins for best friends. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I think when you come from a big family your bandwidth for empathy is greater. Additionally, in a world where everyone is fucked up and a little creepy, cousin are allies for life. They get you when no one else does. We’re all adults now, and many of my cousins have little ones of their own and they live all over the country, but at any point in time any cousin could show up at another cousin’s house and crash on their couch. Even though we don’t see each other like we used to, we’re so close it’s almost like a cult. There are few people in the world I care for more.
Some of my cousins grew up in Virginia. These cousins we didn’t see as much as my New York cousins but I don’t feel any less bonded to them. In fact, my cousins Briana and Matt, who grew up in Virginia, are far more similar to me than my sister. And Matt’s sister, Meghan, should really be Lisa’s sister. No matter. They’re all great. The point is, distance didn’t hurt our connection.
My Uncle Kenny was a favorite Uncle of mine because he’s so funny. He’s one of the quickest people I know. He’s my mom’s older brother. What you need to know about my mom’s side of the family is they are brutal. When I got into comedy, there was this stigma of green room banter where, if you couldn’t take (metaphorical) punches, you wouldn’t survive. The George gatherings (mom’s side) were akin to comic green room. There is never a lack of quips, jabs and sarcasm. You had to be on your toes.
Uncle Kenny lives in Virginia. He grew up in the same town I grew up in, but had escaped the weird bubble that is West Islip and moved to Virginia with one of his bothers long before I existed. When Uncle Kenny and kids visited, they stayed at our house. It’s well known that my parents are “the cool aunt and uncle” on both sides of the family, according to all our cousins, despite me and my siblings telling them how not cool our parents are (love you guys!).
When they visited when I was small, mine and Lisa’s room became the guest bedroom. Lisa and I would sleep on the floor in my parents room. That sounds kind of rudimentary, now, I guess, but I considered it a treat because Mom and Dad had a TV in their room (I never had a TV in my room until I moved out at 25 into a studio apartment which is essentially one room). They usually visited in the summer. This is because Long Island is awesome in the summer. We lived on the south shore of Long Island. A prime location to raise a family. Close to the beach. We all loved the beach.
So out of town cousins came during the summers and dad saved his vacation days for the summer months as well. These were good times. I loved it when my Uncle and cousins stayed. A sleep over with my favorite people! There would be laughter, food, dessert, laughter and dessert (both laughter and dessert were and are very important to me).
I suppose the bond I have with my Uncle Kenny is a result of three things. First, my mom was very close with him growing up compared to her other siblings (remember, there were six of them). Second, his daughter, Briana, and I have strikingly similar personalities. We were almost weirdly mature children, with large foreheads, well read and extremely sarcastic. Kenny was the king of sarcasm and wit. So is it any wonder that after months of not seeing each other we’d embrace and remember how much we missed each other?
Now I get why they only stayed a few days. I mean, they were sleeping in essentially a little girls room. I hate being away from my own bed more than a night or two. But back then I genuinely wanted them to stay all summer and I also thought my parents would love to have them (my parents would have happily hosted them for longer stays, as they are both hospitable and laid back (remember they are the cool and and uncle) but I understand now how ridiculous it would have been for two families to stay in our modest house for a whole summer—we would have killed each other). When they left (and we did this for my other cousins who didn’t live in Virginia as well), as they drove away, my siblings and I would chase after the car. Waving. Running as fast as we could alongside the vehicle just to make the moment of seeing their smiling faces last a little longer. Until we couldn’t catch up. And they’d be gone.
Nowadays, when my six year old nephew jumps up and down in excitement about me sleeping over, I get it. I get it. And as much as I always prefer to sleep and wake up in my own bed, it is sweet to wake up to them even though they have an annoying amount of energy at seven in the morning. Truly, evolution’s fatal flaw was making children have morning energy and giving adults insomnia.
Lisa got a new rug for the living room and had taped down the curling corners. The new rug caused a lot of static. I arrived Sunday evening for help with the children. I can work remote so my office is my computer and pajamas wherever wifi is. The future is… well… I thought it would be a little cooler, less racist and violent, but it has it’s perks. So I work from here while my brother in law is away for work so there’s an adult to get the child from the bus. Lisa neglected to tell them last time that she wouldn’t pick him up at the corner, but we look enough alike that it wasn’t questioned when Anthony came to me. Also, he runs off the bus and hugs me.
Even though they have a guest room, I usually stay on the couch as it’s a very comfortable couch and they have a big television. Both little Anthony and Charlotte actually jump for joy when I’m sleeping over. It’s amazing to me anyone can be that happy about anything, let alone about me. And Anthony gets to sleep on the couch and watch Aunt Lori’s show before bed (right now Aunt Lori’s show is ‘Rebels: Star Wars’). Always, he insists he’s not tired and the little prince he is, he asks me to scratch his back which I do because these kids have me so wrapped around their frail little child fingers it’s annoying. He quickly falls asleep. He looks so darling. I tuck the blanket tight around him so he’s warm and feels held. And then I kiss his little cheek. Except the static from the new rug literally shocks him as I kiss his cheek and he wakes, alarmed.
Oh shit! I’m so sorry. I’m sorry I kissed you goodnight. But also… not.