Sunday, April 22, 2007

A blended-family ballet

To my ex-sister in law:

"Someone in the family spread a rumor a while back that there's some kind of family connection to a group called [Jewish rock band]. So I bought their ___ CD, since I'm getting into Jewish rock music lately. Whoa! These guys can play! Not to mention sing . . . This is good stuff! So what's the story with the family connection?"


She's been wonderful to my parents, especially in light of the fact that it was my brother who ended the marriage. She's constantly inviting them for Shabbat and holiday dinners and sending them home with leftovers, and she keeps an eye on their health. So how am I supposed to explain to her that the reason why I can't figure which member of the band is related to her boyfriend of at least two years is that my mother, who "spread" the "rumor," still doesn't know his last name?

My ex-sister-in-law's reply:

______'s son, _______ ________ is the lead singer of ________--glad you like them so much!"

Um, er, how shall I put this?

"I'm a bit confused about _________ _________. The CD liner notes . . . seem to indicate that he's the lead guitarist, but not necessarily the lead singer. This seems to be a trend in Jewish rock groups, whether by the accident of talent-distribution or by design (in an attempt to keep one person from hogging all the glory)--many Jewish rock groups seem to have one person as lead guitarist and another as lead singer. . . . One way or the other, ______ certainly knows his stuff. ______ is a group of wonderfully talented musicians."


It embarrasses the bleep out of me to have to correct your knowledge of your own boyfriend's son.

But hey, he's not your son.

Can you imagine this conversation after a future concert of theirs in New York City? "Hi, I'm [real name]. We're kind of related, more or less--your father and my ex-sister-in-law have been hanging out with each other for the last couple of years. It's nice to meet you."

Nope--I can't imagine it, either.

Situation: Awkward to the nth degree. I heard this "rumor" many months ago, and shouldn't even have asked, but curiosity finally got the better of me.

P. S. Lead guitarists, don't even ask--I have no idea whether the party in question is aware of his father's relationship with my ex-sister-in-law, and it's not my place to break the news.


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