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Tuesday, January 18, 2005

'Can I get an Amen with my cocktail' Uncle Stan

Weren't the 1970's great? Star Wars came out, bell bottoms ruled, and open-necked shirts with lapels longer than a beagle's ears were cool. Out of my father's three brothers, 'Stan' was the mac-daddy of them all. Computer geek by day, ladies man by night. His visible chest hair delighted the squealing, shining lip-glossed women that paraded in and out of his bachelor pad. Sure, he did the pocket protector thing from 9 to 5, but come Friday night, he's strutting his stuff under the mirrored dance ball wearing white platform boots and his Angel Flight Suit. Women flocked to him like children to the sno-cone truck. At family reunions, we were prepped beforehand of her correct name so not to give away his player status.

Stan lived life to the fullest and partied like it was 1999 before Prince even knew how to spell purple...until he met Mary. Mary smiles. Mary smiles and blesses you. Mary smiles, blesses you, and refrains from all that is sinful. Even as kids, we knew this wouldn't last - Stan was too much Hugh Hefner for this straightlaced woman. I had two whole dollars that she wouldn't make it to the next family reunion - a down payment on my new obsession: Sea Monkeys.

But Uncle Stan up and married Mary, much to our disbelief. Keep in mind I come from a conservative church so when they asked the children to be in the wedding, we had no idea of what was coming.

Who has a two hour wedding, I ask you? Even the longest Catholic wedding doesn't push past 90 minutes (band and keg rental and all that). Stan had been married like three times, so at ten, I'm thinking he already knows the drill. We should be in and out in time to catch Hardy Boys on TV.

I think when they began speaking in tongues is the moment I sensed the problem. Then the vial of oil appeared from the preacher's coat and he anointed Stan. Then Mary. Then my dad passed out from locking his knees while standing as best man. I think I heard Uncle Stan utter a curse word but it may have been my imagination. Mary blessed him. Years later, the wedding is still topic of conversation.

Uncle Stan's escapades with wild women are replaced with impromptu sermons and Mary's blessings. His pimp daddy clothes have been replaced with nipple high trousers, plaid shirts with no chest hair seeing light of day, and orthopedic shoes. And I never got my Sea Monkeys. You owe me, Uncle Stan.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's topic: Uncle 'Chicka-Chang-Chang' Bob. Until then, remember this - family can't be chosen but still have to obey restraining orders like the rest of us.


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