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Phone Call and Wedding - cellophane — LiveJournal
the story of an invisible girl
Phone Call and Wedding
I received kind of a scary voice message from my father this evening. Or at least, it scared me... even though it turned out to be nothing of consequence.

To understand my worry, it is first important to note that my dad rarely calls me. He's just not a chatting sort of person, and usually he lets my mom handle schedule-planning and such. So it was strange hearing from him at all.

The message he left on my cell phone sounded deliberately vague. My whole family is planning on traveling to New Jersey this weekend for my cousin N's engagement party. His message was something along the lines of, "Hi Rennie, this is Dad. Your aunt just call me, to talk about N's... affair. I just left a detailed message on your home machine. When you listen to it call me back and we'll discuss... the situation."

I was driving home at the time, and my mind started spinning. The oddity of his calling at all, the way he spoke slowly and without any specific nouns or details, the way he sounded too tired to repeat whatever news it was he was trying to share.....

Well it frightened me. Was N sick? Did they cancel the engagement? Had my 91-year-old grandmother died? Had something terrible happen to the fiance? I eventually decided that the best case scenario was that they had broken off the engagement, and I'd have to pay to have my airline ticket transferred to a happier date/time.

Hating the fact that something was wrong and I didn't know what, I started speeding through traffic, wishing I was already home.

I probably sound like a massive pessimist and worrier right now. But the fact is: these things have happened in my family before. Several years ago, my brother broke off an engagement just one month before the wedding. A few relatives were stuck with useless plane tickets after that. Also many years ago, my fiance died tragically, ten months before our planned wedding.

I've received the kind of phone call I was imagining before. I've made those awful phone calls before. I actually had to call my parents on vacation in Ireland, and they ended their trip early to come home, back when my fiance died.

My cousins and I used to joke about "The Family Curse". There are six of us total in my generation, all descended from my grandmother. We have all had trouble with relationships, and for awhile there we seemed incapable of marrying. Not one of us got married until four years ago -- when the youngest cousin had turned twenty-five -- though there were two painfully ended engagements and several broken hearts. Even today, there are only two marriages among the six of us. N will be number three.

If it all works out, that is. Up until today I had no reason to believe any differently, but once I heard my father's vague and poorly worded message, all I could think about was our silly jokes about the Family Curse. I was so sure that something awful had happened, and I was just hoping it wasn't too awful.

When I got home and eagerly listened to my answering machine, it turned out that my dad just wanted to talk about sleeping accommodations. All that worry for nothing. I was embarrassed but relieved.

I called my father back, saying nothing about my groundless fears. Everything was and is just fine -- but for awhile there, I was extremely worried. It's interesting how your past will affect your present sometimes, in such unexpected ways.

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dragonvpm From: dragonvpm Date: October 30th, 2006 05:40 am (UTC) (Link)
I can definitely see why you'd worry something was wrong. Whenever anyone in my family calls at odd times (e.g. late at night) I tend to have a twinge of "oh crap, what's wrong?!?"

Glad it was nothing major though.
specialagentm From: specialagentm Date: October 30th, 2006 02:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Perhaps the whole mental process of going through this worrying was a "safe" way for you to ponder the entire issue. You could go through that whole "panic" state and then be able to be relieved and see that you shouldn't worry.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: October 31st, 2006 11:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Perhaps so... it's definitely hard to overcome my very strong Fear of Bad Things Happening. And they WILL happen occasionally. They aren't impossible, that's the whole problem. But I can at least gradually teach myself to realize that they don't happen as often as I expect them to.
mbumby From: mbumby Date: October 30th, 2006 08:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, sweetie. I'm so sorry to learn about your fiancé.

But I totally understand the father who "doesn't" call. I remember years ago (it was before December 1989) when the phone rang and when I heard "This is your father" I knew what he was going to say. The only possible reason for him to call would be to tell me that my only surviving grandparent, his mother, had died. I was right, too.

Don't believe he's called since. But I've only rung him up fewer than half a dozen times since then myself... Wonder where I got those genes from.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: October 31st, 2006 11:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow, your dad's worse than mine! I think my dad calls more frequently now that he has a cell phone -- but that's still pretty infrequent.

Thanks for the comment. *hug*
jenaflynn From: jenaflynn Date: October 31st, 2006 05:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Ack.. sorry to make my first comment on that is shared sorrow.. I lost my GF a few years back also.. We were on the cusp of getting engaged. She had a bloodclot, and passed away. But yea. It really sucks to lose someone that you love.

Anyways, I friended you, since you run the otherworld_adv LJ group. So, hello and all that.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: October 31st, 2006 11:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hi Jen, thanks for commenting. I'm so sorry about your GF, that sounds awful. But then, any way to lose somebody you love is pretty awful....

Otherworld, on the other hand, is amazing. I'm so glad you went and enjoyed it! Good to meet you.
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