Family connections

It's a funny sort of thing to be introduced as _____'s daughter to a group of retired military men slash my dad's former colleagues slash our former neighbours, when half of them remember me as the awkward ten-year-old riding an old red BMX bicycle around the neighbourhood, and now we're sitting around in a karaoke-esque lounge having a beer. Plus I'm the only woman in a roomful of ten men and I can't help wondering if they would be telling us these same stories with more colourful language if I wasn't there.

Fortunately, no one besides me seemed to care and the closest we got to memory lane was a quick highlights tour with one elderly gent (it's weird to think of people in my parents' generation as bona fide senior citizens) who used to live in the same block of apartments as we did. Then there was the spry-looking former number one commando, who also happened to be the father of one of my closest friends during my early 'teens --- except that I didn't know about his commando pedigree back then, he was just one of the many "uncle"s in the neighbourhood. I doubt he realised that I was the same quiet bespectacled kid who occasionally slept over in his daughter's room.

So that was the Dad side of things. Then there was the book launch party where I was unexpectedly introduced as _____'s niece to some people who work slash used to work with slash know of my aunt. Which is not a bad thing in itself, but not a terribly useful point of reference when it comes to who I am. My aunt's great and we get along alright and she's always doling out helpful advice --- but she's not been the pivotal influence in my life or anything.

I think I just like being me. It doesn't matter who I'm related to or who I happen to know. I'm just me, y'know?

In name only




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