For example: their uncle was such a clever man, so clear headed. So was their aunt. Would they ever imagine, that the daughter had completely lost it?
(On the other hand some relative strangers who sat in the next seat to her during college lectures would never believe the said uncle was remotely sane, going by the antics of his offspring, but there you are- at least she was duly recognised for her (lack of) talents by someone or the other).
To that end, cousins-who-haven't-met-one-in-a-long-time are at a peculiar disadvantage. It is quite possible that when they knew one in another life (the one in which the good influence of the sane parents was still strong), one was dutifully making long plaits, eating one's porridge with a spoon, writing with an aim to make one clear ...and whatever else sane people are supposed to do (Gosh! making a 'what sane people do' list like this is so taxing!), so they naturally assume things haven't changed. Then there are the things called genes which are supposed to make people in a family rather like each other, but that doesn't work either. Teenagers are always mutants and sometimes people don't mutate back, but become so weird, even their teenaged children find them fairly crazy! (That's quite a feat, you know).
Just this morning a cousin came over to Mom's place. I went over, too, and we sat and gabbed about this and that. Cousin, it turned out (see? I didn't know her either), was an extremely house-proud lady with a firm belief in the 'proper' division of roles.
She had strange neighbours who, instead of cleaning their houses after a dust storm, would dress up and go out to enjoy the good weather that followed- LeavingTheHouseInTHATcondition!! Such a tension free life- I point out and Cousin laughs out loud at the joke. Who will notice the dust if everyone is out enjoying the good weather?-I persist and Cousin is duly impressed by my wit.
Then she mentions another neighbour who was cool with anyone dropping in at any time- EvenWhenHerHouseworkWasNotDone! She's not likely to turn into a cranky woman with a rich experience in heart attack survival and a load of worry wrinkles, I muse. We are jolly and laughing.
Cousin's friend, on the other hand, asks her- Are we the only people who work so hard and look so haggard?
To tell you the truth, I think Cousin looks gorgeous. I'm sure she doesn't sit up late nights' getting dark circles trying to do stupid things like writing a blog, but if she likes feeling unhappy at being one of the most conscientious housewives around, who am I to snatch away her trophy?
Then she suddenly says she wants to see my house.
"By all means", I say, "But before we go I would like to draw your attention to the GLOW on my face, my dear. Please do NOT miss it!"
Now she gets it and we are laughing loudly. Finally I am enjoying the joke and she, poor thing, can do nothing else under the circumstances.
Then we go to my house and she doesn't proceed more than 5 feet and 15 seconds inside.
After all she is in a great hurry to get back to her house and do some cleaning up!