mercredi 26 avril 2006

What I learned this weekend.

This weekend, I learned that my family is cursed. Oh, not cursed in the way that we have witchy powers (oh wait, that's Charmed, and that would be awesome. I would love having magical powers, although I would not like demons coming after me all the time), or that we all have webbed feet. No, cursed in the way that most anyone who carries the blood of my maternal grandfather (and further back, but we're not sure how far back this goes), dies young.

Now, that's a cheery thought for you.

And here I thought it was just exceedingly bad genes.

My generation is the next one up, in case you're curious. At least I'm not male, since it has been said that this curse seems to favour the XY of the bunch, although to me, it appears rather indiscriminate with who it hits.

Apparently, one of my maternal uncles had been working on the situation, and had arranged for all our ancestors to be dug up (I always thought that disturbed the spirits) and reburied in their own group temple shrine thingy. But then, after an unfortunate event, he realised that WAIT, one ancestor was still missing.

One of my college-age cousins wondered aloud how that conversation went:
"Dude, what the hell, I thought we fixed matters."
"Oh wait, we forgot to tell you about one of your ancestors."
Or, as that same cousin put it, how the hell do you "leave out" a great-great-great-great-grandmother (or whoever it was) when reconstructing a family tree?

So, apparently, until that ancestor is found again (and being from a war-ravaged country, that might be hard to accomplish), we are told that we have to lead "good" lives (but I checked, I can still drink, phew) and be close and nice to one another. This sounds suspisciously like what all parents say to their offspring. (And it's not my fault that one of my cousins has abominably bad taste in blue eye shadow and is marrying a guy nearly twice her age - I mean, to not make fun of that is just a missed opportunity.) And it's slightly ironic that the uncle who told us all this stuff is the one who doesn't talk to two of his own sisters (my mother included) because he greatly disapproves of their husbands. That, as far as I can tell, is not being close to your siblings and kin. (But, I guess he figures that his being ultra-Christian saves him and his family. To note: this uncle doesn't talk to me or my sister either because of our father, which is ridiculous, but it does spare me some long-winded lectures which is nice, since I already get enough of that from my father.)

Lingering questions I have:
Why hasn't anyone done anything to rectify the situation before now? You would have thought that, oh, after perhaps a generation or so, my family would have been sad at the damage the curse had wrought, and would have tried to amend matters so that future generations wouldn't have to suffer. Apparently, this was not the case. Even if the first affected generation had died too soon to fix it, well, succeeding ones could have done something about it. But no. It appears that laziness, procrastination, and hoping that someone else takes the initiative runs in the family.

Why hadn't my cousins and I been told about it until this weekend? Seriously, I am 25 and this is the first I've heard of the curse? My cousin said that we just hadn't been told, but I come from a LONG line of busybodies and gossips. It runs in the blood, y'all. It is unfathomable that in 25 years of family events nobody has uttered a peep about any curse (except, I guess, for the uncle who doesn't come to any of the gatherings because he doesn't talk to some of his sisters). It is impossible for my family to not discuss such matters.

Who the hell did we wrong? When I asked my cousins this, they laughed and said that I sounded like I wanted to beat someone up. Well, no, not beat someone up, but wouldn't it be easier to find the wronged offspring and do something nice for them (à la My Name is Earl - oh, how many current TV references can I make?) rather than trying to find some unnamed grave somewhere? Especially since all that does is get all our ancestors together without really addressing the other family we screwed over at some point. I'm just saying. I'd like to be efficient with the resolution of this whole shindig.

Does the curse dilute down over generations? Say that this happened 5 generations or so ago. Given that I don't believe my family is inbred, wouldn't it make logistical sense that I'd only have 1/16th chance of having the curse? My cousin disabused me of this notion, which I guess makes sense since if I were to curse someone, I'd want to curse that person and his/her entire family AND progeny and make sure that nobody escapes. But it's too bad that the curse is more like a dominant gene that everyone who carries my maternal grandfather's blood has and expresses in every person in every generation, not like a recessive gene that can be bred out of the family. Dammit. Genetics did not come to the rescue here.
I guess I could ask my mother about it, but it'd have to be when my father isn't around because he claims that he doesn't believe in such bullshit. Although if you ask him about his horoscope, and he tells you about the one star that blocked BOTH his fame and money star in one fell swoop...

I'll do some snooping at a cousin's birthday party this weekend (yes, another cousin, I have many many many relatives, and I only ever see the maternal side too - or most of them, at least), because dammit, I want to get down to the bottom of this mystery.