Well, it’s happening. Cuz, who has lived with us for about a year, is leaving. Off to architecture school. We will miss her. Cuz is hard to describe, but imagine a 5’5″ ball of sass rolled in black eyeliner, leather, and Haribo wrappers.
Tom will miss his TV and sugar buddy. Cuz’s appetite for television is almost equal to Tom’s. He complains that since she moved in, all the TVs in the house are always set to Bravo. I don’t watch, but I can’t imagine the actual episodes of Married to Medicine being any more entertaining than her verbal recaps.
I will miss watching Cuz and Tom’s epic sugar battles. Like when Cuz brought home a half-gallon of Cake Batter ice cream, which she doesn’t even like, just because she knew it was the one flavor Tom wouldn’t eat. I witnessed the shitstorm that ensued when Cuz discovered that Tom had eaten the entire container anyway, after a late-night Game of Thrones bender.
I will miss Tom’s confusion over Cuz’s grooming habits. “What is she DOING in there??,” he will hiss at me, when Cuz has been in the bathroom for a long while. As if I would know. I assume it’s her skincare regimen.
I’ll miss Tom and Cuz’s ragtag laundry assembly line, in which Cuz will wash ten consecutive loads of laundry, Tom will fold all of it, and then neither of them will put any of it away, resulting in this log jam in my bedroom, which stresses me out not at all.
Tate will miss Cuz’s skills at inserting tiny little weapons into the hands of tiny little lego figures. He will miss her shrimp fried rice.
But of all of us, I suspect it’s Finn who will miss her the most. They’ve had some epic battles, Finn and Cuz. From the start, Finn has been confused by Cuz’s status in the hierarchy of our household, a confusion that has been aided by the fact that Cuz has a baby face and is not that much taller than Finn.
But Finn and Cuz—they talk. They talk about stuff that Finn doesn’t talk about with me, or his dad. I usually only hear about it secondhand, after the fact. Like on our way to the dentist, when Finn sat in the back of the car wringing his hands like Lady Macbeth and muttering to himself about cavities. “How does he even KNOW about cavities?,” I whispered to Cuz, who was sitting in the front passenger seat. “Oh, because of me,” she answered, blithely. “I told him I had cavities when I was a kid and that they hurt really, really bad.”
I wouldn’t have delivered the message in quite that way. But Finn now wants to brush his teeth. Like, all the time. Such is the power of Cuz.
Best of all are Cuz’s lessons on more abstract topics. Like the rigors of fame.
Finn: “I want to be a good soccer player so I can be famous like Lionel Messi.”
Cuz: “You know, Finn, fame isn’t all that great.”
Finn: “What do you mean?”
Cuz: “Well, when you’re famous, people hate you. Like Robin Van Persie. Remember when he played for Arsenal and everyone loved him? Well now he plays for Manchester United and everyone in London hates him. You wouldn’t want everyone to hate you, right?”
Finn: (confused stare).
I couldn’t have eviscerated the glamour of fame any more efficiently. And she did it using terms Finn understands.
It will be hard to replace that kind of wisdom.