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wisdom from cuz

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.




20 Comments Post a comment
  1. Sorry she’s going away, but your loss is Ann Arbor’s gain… Welcome Cuz!!

    May 3, 2013
    • Tom is hysterical with joy that this family has a new connection with michigan

      May 3, 2013
  2. That row of laundry baskets made me nervous!!!

    May 2, 2013
  3. texasdeb #

    Aw, Cuz, things were just getting to be so friendly-like. I’ll throw in my vote though my skin care ship sailed decades ago – we ALL hate to see her go, that’s for sure. I think the only thing she’ll need to know up front about architecture is to watch the multiple Youtube videos of students gleefully trashing their project models. Their expressions say it all. Long live Cuz!

    May 2, 2013
  4. Andy #

    Gah! Cuz cannot leave! She never fully revealed her skin care regime to us! I turned 28 three days ago and I’m really worried about the skin under my eyes now. We have a family history of eye bags and I can feel their droopiness silently creeping up like a deranged stranger in a dark alley ready to disfigure me. I don’t want to look like Javier Bardem in my eye bags region. Cuz was my only hope!

    I’ve resorted to taking that one picture of her lotions and potions and blowing it up to try and identify all the products.

    Also your blog is amazeballs. On days when I just cannot, your blog is an oasis of procrastination. Please quit your job and ignore your family and only write funny things from now on.

    May 2, 2013
    • this comment is amazeballs. i am fascinated with your family history of eye bags. also, if eye bags make one look like javier bardem, i need tom to get some eye bags. i know cuz swears by eye cream, unlike me, who believes that eye cream is a marketing ploy. i will ask her for her favorites and report back

      May 2, 2013
    • So she says the best eye cream out there is actually the very inexpensive neutropenia rapid wrinkle repair (or something like that), although she says nothing will combat a family history of eye bags. 😦 She did say retinol will help

      May 3, 2013
      • Andy #

        I feel like Cuz is the Wizard of Oz and we’re all just falling all over ourselves to get our wishes granted — but she’s going to leave us anyway. Please thank her for her wisdom. I’ve already placed an order on Ulta.

        May 3, 2013
  5. Loretta #

    sorry about the grammatical error in my last reply — it’s only 8:45 but my brain is scrambled eggs — “harder” than any other profession, that’s what i meant to say…sigh.

    May 1, 2013
  6. Loretta #

    Good luck to your cousin on starting architecture school — I’ve heard that it’s hard than any other professional track, even medicine, but that it’s worth every minute of lost sleep, every meal skipped, and every ounce of sanity contested (of course, do tell her to live healthfully and happily, despite what her peers are doing). May her every project succeed, and may she have time to return to your home from time to time so that Finn and Tate can enjoy her company (and you and Tom can too, of course).

    May 1, 2013
    • loretta! you make architecture school sound scary. she’s ready for the challenge. or it may be that anything after living with my two boys seems easy

      May 1, 2013
      • Loretta #

        sorry, yoona, didn’t mean to scare you — i just met a lot of friends while in grad school who were studying architecture and i really admired how much they (very cheerfully) sacrificed for their work — and it all paid off, so i’m sure it will be the case for your cousin as well. i must say, architecture students are not only creative but extremely resourceful — they made the best impromptu meals at 3am!

        May 2, 2013
  7. I am going to miss Cuz as well, she is my skin regimen soul mate. I love your writing.


    May 1, 2013
    • thanks! i aspire to be her soulmate in skin care but it takes a commitment that i lack

      May 1, 2013
  8. darcybjo #

    I, too will miss cuz:) I know her only from your blog but what a great ‘asset’ to your home and the creative fodder she provides is undenyable. Thanks for the memories, Cuz…many a visual is seared in my brain!

    May 1, 2013
    • i have told her many times that she should have blogged her year at my house. it’s been culture shock both ways. panicked at the thought that she’s leaving in two days

      May 1, 2013

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