No, this is not a story about my weird and confusing cousin. This is a weird and confusing story about a cousin. Or two.
I have a cousin named Jennifer (actually a second-cousin, but we just say "cousin" because we're lazy). Anyway, Cousin Jennifer is 26 and taller than me. In fact, she's been taller than me ever since she was about, oh, 14. So, as you would expect, she refers to me as "Cousin Lanky" and I call her "Cousin Shorty." (Ha ha, we're the family cards!) It's just a silly thing we do, a silly thing that we've done for years and years, along with taking silly pictures at Christmas with our respective silly sisters. I am very lucky to have been adopted into a very silly (in a good way) family, on both sides.
Oh, I guess we can be non-silly sometimes. OK, so here's a non-silly picture of Cousin Shorty at the wedding.
Cute girl, isn't she? With glasses and a fake lightning scar on her forehead, she's the spitting image of Harry Potter. In fact, she was Harry for Halloween last year.
Anyway, after meeting my biological mother several years ago, I learned that I have a second cousin (as in an additional cousin) named Jennifer. We'll call her New Cousin Jennifer for now. She is also taller than me. Now, since I am an adopted child, Cousin Shorty (we'll call her Old Cousin Jennifer for now) is not my biological cousin (though she is very much my "real" cousin). Since we don't share the same genes, and since she has the genes of my 6'1" dad's and tall aunt's side of the family, it makes sense for her to be taller than me.
But you would expect New Cousin Jennifer, who is biologically related to me, to at least be somewhat SHORT, if not shorter than my towering five feet, two inches. But New Cousin Jennifer is quite a bit taller than me. Though I do not know how she compares with Old Cousin Jennifer, height-wise. I also don't know how her silliness factor compares to Old Cousin Jennifer's, but I'm sure it holds its own.
And to make things even more confusing, Old Cousin Jennifer is younger than New Cousin Jennifer. Which is why I do not refer to New Cousin Jennifer as Young Cousin Jennifer. I can't call her Second Cousin Jennifer, either, since Old Cousin Jennifer is technically my second cousin, even though she's the first cousin Jennifer that I met, back in 1978 when she was, oh, about two days old.
Are you with me so far?
As you can see, it's very confusing to have two Cousin Jennifers. So, I had a brilliant idea. Since I call Old Cousin Jennifer "Cousin Shorty," and since New Cousin Jennifer is taller than me, why not call New Cousin Jennifer "Cousin Tall-y"? So, I decided to ask New Cousin Jennifer if that was OK with her.
I hadn't asked her yet, though, because I knew she was in the midst of wedding plans. I'd wait till after she got married. Besides, I've only met her once and hardly know her. Hardly know if her silliness factor would see the humor in calling her Cousin Tall-y, when she's never even met Cousin Shorty and has no context for it.
Now, although I met New Cousin Jennifer's fiance once (at the same time I met New Cousin Jennifer), I didn't know his last name until recently, when I read Cousin Veronica's miraculously updated blog.
New Cousin Jennifer's new last name is going to be--get this--TAULLI. As in, sounds like the opposite of SHORTY.
How cool is that? It was meant to be! So now I have a Cousin Shorty and a Cousin Tall-y! Or would that be Cousin Taulli?