Will Mary Be a Role Model “Aunt” for RG?

April 1, 2009


While we were eating the brunch and conversing with Mary, the phone rang. I had given the mommies’ phone number to our guests, so I guessed it might be S from Romania.

Indeed it was. From the conversation, I understood that she might have had trouble finding the mommies’ house. 65th Street is one of the main cross streets near where they live. S and her husband F were at 165th Street, perhaps 20 miles away.

From the conversation, it was clear S and F were discouraged and embarrassed by being so late and thinking about not trying to come. Mommy told them to come, and I spoke loudly so they might hear my voice, and said, “Please come. It will be fine.”


As we waited, Mary continued to tell us about her life in America. After she received her Master’s Degree in industrial engineering, she was hired by a large utility company that serves several counties, including the island where my life and I live. As our electricity goes out frequently from wind storms, I once told Mary, “The next time our power goes out, I will call you and ask you to come over to get it up again.”

She replied, “I’m sorry, I work in the natural gas department; I won’t be able to help you.”


At the brunch, I asked Mary about how her company is holding up with the economic troubles. Had they started to lay anybody off?

She said they had not layoffs, but their planning had been thrown into turmoil. All their plans were based on forecasts of continuing growth and for lots of news houses (and thus lots of demand for more power hookups).

Mary said she is going to England in April. She will see her sister who now lives in London. I thought her sister was a linguist, but Mary said she is a statistician. I brought my daughter into the conversation, mentioning that she will be studying statistics in graduate school this fall.

Mary has two weeks of vacation coming, so she plans to spend two weeks in London; one week to see her sister, the second just to travel around in England.

Mary’s boss asked her if she really needed two weeks of vacation, she said. This sounded very crazy to me, but as most of the bosses I have had in my 17 different jobs while I was working were crazy, it also sounded perfectly normal to me.

In any case, Mary is very stubborn (though very polite), so she always does as she pleases and seems to be quite unperturbed when someone else disapproves. If she becomes one of Random Granddaughter’s “adopted aunts” (a tradition in my family) this may be a good model for her to role for RG.

At this point, S and F, our guests from Romania, finally arrived.

5 Responses to “Will Mary Be a Role Model “Aunt” for RG?”

  1. David Says:

    Stubborn and polite are excellent qualities, especially when strategically allied.

  2. pandemonic Says:

    I wish I were closer. I would love to be a role model aunt.

    Hmmph… always a bridesmaid, never a bride.

  3. woo Says:

    good luck to Mary getting round England in a week (let alone Scotland – don’t bother with Wales). I’d strongly advise her not to bother with public transport, including trains. And the roads are a nightmare. She’ll need a helicopter, a magic carpet or a broomstick.

  4. modestypress Says:


    When I said that Mary and S might turn out to be adopted aunts, the mommies said that status is not automatic for anyone. Also, I presume RG may have an opinion on the subject as well.

  5. modestypress Says:


    I have been in email communication with Mary and S (about other things) and I just heard the following from Mary:

    right now I am in England and I believe tons of work will be waiting for me in a couple of weeks.

    Any ways, I am glad we all are keeping in touch and maybe we can get together after my vacations to show all of you how beautiful is England.

    So far I’ve been here for few days and I have already 90 pictures!!

    Of course, based on what you say, all the pictures may be of the inside of one train station. Or she may indeed have a “helicopter, a magic carpet or a broomstick.”

    Who knows what powers the Incas kept hidden from modern civilization?

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