The Funk’s Holiday Newsletter 2006 As written on the 7th of September
Dear Friends & Family,
Do you feel the crackle in the air? Doesn’t it make you feel as if you are standing in the midst of royalty? Well, have no fear; it’s just me, trying on my new role as first lady for when my little funky-poo is elected Mayor of Kansas City in the spring of double-o-seven. But, more on that little tidbit later.
Tara’s study abroad experience ended strangely. First, her university closed down for the year only five weeks into the semester due to the rioting in France. With nothing much to do, Tara traveled a bit more than she had originally planned. First she went to see our previously unmet relatives in Italy and then she went to Nice with some of her friends from Pitt. It was the Nice trip that brought on the strangest part of her stay. After her friends caught the early bird flight back to the US, Tara woke up alone in her hostel in a needing-an-ambulance-sort-of-a-way. Unfortunately, as Tara was still in France, and as it was a Sunday, and as the doctors don’t typically work on Sundays, the only thing that my daughter could do, while waiting five hours for an ambulance to arrive, was to contemplate the possibility of an early demise, and . . . to call her mother at 3:20 in the morning to tell her about it. Believe it or not, there is a good part to this story. While my daughter lay near death, she received a clear message that she was destined to become a holistic doctor. I can’t tell you how happy I am about this epiphany as it is every hypochondriac’s dream come true to have a doctor in the family.
Tara ended up leaving France early only to turn around six weeks later to take the boat over to Europe with us. As if it weren’t enough for me, a homebody at heart, to leave my home for nine weeks, the Universe decided to intervene in our lives by having my father die only 3 days into our journey, while we were still on the boat in the middle of the ocean. For those of you who believe in the spirit world, the only way that I learned of his passing was from him; my family didn’t inform me until I forced it out of them 2 weeks after the fact, while living in the slums of Barcelona.
While I was trying to cope with my father’s death and with being away from home at the same time, Funk left me to go traipsing off to Sweden on a business trip. That this was the very reason that we were in Europe to begin with did not alter the nasty thoughts that I had towards him. Thankfully, Tara picked up his husbandly slack by sleeping in the flat with me while he was away. The Universe, seeing that my family was easy game, decided to have a little fun at our expense once again. In the middle of one of those awful nights that Funk was gone, I heard Tara get out of bed and make her way over to the bathroom. I remember this vividly because she was cursing loudly after banging her knee on the coffee table. Just as I was wondering what in the world she could be doing in the bathroom for half an eternity, I heard her exasperatedly say, “Well, are you going to finish up in there anytime soon?” Hearing her speak those words made my skin crawl, but I calmly replied, “Tara, who are you talking to?” In a very annoyed voice my innocent child said, “What do you mean who am I talking to, I’m talking to you – when are you going to be done in there?” To this I not as calmly replied, “Tara, I’m not in the bathroom, I’m over here, in bed.” Never believing anything that I have to say, she said, “No you’re not, I just followed you into the bathroom.” Hearing that, I let out a rather shaky, “oh sh*t” and then I began clawing at the bedroom wall looking for the light switch. Since Tara couldn’t see that I was frantically trying to turn on the light, she, in an increasingly panicky tone of voice asks, “Well, are you going to help me out over here, someone is in our apartment?” Knowing that there was no possible way that a murderer could have quietly cut through the bars on the windows in our 3rd world apartment, I responded, “Tara, there’s no one in the apartment, I think it’s . . . ” whereupon she cut me off and began to screech a very long and drawn-out, “oh sh*t,” while sprinting towards the bed, with her skin crawling now as well. So yeah, even from the other side, my father is still a prankster at heart.
Thankfully, the rest of our stay in Europe was not quite as over-the-top, although we did manage to make our way across the continent arguing with each other louder than the “real” Italians do. My father’s bad timing at death and Funk’s heavy work schedule probably had just a little something to do with this, but in some peculiar and satisfying way I was proud of us, as the Europeans definitely could not say that this American family was an unfeeling bunch. Andrew surprised us by acting as the mediator in our family on many of these volatile occasions. He really impressed me during one particular argument that occurred at 2 in the morning in a quant little square in Italy – while the entire village was still awake enjoying the fresh ocean air – and having the unexpected pleasure of getting to watch the Americans going for the jugular with one another.
Back home, Andrew has picked up a nice group of friends to hang out with this year. Without seeming to be putting it on, they’re all intellectuals, but they show their flamboyant side by playing in a band that they call “Kool Breeze.” Though I’ve never been allowed to hear them play, I’m pretty sure that Andrew plays the harmonica, as I find this instrument scattered all about the house. His friends have gravitated towards hanging out at our house, which is fine by us, though one night I counted 12 males sitting around my dinner table, Funk included, which is way too many males for my taste.
Now, back to the Mayor business. I’m writing this newsletter in September because things will definitely be hitting the fan come November, which is when I am usually beginning to fret about getting this letter together. So, as of this writing, the plan is that on November 6th Funk will give his two-week notice at City Hall and on the 20th he will hold a press conference announcing his candidacy for Mayor. Then on December 2nd we will be hosting what I call Funk’s “coming out party.” He really hates it when I call it that, so I make sure to slip that in every time we talk about it, which at this point is all day, every day.
So, this time next year, who knows where we’ll be if my “big mistake” doesn’t get elected, but I’d venture to say that we will humbly be accepting any extra food stamps that you can send our way. But, pity my poor little funky-poo if he does get elected as he’ll definitely be needing lessons from Prince Charles on how to cope with a wife who will definitely be outshining him in the public’s eye. Please don’t worry for me though; I’ll be sure to drive carefully through the tunnels if all goes as planned.
On that note, the first lady bids you all a happy and healthy new year. Ta-Ta.
New Year’s Day Party Invitation At the funk’s 1 January 2007 2pm~4pm Please bring the family For chili & beer