Revenge of the Nerd Ch. 70byrpsuch©
My family came in from everywhere for my graduation. We had a sizeable extended family.
They could be classified into five groups: the comfortable group; the very comfortable group; the wealthy group; the very wealthy group and, like my nuclear family, the obscenely wealthy.
I didn't know what my father may have said to them and I was concerned about the possibility of hostility towards Jeff.
I needn't have worried about hostility because there was not a scintilla of it in evidence. No, they were a lot closer to obsequious, which confirmed to me that Dad had been working his black magic.
They didn't come to attend a graduation party. It was a graduation epic. They started to arrive a week before the actual graduation and we had parties almost every day.
My father's first cousins Lawrence and Raymond and their families stayed at our house. We could have accommodated quite a few more but family politics made that impossible.
Jeff and I hadn't yet bought a place of our own so we were each living at our parents' houses.
The best I could do for Jeff was to limit the meet-the-fiancé trauma to a dinner with Larry's family and another with Ray's family.
Ray brought his daughter, Sabrina, and son, Benjamin, to dinner Monday night. Ray's wife Miriam was delayed on business and would arrive later in the week.
Ben was twenty-five and had an MBA from Harvard. Sabrina was twenty-one. She would be graduating next year with an undergraduate degree in business. Ben was a hunk, tall with dark, wavy hair. Sabrina was gorgeous. If it hadn't been for my looks she would have been the legendary beauty in the family.
Ray was solicitous of Jeff. Ben showed an enthusiasm for almost everything Jeff said. If it were sincere it would have meant he had a thirst for knowledge as boundless as Jeff's. But he only showed it when talking with Jeff.
Sabrina was in love. She practically drooled over Jeff. In her defense, I had dressed him so he looked very sharp. His intelligence, knowledge and wit made him especially attractive so I couldn't tell if she was smitten or had an agenda.
She flirted continuously, but always had a comment at the ready to show she was just joking. Often she would add, “Of course, if Ashley ever lets you get away let me know and I'll be right over,” followed by a giggle. She smoothed her hair. She wet her lips. She would touch his arm when she spoke. She played with the buttons of her blouse deep in her cleavage. Sabrina was clearly not an amateur.
When we spoke later Jeff said she was really nice
Either he didn't understand she had been coming on to him or dismissed it as something she would not do to her engaged cousin.
He liked Ben too. He thought Ben was interesting and so intense. Jeff hadn't noticed Ben's intensity was reserved for him.
He thought Ray was trying too hard, but didn't make a judgment about him one way or the other.
Ray's family was the relative highlight of my family. Larry's family infested us on Tuesday.
Larry and his wife, Linda, tried to come across as seen-it-all, done-it-all upper crust. They oozed so much ennui I was constantly tempted to ask if there was anything in life they enjoyed at all, including breathing.
Tyler, twenty-six, and Malcolm, twenty-four, were prototypical, privileged frat boys; the kind who were always looking to inflict some cruel joke on anyone they could convince the two of them were human.
I don't know if it was easier, but Jeff didn't miss a thing at this dinner.
When he kissed me goodnight, he said, “I've got to rush home to take a long, hot shower to wash the four of them off.”
It wasn't a bad idea.
My father may have talked to them, but there was no way this crew was executing any complicated plan he devised. They lacked the discipline to carry out a carefully designed plan.
I couldn't figure out what was going on with Ben. Though his behavior had been strange, I couldn't imagine what he could do to make things difficult for Jeff and me.
I didn't know if Sabrina had been brought into any conspiracy. Not only was she a congenital flirt, when we were younger she used to throw herself at whoever I was with. She managed to get a few of them after they were discarded, but the joy of having what had been mine didn't seem to last long and neither did they.
I wasted a lot of time trying to figure out what they could be up to with no success.