Babke Moje! The Introduction

These past ten or so days I have been in Serbia visiting family. Needless to say, we all have that one aunt that just LOVES getting into everyone’s business and, for some reason, especially yours. Now I know that my life is just so interesting that it would be shocking if no one was deeply invested in finding out every detail they can, but it also hits a nerve. Their constant nagging turns into an itch that you know exists, but is also impossible to scratch.

Imagine having that single, vexatious itch multiplied threefold. There is no cure except for you to sit as still as possible and pray that it won’t get any worse as it slowly wears away at your very existence.

Yes, my aunts are this itch. First, it all began when my father’s blood sister came with us to Serbia. Tetka 1 is a pain in her own special way. It’s not the usual, “Oh, my dear, you are so skinny! Why don’t you eat more? Are you sure you know how to cook? I cannot believe those pictures your mother posted on Face! I think you should go to my home village to find yourself a nice, young man to marry. Here, your cousin is willing to take you to find someone,” and etc. She is one who will sit beside you in church and, right smack in the middle of service, will shimmy up nice and cozy next to you and tell you that this new cream she’s been using has been doing wonders for her skin and, therefore, you should try it because you clearly didn’t see any of the acne you currently have on your face. But wait, there’s more! If you take this special offer of a half-used face cream right now, a lesson on how to properly drink lukewarm lemon water in the morning to cleanse your body will be given to you if you like it or not! But we all know that it’s your lucky day even if you don’t take the cream because the instructions on making and ingesting lemon water will be given to you every, single, time she starts her church pew pitch. Let’s just say that sitting next to her for thirteen hours on a plane wasn’t the most ideal situation to be in.

Tetka 2 is the woman who is willing to put down and say anything so that you may enjoy life by ensuring your health. While most aunts have this in common, it has been proven by firsthand fieldwork that this is her specialty: making sure that your feet are covered and toasty warm at all costs. No weather is too hot for a pair of fuzzy socks to keep those eggs properly functioning. One of the most prevailing beliefs among the aunts is that if your feet aren’t covered, your ovaries will become a cold, barren wasteland, leaving you unable to have children. Boy-oh-boy, did she push it. I didn’t even last two days with her acute comments and questioning on me not wearing anything other than sandals. By the middle of the second day, I bought sneakers so that she would at least stop chipping away at her favourite topic of naked feet and their consequences. While I did buy the sneakers, I still went barefoot inside the house. Every time she interrogated me on  my life-threatening choices, my answer was simple: I’m using the socks God gave me.

While the other two are generally recklessly loud, Tetka 3 is an acceptably loud aunt, but really only when she’s chattering away with Tetka 1 and Tetka 2. She’s the one that you do not want to get angry or also known as the “silent but deadly” type. I’ve never actually seen her become angry, but I know I wouldn’t want to. She’s like the Pacific Ocean where all you can see from each side is a calm front, yet there is no way for you to dive under and see what the deep holds beneath until a violent storm thrashes everything it has straight at your jaw-dropped face.

Now that you have been introduced to the first three aunts, I believe you will be able to have a better understanding of how my father and I felt when we were stuck with all three of them in a car for six hours straight. See you soon.


Translations

Babke moje!: Oh, grandmothers of mine!

Tetka: Aunt related to you on your father’s side of the family

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