i got a phone call the other night, that pretty much sounded like this:
me: "hi, you're speaking to jennie!"*
irate woman with heavy balkan accent: "why haven't you ever returned my calls, i have left you so many messages and called you for days now and you never answer, and i called your cellphone and left messages and you never called back.."
me (perplexed), still using phonevoice: "i'm sorry, who am i speaking with??"
woman with heavy accent: "ferida! your aunt!"
haha, oooooh! ok. do forgive me. it's only been 21 years or longer since we last saw or spoke with each other (i think i was 7 or 8 years old), i should have known a random woman calling to yell at me out of the blue was a relative. :)
after she calmed down (i explained to her how rare it is for me to be home at a decent hour at night, and that i've pretty much been gone every weekend for months, so i simply didn't know she'd been trying to reach me that extensively), we chit-chatted a bit.
it's weird getting caught up with a relative that needs to be updated on the last 20 years of your branch of the family. there was a lot of "no, my uncle actually remarried almost 20 years ago and had a few more kids" and "ah, sorry, grandma died a few years ago," but for the most part, talking went easy.
she then cornered me into agreeing to meet her for coffee sometime. we eventually decided on next thursday night. i should probably explain that she lives really closeby. i've known that she's around, but since we haven't been in touch, i never felt the need to say hello before.
so. there ya go. suddenly i have an aunt and 2-3 more cousins in this town (beyond the other two cousins+family that live here and that i don't keep in touch with).
i have no idea what we'll have to talk about next week, but whatever. she sounded pretty fun - heavy bosnian accent and the telltale slavic real loud-speaking style promises it won't be an hour of awkward silence, at least.
* yes, i answer my homephone like that, and always in a neutral, pleasant callcenter voice. my caller i.d. isn't working (the display on my phone seems whack) and so whenever i can't tell who is calling, i go hyper-professional. it always confused telemarketers, hehe.