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I have an oral fixation! Plus, I am a distant relative.

I am now convinced that I have an oral fixation.

There is no possible way that I could be hungry. No way in hell. In fact, I feel that if I ate something, I would become nauseated. The mere thought of putting food in my mouth right now makes my entire body protest.

And yet–for some inexplicable reason–I want to get something to eat.

It’s not like I have anything in particular in mind. I just feel the urge to munch. Even though the act of munching would make me feel like puking.

WTF?

I’ve believed in my oral fixation for awhile now. After all, I am always putting things in my mouth. I never chew on pencils–that’s gross–but I do play with clumps of my hair, brushing them with my fingers and then putting them into my mouth, holding them there and then blowing them out with a poof and starting over. I also like to always have something to drink nearby, whether it be soda or water or sugar-free juice. Whatever’s on hand. The reason I keep trying to stop drinking soda is because I can easily imbibe 500+ calories a day that way without noticing. Of late, water doesn’t seem like enough. It seems too empty, too boring. I always seem to want some sort of flavor. It’s quite detrimental to a balanced diet ;P

What do you do when you have an oral fixation? Is there a way to deal with it other than just keeping water on hand?

Paul’s party was pretty fun. As usual, his large family was there. I don’t know all of their names yet; I’ve never been good with names. It’s part of being antisocial, I think.

Here are the ones I do know. First, Paul’s mother Sue, who is half Japanese and thus knows how to make all sorts of great Japanese food. She is married to Barney, who is thus Paul’s stepfather. Sue has a daughter, Mickey, who is older than Paul and pregnant. She and her husband Bart were in attendance. Then there are Paul’s younger siblings, April and a boy whose name I can’t remember unfortunately. I am not sure if they are Sue’s children with Barney or Barney’s children with someone else or what. My severe lack of knowledge is pretty sad.

Then there was Sue’s brother…and I can’t remember his name. He and his wife Trisha and their daughter and Trisha’s parents were there. I know Trisha and her father from “yard-saling”; Sue invited me along one Saturday morning and I got to watch their bargain eagle eyes in action. So it was cool to see Trisha again; she’s nice. I don’t remember her daughter’s name. There was a baby there named Katie or something…I couldn’t figure out if she was Trisha’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter o_o

That is about all I can remember. There was a whole slew of people in the next room, too. A teenage guy, and a young girl with a little black chihuahua (at least, I guess it was a chihuahua), and I think some adults…too many to keep track of X_O They’re a pretty clannish group, and I feel honored that Sean and I are considered part of the family, so to speak. Still, it is a bit overwhelming to have all those people around at once, especially since I don’t have history with any of them. (Heck, having my own extended family all together at once is overwhelming.)

Anyway, we arrived and walked right in without knocking, waving to the crowd in the living room and moving to the kitchen. I feel the most comfortable in there; not really sure why. I grabbed a plate and loaded up with the goodies I mentioned in the previous post, while Sean declined dinner and waited for dessert–his burger and fries had curbed his hunger. Too bad I couldn’t say the same…but even if I could have, I would have eaten something so as not to be rude. o_o

Dinner was good, and the cake and ice cream were delicious. The conversation was typical for that group, meaning no-holds-barred anything-goes commentary. Mickey and Bart’s sex life was discussed, and when the little toddler started looking down her shirt, Trisha crowed, “See anything you like down there?” Their openness is always amusing to me, and it’s usually a little more than Sean can handle for any extended period of time. We managed to cut out after a little over an hour; we stayed long enough to watch Paul open his presents, then split. (By the way, if you are dying of curiosity, we gave him money. We figure that’s better than any other gift to give a bachelor, living on his own, who was just laid off.)

So that was it for our outing this evening. My husband is a total homebody, and I’m not much better. Left to our own devices, we might very well crawl into a cave, never emerging except perhaps for sushi and burgers. Perhaps.

Faye just shared some pictures and movies with me of her kids. “Her kids” is such a strange way to refer to them. I feel a connection with Connor that goes beyond “my brother’s son”, I think. I was there when he was born and I watched him grow up, seeing him probably 80% of all days after they moved in behind Mom and Dad’s house. I’ve watched–and helped–him turn into a little person. When I look at the pictures they send to me now, I can imagine him moving and speaking, and I even feel like I have an idea of what he’s thinking. He’s Connor. He’s my very special Connor-boy who I love very much. I miss him.

Seeing the pictures and movies brings me two distinct sensations. There’s the missing Connor, definitely. But then I see Logan, and I get a different sort of pang. I look at his face, and I do not see a child who looks like Connor (as everyone else keeps saying). I see a totally separate individual. An individual who I do not know. My new nephew is a stranger to me…so even though I can look at his pictures and say “how cute!” it is not the same way I look at Connor’s pictures and say “how cute!” It is a different kind of appreciation. It’s more distant. I sometimes feel as though I may as well be looking at the child of a distant relative.

In a way I suppose I am, given the many miles between here and home.

Every time I think about this, it strikes me how unfair it is to Logan. Connor got to spend the first three years of his life knowing his aunt, being his aunt’s best buddy. He formed a special relationship with me that can never be duplicated. Could never, even if I was local. But Logan has no chance of forming a relationship of his own with me. Not on anywhere near the same level.

It hurts to think about that.

I mean, Gabrielle has three kids now. She just gave birth to her own second child, Laef (pronounced “Layf”) Marcus Follmer. But I don’t feel bad that I’m not there to watch Laef grow up. I feel a distant sort of regret about it, but it’s nowhere near the same feeling I get thinking that I won’t be part of my brother’s child’s life. Logan is AJ’s son, just as much as Connor is. I want to be there to watch him grow too.

There is just something about my brothers. Maybe because we were close in age and grew up together and had many of the same friends. I feel a connection to both of them, a very strong desire to be part of their lives and part of their families’ lives, even though I often don’t feel like I fit in.

Faye helps a lot in the latter aspect…she makes me feel that I belong, that I am important and special to the family and to her children. I want to have a relationship with those kids. I don’t want Connor to forget about me, and I don’t want Logan to grow up never knowing me. I want to be there.

But given the current situation, I don’t know how to manage it. We’ve already signed the lease for another year here in this apartment. The next time I’ll see my family will be when Sean and I go up for Christmas…I can’t imagine going up any sooner, although I’d love to. Who knows, maybe I will…but I seriously need to get some sort of job. Being unemployed and taking these little jaunts is not good on our budget ;P

So I’m going to be like Mom was to all the Illinois cousins…the long-distance aunt who visits maybe once a year and brings her children who don’t quite get along with “the gang”. We were so far removed from our cousins–even the local ones, really–that no firm relationships were ever forged. I don’t feel as strong a connection with my cousins or aunts and uncles as I would like to. I feel that Ben and I are very special people in Connor (and now Logan)’s life, and that is far more profound than anything I ever experienced with my own aunts and uncles. But I’m breaking it by not living nearby. If I do manage to have kids, they’ll be in the same boat as my brothers and I were.

Everything we do in life affects others, no matter how independent we might want to be. It’s pretty sobering to think about that.