“Cousins are people that are ready made friends, you have laughs with them and remember good times from a young age, you have fights with them but you always know you love each other, they are a better thing than brothers and sisters and friends cause there all pieced together as one.”
People say, cousins are our first best friends. My cousins and in would the last generation of cousins in my family that would live within walking distance from each other. I loved my placement in the family, I’m smack dab in the middle. I’m the youngest of the first set of cousins and two years older then the next.
Being the youngest, made for me being the butt end of some epic pranks. One had to do with The Brady Bunch. What 70’s kid wasn’t a fan of The Brady Bunch? Girls wanted to be Marsha, was in love with Greg but could relate with Jane. So imagine getting a call from someone who works for the show saying I won a phone call with the entire cast!
“Tomorrow night at 7:00 pm, you will receive a call from one of the kids on the show.” Only stipulation, I couldn’t tell anyone until AFTER the phone call ended.
I hung up and squealed in excitement. I couldn’t wait tell everyone that I talked to Brandy Bunch! Fast forward the next day I sat oh so unpatiently by the phone, praying that no one calls and ties up the line. I had composed a list of 27 questions. From what was special about the pork chop and apple sauce to who was their favorite Monkey.
The phone rang, “James residence.”
Long story short, I spoke to all the Brady kids. I got off the phone and ran up to Grams’ room to tell her about my amazing phone conversation. I was confused by her lack of excitement. Grams picked up the phone that sat at the foot of her bed.
“Janice, your kids are up to it again. Charmane thinks she just got off the phone with the damn Brady Bunch.”
The realization slowly started creeping in and over shadowing my euphoria.
“Oh Lord, the baby is crying”
A slow warm pressure of anger was washing in and tears were streaming down my face. I’m not sure I was more upset over yet another prank or the fact my bragging rights were just ripped from me and I won’t be able to brag about the call with my friends tomorrow at school.
Then there was the Jackson 5 prank… That is a post all in itself.
Outside the pranks, we discovered hip hop together, produced and starred in countless talent shows, and always had each other’s backs against the neighborhood kids. I loved my position amongst my older cousins, because even with being on the receiving end of my cousins’ particle jokes, I always knew I was protected by them. Chasing after them, trying to be like them, bragging about their accomplishments and knowing I was one of them fuels so many stories today.