“Yiddish. An entire family network comprising relatives by blood and marriage and sometimes including close friends; clan”
The table was set and seated –
Aunt Aquilla, with her large bosom heaving this way and that; Uncle Tedward, with his ivory pipe and rosy cheeks; Twice-removed cousin Lady Lousie, with her lace handkerchief and bloodshot eyes; Mousy Geniveve, recently divorce from Amos but somehow still invited; Cousin Amos, sending weary glares across the food-laden table to his ex-wife; Lovely Mary-Elizabeth, my betrothed, seated across from me, her features fine and smile sobering; Cousin Bertha and her husband Alf, both adorned with tarten and firey red hair; Stan, the shy milkman, and close friend of Uncle Tedward; Master Henry, Mary’s older brother, hair slick, suit pressed and medalions worn with pride; Heavily pregnant Margerie-Rose, carrying the fifth of Henry’s children, her eyes tired but words wise; Mary’s younger brother Master Luellen, freshly a man, trying his very best to convince cousin Amos that a glass of Port will hardly kill him; the image of her daughter, Madam Helena, poised next to her husband with extreme elegance; Great Great Aunt Gwendolyn, an ancient relic and smelling of lint and lavender; and finally, the man who somehow agreed to let me marry his only daughter, Colonel Arther Argot, sat front and centre at the head of the table. While I sit, snuggled between Amos and Bertha, completely sober and trying my best to win their approval. Before we may eat the Colonel raises a glass, and we all follow suit.
“To Mishpocha” He breathes heavily, eyeing me down with beady eyes over the rim of his scotch.
I smother a gulp, trying not to slink down in my chair, and manage to shout with the others “Here, here.”