I once had a whole slew of aunts. Now I have one remaining. And not wanting to jinx anything, but she is a delicate 99 and I hope she lives to 120. She is dear to me. In fact most of my aunts were dear to me.
Aunts are special. If you are an aunt unless you are an evil one, rely on the fact your nieces and nephews cherish you. My aunts were my mother’s sisters or my father’s sisters, and a few were spousal aunts. They were good, too. As for my mother’s sisters I don’t know how Mumsie lost out on that ‘auntie’ spark of affection but in part she did, so I gravitated to my aunts.
By the way, that is Aunt, pronounced like the insect, not that effing affected ‘Awnt’ that seems to have come into vogue and leaving the utterer sounding like he or she was born at Downton Abbey. Fix that, OK? It irks me.
My aunts never got the honorific Aunt before the given name. If the name was Matilda (I did not have a Matilda, by the way) she would be straight Matilda, never Aunt or Auntie Matilda. I don’t know why that was so, but that was the way I was raised. The only ones who got the title ‘aunt’ were the great aunts of which I had a number as well, back in the day.
Here is my list. Not going to name them by name, just by their number in the roster:
1. My mother’s oldest. Not terribly well liked by some in the family. She was an insufferable intellectual snob and was not above letting people know she found them stupid. Huge anglophile and affected an English accent. Chain-smoker who loved her tipple; never married but messed around a bit I was told. But, while others did not get on with her, I did. We would discuss literature, England and other common interests. When she died a number if years ago she actually left me a small inheritance because she liked me and thought I was smart.
2. Mom’s 2nd oldest was a sweetheart. Fun, funny, married to a former US Navy officer and later very successful businessman who was still working in his 90s. Their homes in Seattle and their summer place near Bellingham were a delight to visit, as were the cousins contained in those homes.
3. My remaining aunt on that side, and one whom I adored and she apparently adored me. She once referred to me as her ‘other’ son. Her son, my cousin, is a bit over a year older than I am. I love spending that time with her and her son and daughter, both of whom are well, thank you.
Meanwhile, my father had two sisters who were also very important to me and were awfully nice people.
He didn’t always get along great with the older of the two since she was closer to him in age and they sometimes bickered. I liked her and her husband very much and had some good times with them.
And his baby sister – she was his pet and ultimately became kind of my pet after he died. We kept in very close contact and I can still hear her hearty laugh. Scary smart and funny as hell, I miss her greatly to this day. And even though she wasn’t young when she died she always seemed and acted younger than she was.
And that is my shout-out to aunts I have known on this day.