My sister-in-law is 7. My husband is 27. People can’t control themselves when they hear this so they always ask, “Are they from the same father?” Sigh. Yes, yes, they are. Please ask me more because who doesn’t want to talk about their in-laws having sex?
From this people usually segue to “How many siblings do you have?” I usually roll my eyes and stare at the heavens at this point. It sounds like an easy, safe conversation topic but with me, there don’t seem to be many safe, easy conversation topics, you know.
So I do a dramatic pause and then I say. “There are 10 of us…give or take a few.”
Hearing this, people think I grew up in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish home where my mother gave birth every year for 10 years.
If they already know I converted to Judaism, they just assume my family was REALLY, REALLY Catholic.
Because what do ultra-Orthodox Jews and Catholics have in common?
A need to overpopulate the world.
The last time I asked my father to make a list of all my brothers and sisters, he came up two short. (No, really, I’m not making this stuff up.) So I know you’re wondering, how the heck did he lose two kids in one conversation?
Well, my father is your basic stereotype of a Latin lover. My father only thinks about women. Lots and lots and lots of women. On our last family vacation, Papi took me to meet his girlfriend. Sorry, girlfriends. I didn’t catch their names. Papi called them Girlfriend #1. Girlfriend #2. And Girlfriend #3. And no, not to their faces of course. Papi is smoother than that.
Papi knows women, he knows how to make them swoon. Except for the lady at the birth certificate office. When my father tried to pull birth certificates for all his kids, this lady gave him a dirty look, refused to give him the certificates claiming he had “clogged up the system.” Basically, she was not having any of his baby mama drama.
But I don’t blame my father. I blame my grandfather…who I only met once. But even then, I would have done anything for him. Anything. You see, he seduced me over a toy baby calf. My grandfather had seduced so many woman with so much less. Family folklore says that when Abuelo died, my father met all of Abuelo’s illegitimate children and baby mamas at the funeral.
So it’s true. My grandfather was hot. My father’s hot. My mother was hot, too. And just in case you wonder where my mother got it from, let me tell you about the time my grandmother asked me “So you know how sometimes you can have a kid but you’re not sure who the father is?”
No, no, Grandma, I don’t know. I think hotness skipped a generation.
Aliza Hausman is a Dominican-American Latina and Orthodox Jewish convert (Jewminicana for short!), freelance writer, blogger (at “Memoirs of a Jewminicana”) and speaker.