I’m Not at All Attracted to My Second Cousin

You know, my second cousin James just announced his engagement, but things have been so weird between the two of us ever since Great-Mee-Maw’s funeral. James kept looking at me and asking, “Are you OK?” I couldn’t tell if he meant it in a flirty way, but I assume yes, which would have been wildly inappropriate, yet also a welcome sexual distraction from thinking about Great-Mee-Maw’s untimely demise from tripping over an Easter egg. From an objective point of view, I can’t deny that James, too, was looking hot. I wouldn’t have noticed except that he was a pallbearer and when he lifted the casket, his biceps were rippling. Things came to a head when he asked if I wanted to sit down with him for a second to collect myself. I agreed, but when he asked me if I remembered when Great-Mee-Maw sewed all of us kids matching orange rompers, it was clear he had romantic intentions. I had to get out of there. Like no, James, I will not hook up with you at Great-Mee-Maws funeral! But that got me thinking…

You know, in the olden times cousins were supposed to marry. I don’t mean anything by that, but it’s a very interesting tradition and maybe there was a reason for it. Also Eleanor Roosevelt married her cousin and she’s like a feminist icon. I recently purchased a gold membership to Ancestory.com to see if there were any second cousins in our family tree that married and had babies, not because that’s something that I’m interested in or anything, just because I discovered a newfound passion for genealogy.

Then I saw James again at Thanksgiving. Despite being sad because this was our first Thanksgiving without Great-Mee-Maw, he looked great, and the sexual tension between us was stronger than ever. Did he think I didn’t notice when his hand brushed mine when he passed me the mashed potatoes? What woman wouldn’t imagine him shirtless, slathered in Great-Mee-Maw’s famous turkey gravy? Unfortunately he also brought his fiancee, Jenna. James and I have all these inside jokes because we GREW UP TOGETHER, but Jenna apparently doesn’t have a sense of humor! She didn’t even laugh at my impression of Aunt Midge when her apple pie sunk, but James got it right away (and not just because Aunt Midge is his mom.) All Jenna wanted to talk about was how her and James were “getting serious” just because they “bought a house together.” 

I’m not into him though of course, it’s just that unlike him and Jenna, we have so much in common, and not exclusively our bloodline. We love the same music, the same shows, and we both care about family, specifically the same family! Honestly, don’t you think the children of cousins get an unfair reputation? Our family has historically strong jawlines so if we had a son, he’d probably be a senator and/or chin model. And he would probably, definitely, not be born with a tail. And speaking of genetic diseases, Jenna sure has been sharing a lot of medical GoFundMe pages for various members of her family on Facebook, so their kids would probably be little medical nightmares. 

So yes, he’s marrying Jenna with her family’s hereditary diseases, but like, if James and I got married, we would save so much money because we wouldn’t have to pay for two sets of family members. Talk about practical and convenient. I’m sure most of these Hinge dudes have really big families and that would be a real dent in my pocketbook, you feel me?

But obviously, you know weddings are expensive, working at a David’s Bridal and all. Also do you think this veil flatters my face shape? Not like I expect anything to happen but it’s always good to prepare. All right, go ahead and wrap it up. I think it’s gonna look beautiful with Great-Mee-Maw’s dress. Also, can you recommend a caterer? 

Gracie Beaver-Kairis is a writer and semi-functioning adult living in the Pacific Northwest. In her spare time, she pretends to be the kind of person who enjoys hiking. Twitter: @beaverkairis

Catherine Weingarten is a playwright and humor writer based in NYC. She’s a bit too obsessed with wedding cake. Twitter: @sarahkaneissexy

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