When you help your family in a different way than originally intended

I originally cleared my calendar today to help babysit my cousin’s son while my cousin and his wife were supposed to move. They’re in the midst of moving from the Upper West to the Upper East Side, so I figured I’d be a good family member and help out. Well, it ended up not being what I thought. I arrived, and my cousin said that his wife’s mom actually came earlier than they expected, so she’d stay with the kid at the old apartment while they moved with the movers to the new. Wait, I said. What does that mean I’m supposed to do here? And he suggested that I go over to the new place with him via his rental car and watch the movers to ensure they did not get a parking ticket. Their mover had already gotten one parking ticket at the old place and really did not want to get a second one. Well… that’s just great. I ended up standing around the front of their new building, appearing like a random loiterer wearing a dragon-fruit face mask, keeping my eye out for the cops. In the end, I did see one police car drive by, but they were clearly out for someone else totally unrelated.

They all thanked me for helping. I really didn’t feel like I did anything other than perhaps offer some moral support to the both of them. But maybe that’s what they really wanted me there for. They both looked like they had aged years and years since the last time I saw them. They’re also so paranoid about the virus that they are literally disinfecting every single new thing that comes into their apartment. I think my entire head of hair would be white if I did that, too.

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