Monday, July 16, 2012

When Your Uncles and Aunts just won't be obliging!

Do you know what a CBC is?  (Don't answer, Kiri Liz!)  Well, that's just your loss then.  Because CBCs are the best things that ever happened to me, or my family, or a certain other family that lives on the other side of my state.  Well, maybe not the best thing, but at least it ranks on the top five list.
A CBC is a Cousin By Contract.  Yes, that's right.  It's the thing to do when you (like myself) have cousins who are much younger than you or, if they are your age, live so far away that they might as well not exist anyway.  In a case like mine, you have to use extremes.  Since your parents' siblings obviously didn't think about you when producing offspring, you have to get your own cousins.  This takes more work on your part than the alternative, but it is certainly worth it.  For one thing, it is a safer route than the other, because you are able to chose the Cousins yourself.
Exactly how does one find and make a Cousin By Contract?  Well, first of all, you have to meet someone that you find has just about everything in common with you.  Same tastes in books, movies, hobbies, and music are preferable.  When searching for this cousin, try to find one with approximately the same amount of siblings in his/her family as are in your own.  Spend about twelve hours in each other's company talking about your tastes and story plots, reading each others latest stories and writing glowing reports of each other in your journals.  Make sure to exchange addresses.
When you are finally forced from this perfect person's company, immediately write a letter to him/her.  You will soon become hugely familiar with his/her family, and vice versa.
The next part is a little harder, and Kiri Liz will definitely agree with me on this.  You must propose to your parents the idea of having the family of your prospective cousin come over to your house to stay for a week or so.  The parents will put it off for about two months and whittle the time down to about three or four days, but you will by then be so desperate to see this new friend that you will be ready to talk to them through the iron bars of a prison if need be.  Finally the Family of Wonders will arrive, and you will spend three quickly fleeting days with them.  You will have archery shoots in your back yard, snap an overabundant bean crop in your living room while watching your favorite movie with them, reenact The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and stay up to all hours of the night while completing hilarious pre-composed surveys about your favorite things.  On the day of departure, you will lament that you are not related, and decide that something must be done to fix that.  So, out with the Contract.  The Cousin Contract.
Their family and your family will become one family by the simple signing of a simple piece of paper.  You must make your zany cousin handshake, and after their departure, immediately plan the next time you will meet.  I promise you, all of those poor, unfortunates with whom I deeply sympathize, you do not have to complain about not having any cousins your own age.  If your Aunts and Uncles are simply not supplying perfect cousins, you can get your own!
Oh, and let me give you this modified sample of a Cousin Contract format:

We, [names of those in first family becoming cousins] and [names of those in second family becoming cousins], hereby state that the sacred Bonds of Cousinship have been formed between us, stronger than the Bonds of Blood.  These bonds will never be dissolved except on consent of the entire body of those who have affixed their signatures below.
Signed: [all names]

This, of course, need not be signed in blood, although some would dispute the fact.  The whole point is that you are not cheap blood cousins.  You are cousins by choice, far more precious because you have chosen each other.  And I promise that this formula, followed exactly, will yield a happy crop of age-appropriate cousins.
Thanks for reading!
(P.S.  Yes, Kiri Liz and her siblings are my CBCs.  We really did all that I have written about.  And my formula really works.  At least, it did for us.)


  1. I need a reaction more delightful than "delightful" for this one!! :D

    You simply neglected to give the accounts of our next visits: acting out a delicious murder mystery, reenacting hilarious songs from Tangled, playing whiffle ball, eating frosting on every edible morsel that could be contrived possible to hold frosting, and scheming on how to keep our parents from leaving a place the children want to stay. But, yes, I understand that could not have all fit into one post. ;)

    Needless to say... CBCs are EPYCK WHYNN!!!!! :D

  2. I loved this, Kathryn!! My family has adopted a few grandparents but we haven't (yet!) adopted any cousins. And, there were no contracts signed in the cases of the grandparents!!! However, I agree with everything you've said!! And speaking from personal experience, I also agree that relatives-by-contract (written or spoken) can be a ton more fun than blood kin!!!

    Oh, Kiri, I laughed at the 'scheming on how to keep our parents from leaving a place the children want to stay" My family has done that so many times with good friends that it is impossible to count them!!

  3. This is so perfect! What a wonderful solution to those distant, anti-social blood related cousins some of us have (including me). I would much rather have cousins of my choice! :) Will have to try this on one friend I am thinking about who has much, much in common with me... Thanks for the wonderful post!


  4. This was so funny, Kathryn! I loved every bit of it! And I am quite proud to have you as my CBC.


Thanks for your comments! I love comments! Thrive on them, actually! Please just remember to keep them clean. I don't care if you make them long. The longer, the better, in fact! I really appreciate it when you take the time to tell me what you think.