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January 10, 2014

My new bride and I stood in a short receiving line in her parents’ living room while well-wishers lined up to say their congratulations. 
“I’m Elaine’s Uncle Phil,” Uncle Phil said and squeezed my hand hard instead of shaking it. I winced. I winced again when he patted my cheek a little too hard and said, “You be good to my favorite niece or you’ll have to answer to me. "Wide-eyed I nodded my acquiescence as he moved down the line to Elaine.
“Mazel tov, honey,” he said and handed her an envelope. She smiled and he bent over and quickly kissed her on the mouth and I saw his tongue coming out just before their lips touched. Elaine lost her smile.
“Don’t expect me to invite him for dinner,” I whispered in her ear as he moved on to my in-laws, his sister and brother-in-law. Just before he went to kiss Elaine's Mom she started coughing and covered her mouth with one hand while waving him to move on with her other hand.

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