Tuesday, March 31, 2009

An Epic of Mythological Proportion

Homer, Mikael, Goofy, Nancy, Athena
Disney Marathon 2009

I was chatting with my *ahem* favorite nephew last night. He asked, "Why don't I ever see posts about the family any more? How am I supposed to keep up on gossip and juicy secrets?!" I never realized I was his sole font of family propaganda. He then suggested I write about his wife. Of course possessing a largish quantity of the Black family smart ass gene, he suggested sharing a humiliating story of her spending a night in drunken debauchery, but I actually do like his wife, so I won't go there. However, not wanting to disappoint my *ahem* favorite nephew (funny... something always gets stuck in my throat when I say those two words together), here we go.

Let me start by saying, if ever two people were destined to end up together it would be a boy named Homer (my *ahem* favorite nephew) and a girl named Athena (my favorite niece-in-law). For the unenlightened, in ancient Greece, the poet Homer was the author of both epic works, Iliad and Odyssey. (It should be noted that in some circles it is contested that he wrote either or both.)

The Odyssey is sort of the sequel to Iliad, and centers around the main character Odysseus. Indulge me if you will and I'll give you the extremely abridged version of the story. Odysseus is husband to Penelope and father of Telemachus, and long thought dead after heading off to fight the Trojan War (which lasted ten years), and then taking ten more years to return. The story begins on the island of Ithaca as Penelope is entertaining various suitors. Athena (aha!), Odysseus's protector, favorite daughter of Zeus, and Goddess of War (busy girl!), visits Telemachus (now a grown man) and suggests that he might want to search for his father, convincing Telemachus that he might not be dead after all.

Finally escaping from the clutches of various snares (suffice it to say, never ever piss off Poseidon!), Odysseus makes his way back to Ithaca, disguises himself as a beggar, and goes to see his son. Upon convincing Telemachus that he truly is his missing father, Odysseus kills off all the suitors (Athena has a hand in arranging that too) and then reveals himself to Penelope, convincing her that he is her own dear husband returned from beyond.

The citizens of Ithaca want Odysseus dead. All of the men he lead to Troy died and now he has killed off 108 eligible suitors - two generations of Ithaca lads have fallen as a result of Odysseus. Athena once again intervenes and convinces both sides to call off the rumble, and Ithaca is a peaceful place again, concluding Homer's Odyssey.

So you see? It gives me goosebumps. Two innocent kids, given weighty names - very unusual names at that (my nephew was named long before the Simpsons was even thought of) bump into each other at, of all places, Disney World (my nephew having recently returned from his own seafaring odyssey with the Marine Corps), fall madly in love, wed, have two children, and by all appearances are utterly happy together. What are the odds?

My favorite niece-in-law lives up to her name. She is at once kind and obviously fiercely determined... the kind of gal you really want to be on your side. She's a wonderful mommy, and makes a perfect partner for Homer (as he puts is, "she laughs at all my corny jokes even when I know they're dumb"). Most importantly, her sense of humor is just wacky enough that she fits in with my crazy family. I couldn't be happier with my *ahem* favorite nephew's choice (as if he had any).

So there, Homer... happy now?


  1. It's about time! I've been waiting all day for this post! ;-)

  2. This is what happens when you allow your children to wake you up too early. You wait.

  3. I for one am very greatful that you decided not to write about my embrassing moments. (We have all had them--even Homer) I am thankfully that feel that way. It's nice to know that my in laws actually like me and not just because I can get them into Disney for free!! =)

  4. Really? Homer claims he's perfect!

    Of course I like you even without the free Disney tickets... I can always rely on Homer for that! ;-P


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