How to: (Hopefully) be the Young Single Aunt

katherine holmgren, beaverdamusa.comYou can call me Aunt Kathy.

My brother and his wife welcomed a baby girl into the world on May 11th and now everything is different. I suppose change is inevitable but in this case I can feel myself changing too rapidly into a person I don’t recognize. New life has overtaken me and I haven’t even met this little baby in person. Hear me out on this one:

My niece has entered this world with me as her only unmarried aunt. Being a Single Aunt puts you into one of two categories: Young Single Aunt or Old Single Aunt. Young Single Aunts are the definition of fun. They are free-spirited and always ready for a party. The YSA is there when their niece needs relationship advice or a fun Girls’ Day Out with pedicures and dessert with every meal. A YSA knows how to have fun and will always help circumvent parental rules. She starts treating the kid like an adult from the moment she leaves the womb. Their relationship is very similar to the best friend characters in a sassy chick flick. Everyone needs a good Young Single Aunt on their side.

Old Single Aunts smell like mothballs and embody terror and obligation. The niece learns to prepare her cheeks for pinching and her taste buds for off-brand hard candy that predates her birth. The OSA does not understand social cues and makes everyone look at the same pictures and listen to the same stories over and over again. Nobody needs an Old Single Aunt in their life but everybody has one. Such is life.

There are exceptions to both camps, of course, and I fear I am one of them. For all intents and purposes, I should be textbook Young Single Aunt. I am young and cool and a lot of the people I hang out with think I’m a riot. I’m carefree, living life to the fullest; time and circumstance are on my side.

But this baby arrives and I’m immediately throwing out SERIOUS Old Single Aunt vibes. First of all, I was grabbing drinks with friends in Nashville on the night my niece was born in Kansas and I interrupted ALL table conversation EVERY TIME a new round of pictures came through my phone from my family. I made sure everyone had to drop everything they were doing to look at new pictures of the exact same baby to whom they had no relation.  The next day, I texted out new pictures to those same friends just to give them the hourly update on this baby they will probably never meet. Half of them did not respond.

Secondly, The only snack food/candy I have in my house right now are York Peppermint Patties that I keep in the freezer for when I “just need the tiniest little post-dinner chocolate.” Peppermint Patties, you guys. Have those ever been a candy of choice for anyone?? Did I honestly make and execute this choice at the grocery store? Why did I buy such a big bag? Isn’t Peppermint Patty the ambiguous tomboy in the Charlie Brown comics? Am I turning into Peppermint Patty?? Is he/she the OSA mascot? Peppermint Kathy??

Finally, the worst–and most telling–of my OSA transformation came when my dad sent me more pictures and I responded with:

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STRONG CHEEKS?! Like, I can’t wait to pinch those little cheeks? Am I insane?!

The next step for me is probably to start wearing an unhealthy amount of old perfume and too much blush. Is anyone trying to get rid of their cat? I need one or seven. I can’t wait to meet my niece and for her to be old enough to help me figure out how to work my television remotes so I can watch my soaps.

About Katherine Holmgren

Katherine Holmgren grew up in the metropolitan jungles of Kansas so she's street smart and deeply Midwestern. She moved to Nashville in 2008 and currently spends her time working at a desk by day and playing music by night. When she's procrastinating on the work she is supposed to be doing, Katherine enjoys eating at Chipotle, reminding people about her Swedish heritage, and assuring Netflix that yes, she is still watching. Play on.

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