“A cousin is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost.” — Marion C. Garretty
When you think about it, it’d be crazy if one of your cousins wasn’t your bestfriend. Now for me, my cousin Shaunna is that one. I have loads of cousins but we were born months apart (I’m obviously older, therefore everyone has loved me longer) and we’ve grown up together, she literally knows everything about my life and every little secret I’ve ever had.
Now I don’t have any sisters, I was blessed with been the only girl. But if I did have a sister I could imagine we’d have a similar relationship to what Shaunna and I have.
Through life she’s forever had my back, always getting me out of trouble as kids and now as adults guiding me through life. Sometimes I think she’s the older one. There have been times we haven’t been as close, but because we are related it’s easy to pick up where we left off.
She was always the first on my birthday party list as kids, and every Friday her mum (my Auntie) would pick me up from school and take us to gymnastics together. I had this dead trendy green glitter and black leotard that I thought I was the dogs bollocks in (we were 9). Whenever children in need was on the tele we would have a sleepover at my house, my mum would buy us PJ’s or Teddies of Pudsey and we’d stay up all night (well try) and watch all of it. We bloody loved it.
Now my family’s big, huge in fact, there’s bloody hundreds of us and family get-togethers can get wild. So many loud mouths all in one place, I’m shocked places still let us all attend at once. The great thing is, I never have to explain this to Shaunna because they are her family too. She knows what it’s like without having to explain, she understands the craziness. Whenever there is anything family related organised I can guarantee either Shaunna or I will text each other ‘you going?’ Now not to be pathetic but if Shaunna somehow couldn’t make it, I would struggle committing too, she’s my family party sidekick!
My Auntie and Uncle (her mum and dad) are literally my second parents, if I have ever got myself into a pickle and I don’t want to tell my mum the first ‘proper adult’ I would call would probably be Auntie N. I know she won’t judge, and I also know I can trust her not to grass me up to my own mum. Unless its life threatening of course.
Even though Shaunna and I have never really looked a like somehow over the past 2 years more and more people have asked if we are sisters. It’d probably because we can literally finish each other’s sentences, sometimes we just blag that we are. I mean we might as well be.
Falling out with Shaunna gives me a sick feeling in my belly. Jeeeez, if we ever do fall out God bloody help me. She has the juiciest gossip from when I was a baby up until adulthood, and I know she’ll use it against me. She gives no shits.
Shaunna’s married now, that’s what I mean about how sometimes I forget I’m older. She has a great husband who thankfully I love! I was a bridesmaid at their wedding, and it was so so beautiful. Well the bits I remember anyways. I got so fucked up that day and got a lift home with another bridesmaid who was actually sick all over her dress in the car back. Glamourous. Like all weddings there was a hen-do, I was just as drunk there too and actually ended up giving my 16 year old cousin my ID and convinced her she would get away with it in Manchester’s clubs. Shockingly, she didn’t get in.
Recently we haven’t been boozing together as much as Shaunna has been pregnant and last month she actually gave birth to her first child Odhran. Before I even got told she was in labour I just knew, it was so strange. I was sat at my desk chatting to my colleague and stopped mid conversation shouting about how I NEEDED to call Shaunna NOW. So I did, and there was no answer. That’s when I decided I didn’t have the gift of future telling and needed to get back to doing actual work. I got a call back around 10 minutes later off her husband (told you he’s a gem) he told me to check my messages! It was a picture of my cousin holding her baby! I was screaming and crying on the phone around the office, always so professional aren’t I. But I personally think that little story just proves how close we are. Just call me mystic Meg. Odhran is bloody beautiful, so cute I just want to squeeze him 24-7 I can’t wait to be that crazy ‘auntie’ throughout his whole life. Embarrass him, love him, and know all his secrets I really just can’t wait.
When Shaunna got engaged and pregnant I know I was one of the first people to know. Just like if I had any big news (not love related as obviously that’s not happening for a while) I’d ring her straight up. I spend so much time on her sofa and I actually bought the exactly the same sofa for my living room just because it feels so homely.
I can be my weirdest around her, which isn’t hard as I am pretty odd. She’s known me in my chavy stage in life and I’ve known her in her thick eyeliner and side Fringe stage.
She embraces my weirdness and laughs at my shit jokes. She also makes a good tea (tea is food I’m northern).
Honestly, I will be forever grateful to have a cousin and friend like her you know.
Everyone needs a Shaunna.
Speak next Sunday,