Buster: (n) a mildly disrespectful or humorous form of address, especially to a man or boy.
Beware of an aunt who doesn’t have children of her own, and insists that she “really loves kids,” who comes to visit and in no time at all is so irritated that she starts referring to you as “buster.”
I had one.
I will not mention her name out of deference to her feelings, even though she has since passed away. We always have hope for people when they go to a proposed afterlife. For my aunt, my hope is that it is an adult-living condominium with no children allowed.
I will have to admit to you–she tried. Each time she arrived at our home, she came with a fresh, energetic approach, to relate to us kids as human beings.
She always brought books instead of toys. And these were books that were at least five years too old for us. There were no pictures, and she would always take at least ten minutes explaining the history, background and mission of the author.
She would also bring a casserole with her, ablaze with color and all kinds of ingredients, but for some reason, the taste and texture of it always reminded me of asparagus snot. (Now, I don’t personally know what asparagus snot is, but I thought it was a very descriptive way to relate my feelings about the dish.) More annoying, she stood over me and waited for me to taste it before I got the chance to scrape it into the trash can or slide it under the table for my hapless dog to slurp.
Also, this particular aunt was always on the verge of tears. Now, it didn’t take much. One day I was yelling at my little brother because he wouldn’t help me with the trash cans, and she came over to hug him in the most exorbitant way, looking up at me as she did, scolding me for failing to be sensitive to one of God’s precious creatures.
Interestingly though, it didn’t seem to bother her that when she talked to me, she was always suggesting that I lose weight, tuck in my shirt, or, on several occasions, remarking on how bad my breath was. I guess you had to be a little kid to be one of God’s creatures.
My aunt was a woman who married once, got a divorce, never had children–but was sure she would have been the best mother in the world.
Whenever I was out of line, she looked at me with her fiery eyes and said, “Buster, you should be glad I’m not your mother!”
She was right.
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