I had heard that at an annual family ceremony this year, the wateca rush was no more. I heard that people were paranoid that I was going to be there with my Nikes on and ziplocs in tow. That I would sneak around the corner to write little notes about what happened for my column. I heard that when it was time to wateca, everyone looked at each other and the mad rush was no longer. Because of me.
I talked to one family member last week, it was very casual phone conversation and then he said "Why? You gonna write about it?" We laughed, but I could sense the tension because he was mentioned in a previous column entry.
Even at work, a family member who I hadn't seen in years came to sell me some beadwork. We hassled over prices until I gave him what I thought was a fair deal. When I saw his name I realized it was my mom's first cousin. We had a laugh over the previous little word scuffle over prices. He teased me about not helping him out but talking him down on his price. I teased him back that he was family and supposed to give me a fair price. Then his eyes narrowed and he said "Don't you dare put this in the paper." I promised him I wouldn't then I just now realized I did. Sorry Uncle with no name.
So I started thinking. I like to tease but I have a hard time taking a tease. How would I feel if I was teased in the paper that hundreds of skins read without permission?
I looked back in the website, www.lakotacountrytimes.com (See Connie and Amanda there was a free plug) to see how often I talked of my family. It was quite a bit that I entertained people with stories of my families mad wateca skills, my brother's shooting me in the head with blanks, the mean indian women in my family, my hunka brothers nickname Dirty Steve,and so on and so on.
So then I thought of how rude I was to write about them without asking permission. I mean people tell me they appreciate my writing all the time, oh except for the one person who told someone to tell me that my writing was bland. Whatever. But I never ask anyone to write about them and now I expect someone to come up and want to roll with me over something I wrote.
So I am writing this week to apologize to my family. I am so sorry for entertaining people the way you entertain me. For sharing with the world the humor you share and instilled in me.
I have decided to quit writing this column.
About family members.
That live off the reservation.
Josh, just teasing. You are all fair game and I thank you all for being good sports. So if your last name is Lone Elk, Lone Hill, Wilson, McLaughlin, Amiotte, and so on, remember, I am watching you and I love you all.
To Amanda and Connie, can you send me more bumper stickers? There is a few family members cars I didn't get.