So I was at the ophthalmologist’s office, getting my yearly exam to make sure glaucoma hasn’t kicked in, or that my retina hasn’t detached (again).
In any case, the nurse looked at my chart and said, “Hey, we have the same last name.”
Now, the only people I’ve ever met with my last name are cousins or aunts or some other semi-immediate family member. So this was a little surprising.
The nurse made me go through my family history, and we discovered that we have the same great-grandfather (!). Yes, I too am impressed that I was able to remember the name of my great-grandfather. Try it sometime — it isn’t easy.
According to my subsequent Google research, the nurse and I are second cousins. She was California-born, which makes sense in that the largest population of Salvadorians (outsider of El Salvador, of course) is right here in Los Angeles. And she assumed, naturally, that I was also a SoCal native.
“No,” I said. “I’m from Wisconsin.”
Consider her mind blown.
Yes, the nurse was impressed that our family name had made it all the way to the American Midwest. But then she added that some of her cousins (my third cousins?) moved to Melbourne a decade ago.
“I talked to them on FaceTime a few weeks ago,” the nurse said. “They have these El Salvadorian kids who have thick Australian accents.”
Later, I told my mom about running into my second cousin, the nurse. Mi madre really wasn’t that surprised.
“Your great-grandparents had eighteen children,” my mom said.
“I’m guessing they were very Catholic,” I said.
“Yes, so you were bound to run into a cousin someday.”
OK, that’s true. But I still thought it was kind of cool.