They are also equivalent, if not superior, to us in sheer silliness.
They lived in a suburb of Seattle, and we'd visit once or twice a year, making the drive up from Salem, usually to also visit my dad's family in Seattle. These visits have achieved near-legendary status in our memories, the ridiculous in-jokes and games we played as kids have been recounted so many times that we all slip into a weird dialogue full of references no one else understands. Last night was no exception.
Eventually we caught the conversation up to current developments, and talked about the reason for our friend's visit: she is moving from her home in Seattle down to the Bay Area, following an unexpected layoff and also some unexpected medical news. She recently went through premature menopause (she's in her mid-30s). We knew this beforehand, but hadn't talked to her about it yet -- however, she was absolutely candid and upbeat about it.
One of my sisters sat back and remarked, "Well, we're all excited for your big change."
... referring, of course, to our friend's move, rather than to her menopause. When I suppressed a laugh, my sister realized the possible misinterpretation, turned bright red, and hastily added, "... to California!"
It was too late, though, we'd passed the verge of cracking up. Over the laughter, she continued, however, perhaps out of some sense of propriety, explaining "I just meant that it will be an exciting change of season. I mean of scenery! OH DAMMIT!"
The evening ended just like our visits used to, with all of us in stitches.
I'm so relieved that I wasn't the only one to inherit the foot-in-mouth gene.