There was something about our quirky, kooky, Uncle Charlie that attracted women.
He was short and balding; he didn’t play one sport; abhorred board games, and would not play cards, dominoes, chess or checkers. He was not good with kids, and women were mad for him.
As kids, we were impressed by the parade of pretty woman he brought to family events. At Thanksgiving, there might be a tall redhead in a tight dress and high heels who towered over him. We all stared.
One Christmas, he brought a petite, blonde woman dressed in all in red – with a velvet miniskirt and black boots. We couldn’t stop staring at her either; she smoked cigarettes and blew circles of smoke. She used a huge gold compact and applied red lipstick in front of everybody. We were entranced. She was the most beautiful woman we’d ever seen. Later, we heard, Uncle Charlie married her. We never saw her again. We guessed he “unmarried” her.
One time, Uncle Charlie came over to our house with two women, one on each arm, and they were laughing and carrying on. They were quite loud and asked for martinis- like it was trick or treat or something and our mother left the room. Dad had to coax her to come back to the living room; she was not in a good mood. I think Uncle Charlie picked up on this and escorted the glamorous women back to his Cadillac. I remember he returned to the house to apologize to my mother. She was having nothing of it. He didn’t come over for a long time after that.
The Easter I turned 13, Uncle Charlie brought the most beautiful blonde woman to our house. She was dressed totally in pink. Her dress was like a dream; it was floaty and chiffony and had spaghetti straps. Her shoes were hot pink and matched her purse. Uncle Charlie announced that they had just been married in Las Vegas. My little sister and I thought that was the most romantic story ever. He introduced her as ‘Aunt Crystal.’ And she quickly told us she spelled her name with a “K.” I wanted to be a Krystal- and wear pink. Uncle Charlie told us they were going on a honeymoon to Europe and Aunt Krystal said she would send us kids post cards. We could hardly wait. There weren’t any postcards, and we never saw Aunt Krystal again.
At my Sweet 16 Party, Uncle Charlie showed up, unannounced. We hadn’t seen him in years. He drove up in a classic Jaguar X KE and Betsy – who looked like the Farrah Fawcett poster- on his arm. She looked very young for Uncle Charlie. My mother made up some excuse about fake place we had to go to and my uncle and his girlfriend left. I heard my mother say, “That woman was all over him like a cheap suit!” It took me years to figure that one out.
The next time we heard from Uncle Charlie he was getting married in Monte Carlo and he would send us pictures. We are still waiting.