By: Pat O'Brien

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Text Messages In Which I Try To Connect With My Niece Over The Beyonc ‘ & Eddie Vedder Duet

I ‘m gonna get this out right up top: My niece hates me. She ‘s 12 years old and openly curses my name. Why? I do not know. The facts are these: I am a 41-year-old uncle with no children of my own. My former domestic partner, Trish Marie, and I were trying for years to conceive, but then she left me and got pregnant by her new boyfriend Dennis ( ‘like right away, it was nuts,” as she put it in their email announcement). I love kids, but I don ‘t have a lot of experience relating to them on their level, especially my niece, Caitlin, who freely admits to hating my guts. The one thing I do know is that Caitlin LOVES Beyonc ‘. I like Beyonc ‘ OK, but as a 41-year-old white man who came of age in the ’90s, my wheelhouse is essentially bands that either are or sound like Pearl Jam. So when I saw the video from the Global Citizen Festival of Beyonc ‘ and Eddie Vedder duetting on Bob Marley ‘s ‘Redemption Song,” I knew this was my chance to finally make a meaningful connection with Caitlin. Here are my attempts at text messaging her the good news:

OK so she hasn ‘t responded since I sent that last text nine hours ago, but I have a feeling old Uncle Mark just scored some major points in the ‘on fleen” department. Am I saying that right?

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