Sunday, December 28, 2008

Family Time

The annual pilgrimage to Ohio on the day after Christmas to visit my Mother's extended family is always a double-edged sword.

A grandmother, a step-grandfather, eight aunts and uncles, one estranged (and emotionally disturbed) woman of unknown relation who never remembers who I am, eight cousins, three significant others of cousins, and one infant make for a crowded house indeed... particularly when 10 of those 23 people are staying in the cramped 3 bedroom, one-story house in question.

I love my family, I do... but 23 people in such a small space--or the even smaller space that is my aunt's house where we traditionally have dinner on Day 2--can easily work on the nerves, not to mention the ear drums.

It gets tougher as we get older, with my older cousin married with a child and the cousin directly below me finally introducing her live-in boyfriend to the family fracas. My second-youngest cousin is now in his freshman year of college, and while my entire family wants to congratulate me on finishing grad school, that invariably leads to the question "So what are you going to do now?" to which, thanks to our fractured and therefore artist-fucking economy, I have no answer. Top that off with my married cousin asking me good-naturedly, but in mixed company, "So, when was the last time you had a boyfriend?"--a question which I was completely unable to answer, but after several minutes of deliberation made a wild guess and said 2004--and the world's tiniest bed on which I was sleeping, and the last few days have been a bit strenuous.

I love my family.

I do.

Sometimes I just wish I could love them in smaller doses.

1 comment:

Kim said...

Dealing with family all at once is exhausting. There's just no way around it. Even if you have the coolest family in the world, it's still exhausting...which is sort of reassuring for those of us that have crazy families.