Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Are Family Reunions Still Important?

It's summer time which usually means hot sun, minimal clothes, barbecues and family reunions.

I can't stand family reunions and I actively find ways to not attend. Family reunions are gatherings of family members in a unconvinced location (Why can't we have the family reunion at Disneyland?) where I'm subjected to meeting all the relatives I haven't seen since my fifth birthday.

The best part of family reunions is the food, spades (and/or dominoes) games. Sometimes I get to hear a random story about my parents when they were young and wild.

Reunions are a practice of good social manners. For example when I run into that cousin I haven't seen since we took baths together when I was four, I promise that I will keep in touch which really means I'll add her to my social media page and forgo any real or meaningful contact.

I wish family reunions looked like they look on t.v. Everyone sitting around shooting the breeze, eating, and competing in organized family games (seriously if your family does that please invite me!). I wish I could stop being fake. Let's not pretend that we're going to contact each other and become the cousins we should be.

I feel like they just lost their purpose. What is the point of attending a family reunion? Is it to reconnect with all the elders of your family? That is admirable. Does it actually happen? I find that at these reunions I don't feel connected to my people, if anything I leave feeling more disconnected than ever.

Maybe I'm doing something wrong.

1 comment:

29tolife said...

Girl. I technically have TWO family reunions to go to.
Now, to me the saddest part of all that everyone says we need to stop doing, but still do every year is break off into our immediate family clusters. You have hotel ballrooms of everyone grouping together by no one no further than a first cousin. For my family, even in our immediate family, we're kind of spread out, so we're very happy to spend time with one another and catch up, that you kind of just make small talk with the other relatives you mentioned who are facebook friends in the buffet line or when you're all doing the cupid shuffle. Everyone has gotten used to it. There's even been slight beef when other branches of a family have been invited because folks got tired of seeing the same people, and when those family members became more active than the originals and started participating on committees and making decisions, some factions have refused to attend functions to this day or only show up every other year because they realize the feuding is ridiculous and prevents them from seeing people who really miss them. It's not about the new folks.

What also makes family reunions difficult is old wounds. The second reunion of sorts is difficult for me because I'm going to my grandfather's birthday celebration, and I'm not a fan of how that side of the family-- my mom's immediate side has never shown her real support as she's struggled with mental health issues. They prefer to keep their heads in the sand. So because she can't go, I've put out a lot of money to be the representative, but I have a pit in my stomach about it. My grandpa is the man... but everyone else I'm feeling some kind of way. I'm convinced the families that do all of those activities are only on tv. People just want to eat. LOL. I actually did buy a double dutch rope hoping someone will want to jump this year. :)