The blog has been a little quiet lately due to my being on vacation, part of which involved attending a family reunion for my mom’s side of the family. And while I picked up various random bits of information on my travels, such as the fact that there are people who apparently feel that it is totally appropriate to have long, involved, personal conversations on their cell phones while using a public restroom, no matter how much that may creep out the other people also using the facilities, I wanted to share the insights I received while I was interacting with my family.
1. Men and women are so different that sometimes it’s amazing that they are ever able to find enough common ground to have a conversation, much less get married, have a family, share a life together, etc.
Sometimes these differences really come in handy and allow men and women to work together as an efficient team, like when the women of my family were able to clean house and prepare party food their way while the men gathered digital cameras, memory sticks, flash drives, and laptops and were able to provide each family with a complete set of all pictures taken over the entire weekend.
But then there are The Other Times.
Just to provide a little background, the reason for this family reunion was to celebrate my uncle’s retirement after 26 years of service to our country, and his transition into civilian life. So one of the highlights of this weekend was an official ceremony that involved uniforms, sabers, salutes, “piping ashore”, reading of orders, awarding of medals, and the celebration of an illustrious and distinguished career.
So of course it was only natural that in the middle of all of this pomp and circumstance that we women were moved to go out into the foyer in order to better to be able to try on each other’s shoes.
2. When entering a group of mixed genders and mixed ages, people will group together according to which Bodily Ailment they are currently experiencing.
I was instantly alerted that this portion of the weekend had begun when I heard my mom ask her sisters the following question: “So, have you gotten to the stage yet where you can’t get cool enough?”
Like a deer alerted to the presence of humans I immediately wanted to flee. But I was in the middle of making my sandwich, so I was stuck in the kitchen until I was finished. I worked as fast as I could but not fast enough to miss comments like, “I have reached the stage where I have to be careful when I cough, sneeze or laugh”, and before I knew it, with absolutely No Warning Whatsoever, we had zoomed right through sleep apnea and had landed smack in the middle of colonoscopies.
3. Nothing beats a good plan.
As anyone with a family knows, there is always a little element of uncertainty and potential for chaos when you gather a large group of people who are all related to one another in a small space. So in order to prepare for this time my plan was to spend a week at the beach beforehand with my husband.
That was a fabulous plan, and it worked great. However, unbeknownst to me my body decided to come up with its own Surprise Emergency Backup Plan, which it would enact whenever it felt like things might be getting to be too much for me to handle. This plan involved keeping a constant, low-level migraine in place at the base of my skull at all times, ready to burst into full-blown status at any moment. Since I was coming from a week of near-comatose levels of relaxation into a weekend of near-constant interaction with 12 other relatives, this plan felt the need to deploy itself A Lot, without actually consulting me first to see what I thought.
On the plus side, being under the influence of powerful migraine medications did help me fit right in with the people whose plan involved liberal applications of Mike’s Hard Lemonade and tropical pink drinks featuring coconut rum. I can only imagine what this plan might have involved had all 25 of us been there together. Probably some sort of spontaneous internal combustion, followed by an extensive period of unconsciousness.
4. No matter what, my family loves me (even when they know I will be writing about them in my blog).
Thanks guys! Love you! Jen