More often than not, family gatherings leave me feeling awkward and lousy, and that is just the tip of the iceberg, to say. Many a times, I have had to fake any sicknesses, accidents and sudden trips abroad, so that I could just avoid a simple naming ceremony or a birthday gathering.
I do realize how horrible this sounds, but from where I stand, my cause is totally justified. You see, both my husband and I have huge set of extended families that I have fondly and collectively named as the Little China. Such is the population, and to know and memorize their names would take me 7 lifetimes. On the other hand, the antics and characters that come along such population, well, that is entirely another case.
But what could be so annoying about the population that I strive on avoiding them at all cost, you may ask.
Well, let’s see:
-One family schemed and successfully cut us (me, husband and toddler) off the to-invite list because once I appeared groggy on an otherwise eventful Christmas gathering.
-One cousin (read: male) loves to give bear hug each and every time he sees a female (only)cousin, never mind the fact the she barely knows his name and can’t recall which side of the family he is from.
-One sister in-law is a reincarnation of the peacock species and…do I really need to say anything further?
– One grand aunt believes that she is a fortune teller; thus predicts (and usually causes) pretty much most of the misunderstandings and troubles amongst the family members. Personally, I call her the Minister of Sewerage Department, for what reason I couldn’t really remember.
The list above is just a few of the lot. Some of the people can be so mean that I do regret for inviting them over. A few pretend that I don’t exist during a gathering; some prefer to check on our latest debts and loans which undoubtedly make them feel really good. The fortune teller a.k.a Ministry of Sewerage loves to dig on my savings (or the lack of it), and has the guts to ask me what is my total family income, what is my monthly budget range and what kind of lifestyle I live off. Some don’t know my 2 year old’s name, and a few are still thinking that I have been pregnant continuously for the past 2 years. Well, I tell them that I no longer belong to the Homo Sapiens but in the Elephas Maximus Indicus now.
It is one thing that families stand by you through thick and thin, to support you no matter what. But it is also true that families are the ones who laugh the most when you are in trouble, or pouts the worst when you are up to something really great.
Not everyone though, but yes.
So it is totally justified that I keep away from all the family stuffs, gatherings and togetherness?
Well, yes and no.
That is the problem with families.
You can’t cut them off entirely; the more you chop them off, the more they grow back.
For a while, my option was to move to another continent, but then, there’s Skype, email, Facebook and whatnot; all that mediums to constantly keep in touch and keep bashing each other.
So now I keep my reasons and options very clear: arrive very (fashionably) late, and leave very early, and if possible, hurriedly.
And I apply this to every function there is.