Time To Get Personal: On Family

I rarely write about really personal things here, but I was fresh out of commentary for this week, due mostly to the fact that I had this cold kicking my ass all week and was mostly sleeping and consuming pop culture comfort food. (So much Veronica Mars, Pride & Prejudice and also Saving Mr. Banks again.) So, instead I’m going to talk about my family.

I’ve talked in bits and pieces about my immediate family, namely, my brother, my sister and my sister’s boyfriend (who, not to freak him out or anything, but is basically just a part of our family at this point.) and I’ve named dropped some of my cousins, mainly Tommy, Bobby and Jake, who grew up a half hour from me and are the little brothers that my sister and I always begged my mom for. (In the end this was wayyy better, when we get sick of the three of them, we can kick them out or leave. You can’t do that with your real siblings.) But here’s the truth of the matter. My mom is one of five kids and my dad is one of six. With the exception of my Uncle Mark and his fiance Richard, all of those people have multiple children. Three of my cousins are now married, two of them have kids. A couple more of them are in serious relationships. My family continues to grow and it can be overwhelming and is always completely amazing.

I had a really long conversation with my cousin in law, Christine on Saturday about my this blog and my writing. My cousin Trip, her husband, and she have been infinitely supportive of what I’m trying to do here. Trip has also been pushing me to write about our family for a very long time. But here’s the thing, when you have a big family, there are a lot of personalities and situations to navigate. A couple of my cousins want to work in politics. I’d never want to torpedo their dreams because I made a stupid joke about the time we drank too much wine on Thanksgiving and planned our double wedding to Quinn and Puck, to pick an example of something that absolutely did not happen at all. Others might be more sensitive and not understand that what I mean as good natured teasing of their life choices that are different than my own, doesn’t mean I’m condemning those choices. If I talk about how moving in with Mark and Richard after college basically saved my life, with my other Aunts and Uncles think that I don’t appreciate their continued support?

There’s also this strange line between my father’s side of the family and my mother’s. I nominally closer to my mother’s side. I know more about their day to day lives, we have these weird wild weekends where we all get together and drink too much and laugh and play games and watch movies and someone winds up crying by Saturday night and it’s all forgotten by Sunday morning. But I have a lot more in common with my dad’s side, and since we’re all pretty concentrated in the tri-state area, our interactions are usually holidays (or the day after holidays, which is kind of this weird tradition that we have.) But I’ll talk theatre with my cousin Kelly for hours, Disney with my cousin in law Kristi, and we eat too much and laugh at weird jokes and play with the dogs, and everyone wears themselves out and we’re in bed by 10. Or a bunch of us will get together for dinner in New York City, or I’ll go on an impromptu road trip with my Aunt Donna and her twin daughters to Baltimore to visit my great Aunt. It’s always a lot more organized but no less fulfilling.

There isn’t a particular point that I wanted to make here, just you know, ranting and I guess that families are complicated and there are a lot of feelings and personalities involved.

But I guess this is my way of saying, yeah, I’m going to get to work on that book, the one about my family that I’ve been threatening to write since college. We’ll see how it goes.


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