December 22, 2005 at 12:09 pm
It’s finally come. It was inevitable. I’ve got to face my relatives.
My mother comes from a rather large family. Maybe “freakin’ huge” would be a better modifier. She’s the oldest of 14, so family get-togethers always involve more than just a booth at Denny’s. I tend to start freaking out in groups larger than 7 or so people. It’s not quite social anxiety disorder, but it’s definitely anxiety. I know I shoot my mouth off like an AK-47 around here, but in real life I’m fairly introverted and shy. I wish I was as brave as my blog. I avoid these reunions because I usually find myself wanting to hide under the kitchen table rocking back and forth next to my cat.
I couldn’t finagle my way out of this one though. (Mom brought out the pleading eyes. Grrrr.) So I’ll be spending Christmas Eve with 8 of my aunts and uncles and their offspring, basically the people who are currently speaking to each other. There was recently a falling out involving my grandmother’s estate. She died a year ago last fall and for some reason she thought it was a good idea to set up a trust which all 14 kids had a say in. How did she expect 14 people to come to a consensus on anything? The state only requires 12 people agree on anything in a jury and that covers the death penalty!
This will be the first time I’ve seen most of these people since Grandma’s funeral, so I’m expecting some comments on my weight loss. I have mixed feelings about this. I like being commended for my hard work, but I don’t really know how to take a compliment. I usually just say “Oh, thanks!” and hope it doesn’t come out sounding too rehearsed. Then there’s the possibility that someone will say something they mean as a compliment but will come out sounding very anti-fat and rude. I also don’t want to have to answer the same 3 questions over and over again. “How much have you lost? What diet are you on? What is the South Beach Diet anyway?” One friend suggested I pre-print some business cards with the answers to these questions and links to relevant websites.
However, yesterday I discovered one of my cousins just got engaged, the first of us grandkids to do so. Huzzah! As any magician knows, distraction and misdirection are invaluable tools. If things get uncomfortable I can just bring up the wedding. The questions they’ll be asking her are 10 times more annoying than the ones I’ll probably get, like “Have you set a date yet? Do you have a dress? Are you changing your name?”
The fact that my four-years-younger-than-me cousin is getting married is a little discomfiting to a 20-something single like me. However, I doubt I’ll get any of the “When are you going to tie the knot?” questions since I don’t currently have a boyfriend and they’ll be too focused on the upcoming nuptials to care. I’ll survive, I’m sure.