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Holiday Showdown

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.

Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn't Go Away
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Eh... not so much • December 22, 2005 at 12:17 pm

I know what you mean, but it isn’t so bad. Both my first cousins got married before I did. But my current husband was definitely worth the wait! (I had just turned 31 when he & I met.)


kathryn • December 22, 2005 at 2:32 pm

I hate big family gatherings!

Lately when people say I’ve lost weight I respond by saying – yes I have :) I figure I’m proud of it so I’m going to acknowledge it. I think the best way to handle compliments is to respond with compliment back too. Share the love around.


Kirsten • December 23, 2005 at 3:45 am

My sister just came home and has been saying I look smaller (indeed, saying I’m not much bigger than her now, which is a lie. A kindly meant lie, but a lie). And it feels quite awkward. The weirdest thing, though, was that she lifted me up off the floor. Aargh feet not on floor! I think this must be revenge for all the times I picked her up when she was a kid and much shorter than me…


Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog at JennetteFulda.com.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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