We are family

April 13, 2009 § 6 Comments

It has suddenly occurred to me why I visit family so very infrequently. Because we live on two different continents, we see each other perhaps once every one or two years, for a period of 2 weeks at most. Each time we get together, it has dawned on me that each visit brings with it an endless parade of petty complaints, personal wealth comparisons, and just plain gossip about everyone and everything under the sun.

With my parents having approximately 20 siblings between the two of them, gossip is plentiful amongst uncles, aunts and cousins. Naturally, one of the most talked about topics is money. Who has lots of it, who has none, and what each person is doing with theirs. My money is clearly my own business and though some may argue that when it comes to close family members it is alright to discuss it freely, I truly despise talking about it. That is because I know once this personal information is leaked out, even to immediate family, the entire clan will soon know, and thus, the judging begins. Money is not taboo and no one will ever hesitate to tell you what they think you should do with yours.

Another topic is who is getting married, who is dating who, and what they think of each person’s significant other. The two most highly regarded traits are his/her profession, and the colour of their skin. This, I have many gripes about, especially while recently engaging in this discussion with regards to my own personal life. Although no ill intent was meant, the general consensus is that being with someone of a different race was not the ‘perfect’ situation, and perhaps I hadn’t looked hard enough. In this day and age where increasingly we are becoming more of a global race rather than individual races, I couldn’t help but be slightly disappointed at this unfortunate stigma.

So, I feel like I’m 15 again. Still unable to discuss what I consider modern issues with my family. We bicker and fight like old times, say awful things to one another, and tomorrow it is like nothing ever happened. In the history of the last 9 years, this is the longest time I’ve ever spent with them, and now I know why it happens so rarely. Will I last till June, or will we kill each other by then?

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