22. Family Reunions (Keeping Up with the Kinfolks)

29 Jan

Since I don’t have family on the West coast, I can’t really determine whether Southerners have more family reunions than other folks. But I’ve yet to see an official family reunion tee shirt in Seattle, so I’m going out on a limb here.

There are only two requirements for a Southern family reunion: 1. family and 2. food. Preferably less of the former and more of the latter. Some families also require alcohol, but you’ve got to be careful: Too little and folks may want to kill each other. Too much and people actually might. See shotguns.

For kids, family reunions can be a lot of fun once you get past all those old folks pinching your cheeks and telling you they haven’t seen you since you were “thiiiiis high.” You get to hang out with cousins who teach you new and better cuss words and adult supervision tends to be at an all-time low: “You kids still breathing? Carry on then…”

For adults, however, family reunions are often approached with a mix of anticipation and dread (the proportion of each often depends on how well one has stayed within her Weight Watchers points). And pity the poor soul who’s volunteered to host the reunion: the whole house has to be scoured/decluttered. Because your family doesn’t stop at peeking in your medicine cabinet; they snoop in closets and under the bed, as well. Note: hide the prescription meds and pricy jewelry.

If you make it through the day without name calling, hurt feelings, or fist fights…If no one storms off in the middle of festivities vowing to never come back… are you sure you’re family? No, seriously. Are you sure?

You may be asking yourself, “If family reunions are that bad, why do people go?” Simple: If you don’t go, they’ll talk about you. None too kindly either. And inevitably, some concerned family member will tell you what all was said. And then there will be hurt feelings/angry proclamations without the benefit of banana pudding and chicken casserole. And that’s just sad.

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