Monday, October 15, 2012

Family Reunions and Weddings

The concept of the family reunion is a funny one to me. How do you reunite with people you don't really know, and therefore were never united with?

I went to my mom's family reunion today. None of the cousins I actually know were there, mostly because of work, life, distance, birthdays, and other things. I usually see these family members at Christmas. Last week was my dad's family reunion. I see that family all the time, because they live around where I do. I ended up talking a lot to my cousin, who told me all about her cousin's (on her mom's side) wedding, then I played with my other cousin's kids.

Today, in the crowded, small, hot Ruritan club meeting house, I suddenly realized why the state of etiquette is the way it is today.

Back in the day, when family reunions were probably not as often a thing as they are now, it was an easier thing to invite family to a modest wedding. If they lived pretty far away, odds are they weren't gonna make the trek back from Oregon or wherever it was they carted themselves off to.

Today, we have cars. Or planes.

I looked at this huge crowd of people, most of whom I did not know, and realized that some of them will be wedding guests.

And it scared me. Suddenly, I have people I don't know showing up, maybe, if they do the gypsy thing, which I understood, from that gypsy wedding show, to mean that word is spread and people just show up. That's normal. That's expected. It's probably exactly how things used to be done everywhere.

Family reunions are probably included in the reasons why people get freaked out about wedding guest lists. What used to be uncomplicated has suddenly become quite a bit more tricky. Suddenly, you realize your parents existed before you entered into the world like a shrieking banshee, and they have cousins and relatives who you might not know and who will expect to get an invitation, even if they don't know you.

And now, what was once a situation of "fix enough for everybody" has now become "oh no, broke me now has to pay to feed 200 people" and even though every single one of the people your age goes "it's your wedding, do what you want" you know they probably don't quite get the way family can be and what is expected of you. I mean, my grandmother thinks it's improper to sit on a bed. We differ on that. I turned my bed into a makeshift couch.

I think I see the point of destination weddings now.

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