I imagine the guy in the featured image of this post is wearing a party hat, not a dunce cap.

I wish there were two separate words for immediate family and extended family without having to call them both “family.” My grandmother once sat down with a pen and paper and counted over 100 cousins, stretching into second-, third-, and fourth- categories and even organizing them by twice-removed and so on. Are they all “family,” to me, too? Even though I’ve never met them?

I’ve never found “family” to be a value of much importance. I love my family, sure, and I’m lucky to have a decent one. But do I love that extended family?

Only out of principle, and therein the problem lies. It’s a fact that I don’t know my family well out of the essentials, and yet I am obligated to say I love them.

I’ve mentioned before that we need different words for romantic, familial, platonic, and objective love. Perhaps if we redefined “love” and “family” I wouldn’t even be having this problem.

This is all stemming out of me having to spend the Fourth of July with a section of my extended family.

Why? Why do we force ourselves to socialize with people we don’t like? Why do we lie about liking them?

Ugh. I’ve been in a pretty bleh mood lately. Pretty pessimistic. The problem when I get in these pessimistic ruts is that pessimism is the most realistic way of thinking.

10 thoughts on ““Family”

  1. Having felt much as you do when I was younger, I now quite like to see members of my fairly large number of cousins from time to time. It’s interesting to compare notes on what we do have in common, and get some inkling of the totally different lives they have led. Yes, I don’t have much in common with them now, but I wouldn’t give up on them completely.

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  2. I totally understand but then I also feel that we hang out with them because we love our parents. And us hanging out with the extended family means a lot our parents because this way we’re not holding them back from chilling with their siblings. I mean I can’t stand some of my cousins!! But their parents are my parent’s siblings. So I guess we owe it to them

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  3. The people I hate are the ones who talk about how their cousins are their best friends, or post memes about it. It makes me wonder how I missed out. I have about a zillion cousins, and NONE of them are my best friend. You’re right, we need new words to deal with extended family!

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  4. Last Christmas, my father’s brothers (technically my uncles) dropped by our house to visit. I hadn’t seen them for more than 5 years and my father was not close to his brothers. When they were at the house, despite the fact that we’re all virtual strangers to one another, they had advice by the gallons. For the sake of my father, I just pasted on a fake smile and zoned out. Ugh, extended families…

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  5. I totally understand this, I remember my aunt forced me to go to this “family reunion” and my cheeks and jaw hurt like hell smiling the whole time pretending to be nice and that I know the people there and making small talks lol

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A-freaking-men to this post! Except for me, it isn’t family, it’s just people in general that I feel as though I am “expected” to like when in reality I very much do NOT! And then it just becomes awkward when we have mutual friends and I find myself having to interact with these people I dislike for fear of looking like an unpleasant person if I don’t! Can we just stop the insanity already?!?! Okay. Rant over. Sorry. Also, great post! πŸ˜„

    Liked by 1 person

  7. um, I don’t. I don’t see the family I don’t like. Now in-laws, that’s a whole other beast. LOL

    Liked by 1 person


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