An Interesting Weekend

Posted: September 8, 2010 in Uncategorized

Mr. Jazz and I pootled off to Quebec city over the labour day weekend for a family reunion on my dad’s side (sorry Geewits, no pics, I forgot my camera).

All in all it was a resounding success, though only about half the family showed up – some 100 plus people.

Now, I’m not much of an extended family sort. Dealing with BB once in a while is about as much as I can handle*, so it was a touch disconcerting to find myself in a roomful of strangers, lots of us asking, “And you are???”, and wandering around, reading genealogy sporting name tags,  looking a bit stunned and more than a little disconcerted. I mean seriously, who the hell are these people?!  I share pretty much half my genetic material with them and I don’t have a clue (and yes, I know it’s not 50 percent, not even close, but I’m not about to go Google it, it’s an image. Or something). These people are close(ish) family and there is no connection whatsoever in a helluva lot of cases. Zero. Zilch. And any other Z word you can find that means the same thing. It’s a bit sad really. Maybe. I dunno.

Other than my aunts and uncles and cousins (of whom I recognized about 75% – not a bad ratio all in all), these cousins, who I haven’t seen in 15-20 odd years (see, I told you I’m not much of an extended family person), have children of their own, many of whom have their own kids (and that’s helluva lot of parentheses for one sentence).

People. Lots and lots of people. It gets confusing, it does. Like the previous sentence.

Though I’ve never even come close to doing my part (me and kids? not so much) there’s lots of procreation going on in my family. We are nowhere near extinction anytime soon. Short of the planet disintegrating we’re here for the long haul.

It was fun getting to know people again though – however briefly. Especially those who now live about 30km away from me. Once again we exchanged Damn-we-really-have-to-see-each-other!-s (like we did 15 years ago).

I doubt it’ll happen though, more’s the pity.  Though who knows. Maybe this time is the one.

Most often heard remark:

“You’ve gone grey!” and as an alternative : You’re looking wise (!! – it’s obviously been 20 years or you’d know better)

Surprising how much attention a head of grey hair can garner. Although at almost 50 it’s not abnormal, it seems to be seen as such.

And my favourite from an aunt: “I’m not grey! Only my hairdresser knows for sure!”  (Um, sorry Auntie, you’re pushing 80, we all know for sure!)

* Awww  you know I love you BB mine!

  1. geogypsy says:

    I’m with you on not being an extended family sort. Don’t know where most of them are or what they’re doing and not sure I care. Oh well. Maybe someday one of my distant cousins will throw a reunion in Illinois, and hopefully include a plane ticket in the deal. Hey, ya’ never know who plays and wins the lottery. Until then, oh well and what the hell.

    My father said, “The family motto is, beget them and forget them.”

  2. Dumdad says:

    I never quite understand why people say things like “oh, you’ve gone grey; you’ve put on weight; you’re so much balder” etc. It might be factual but I think it’s rather mean. Just shut the F up. With close friends, I can joke about baldness, fatness, illness, alcoholism etc (and vice versa) but otherwise it’s best not to mention physical defects/changes.

    It’s like asking a woman friend “oh, are you pregnant?” and she replies “no”. Where do you go from there? “Hmmm, the bulkiness becomes you?”

  3. mrwriteon says:

    Extended families indeed. I have a huge one, none of whom I see more than maybe once a decade. After the formalities are through, where do you go with it? Actually, I’m quite terrible with family. This past May I saw my brother for the first time in 9 years. I mean, I love him dearly, and we chat on the phone with reasonable frequency, but sit in the same room? Not very often. My youngest brother I haven’t seen since the 1980s. Close we are not, I guess.

  4. Jazz says:

    Gaelyn – I love that motto!!!

    DD – Meh, it doesn’t bother me. I admitted I’m grey, stopped with the dye and like the look much better than when I was trying to look younger, so what the hell, who cares what people think.

    Ian – Well, hell, you have me beat. I see my siblings three or four times a year.

  5. e says:

    Kudos to you for going to this event; I have first cousins I rarely see as we have nothing in common and they make no more effort with me than do I with them.

  6. geewits says:

    Interesting as usual. I recently ran across an old polaroid of the big group of cousins from when I was 8 or 9. I had pulled it out a while back for a post on this sort of thing and never got around to it. I do have two first cousins as facebook friends – one from each side of the family. I wonder if that counts for anything.

  7. choochoo says:

    I’m not much of an extended family person, either. That, right there, would probably be my personal nightmare or something. As for kids…. hell no.

  8. Jocelyn says:

    My first reaction to the announcement that you’d gone to a reunion with 100 people was, “Where the hell has the real Jazz gone?”

    Glad to know you didn’t try to frame this as all sunshine and roses. I appreciate realism!

  9. alison says:

    I come from a very small family: my mum has one sister, my dad has one brother, and I’m one of two kids. So I have a grand total of 2 first cousins, one of whom lives in the U.K. (as do my two aunts and two uncles), and the other lives in Norway. My sister has 3 kids and I have 2.

    We could hold a family reunion quite comfortably in a hotel room.

    When I was a kid, I always longed for lots of brothers and sisters and cousins. I blame The Waltons.

  10. tattytiara says:

    I was just talking to someone today about the boxes of family photos I inheritted. About how I was wondering who all the people in them were. Yeah. Extended family’s for people who can hire help to keep track of them all as far as I’m concerned.

  11. I’m sorry, I’m really having a hard time getting past the word “pootled.”

  12. lime says:

    haha, well glad you survived. and though i have nothing against grey i do like you alternative greeting regarding the apparent wisdom acquired in intervening time.

  13. VioletSky says:

    Like Alison, I also come from a rather small family. And I longed to have cousins and grandparents and aunties. My mother’s family was all in Scotland and my father had nothing to do with any of his, so my brother and I were all on our own and still are.
    It feels very lonely.

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