Saturday, December 25, 2004

nuclear family

I'm sick of being an only child. Sometimes I feel like the weight and expectations of this family rest with me, and I want no part in them. They don't say it anymore, but I know they're thinking it. Marriage, kids. The things normal people do.

You're flying me home for X-mas? Okay, I'll brace myself for the guilt trip.

If I had a bigger family, don't you think I could get away with NOT doing all this bullshit?

But if I don't go home, it's just my parents alone. All their brothers and sisters 2000 miles away, doing the things that families do, and me off with my atheism and my fuck-all attitude. That makes me so unbelievably sad. I can't let that happen. I don't want my parents to be sad old lonely people. Sad old people are my kryptonite.

I almost lost it when we were opening presents. And then I thought, maybe I can make this easier on myself. So I planted the seed for family reunion. "Have you guys ever thought about going back to Wisconsin and celebrating with everyone else?" This doesn't bother me; with the exception of my terrorist prodigy cousin I love my extended family. I mean, if you have to identify me with any of them, I'll take the hippy blacksheep uncle any day (everybody's got one. Don't lie). They treat me with respect and dignity and don't expect me to be anything except myself. They want me to get drunk off my ass and waterski! I'm amusement to them! It's been done! Not in winter though. And I wasn't drunk. But they did make me waterski. Afterward I got drunk.

But this would really all be so much better if I weren't, on top of being an only child, the ONLY person my age in my entire family. Cousin Todd? 35, two kids. Cousins Rebecca and JJ? both under ten. Cousin ...oh, look, I've run out of cousins. What's wrong with my family? Why can't we reproduce in herds like everyone else? I think I've got some second cousins. I met them once. They ignored me.

But for once I'd just like to not have X-mas at all. What's the point, besides that my digital camera is the sexiest fucking thing on the planet? It makes me crabby, poorer, and the music sucks. Not to mention all the political, social, and religious reasons I hold dear that would prevent me from really making it what everyone else thinks it should be.

Can I not have Christmas next year? Just skip it entirely and maybe go for a hike or something? Pretend like it's a normal day? I would. I really would. But the guilt might kill me. Sad lonely old people.

In my opinion, the only important holidays are the ones you go out with friends on. See: St Patrick's Day, birthdays, Halloween, and New Years...

I'll be in Madison in four days.