Monday, December 8, 2008

Outdated Traditions?

Christmas in my house is always interesting. Four years ago, I only had to split myself two ways: Gene's parents, my family (we always have dinner and exchange gifts with my father's entire side of the family...every...year). Now we have to split ourselves three ways: Gene's parents, my mom, my dad & his family. Usually, this wouldn't be a problem, except that Gene loathes my father's side of the family (not my father, just his brothers, his sister, and his nieces and nephews). He has good reason. They do treat him like a pariah... as if he isn't good enough for me. Why? Because Gene is a teacher, and therefore doesn't make any money. They're all white collar and snobby.

Every year before Christmas, we have the big fight. The fight where I want to still hold on to the traditions instilled on me since I was born (christmas with my dad's family) and Gene not going. Which honestly, I'm fine with. I'm fine with him not going. However I've finally realized though that eventually I'm going to have to choose... Gene or the snobby relatives of mine that I'm forced to love. I wouldn't make Gene spend holidays with these people. They don't talk to him at all, and when they do it's very condescending and trivial. And sometimes they don't talk to me either. I actually don't like these people very much... only some of them. I'm slowly starting to see why. All of the relatives that I loved on that side of the family have divorced out of the family... so they no longer come to family functions, obviously. My cousin Linsey I barely recognize anymore... her and I have grown so apart that we barely speak. I'm grown closer to my cousin Gabby than my cousin Linsey, and Gabby is six years younger than me. Gabby, my sister, and myself see the ways of our relatives and don't like them very much. Gabby's twin brother and my brother love those people and want to spend all this time with them. I don't get it.

I don't understand if there's a tradition set in place... why you (read: me) feel obligated to do it, even though it makes you feel like less of a person? These people see each other twice a year: Thanksgiving and Christmas. Rarely do they see each other any other time. And why? So they can have this illusion that they're closeknit. They aren't! And they act all rich and mighty... but they aren't! I don't understand this people anymore... but for some reason, I'm not ready to give them up yet. My mom's family is closeknit... and they live all over the world. We get together only a few times a year as well, but we all know each other's phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses. When I moved, I wanted to give my address to my aunts and uncles on my father's side, but no one had anyone elses email or cell! What the heck is that?

1 comment:

becklette said...

actually.. teaching is a profession, like doctoring, lawyering and clergying, and nothing else is. nothing. not banking or archetecting or any of the super-high paying jobs one can have. so TECHNICALLY, gene is more white-collar than most (though i don't know about your family... they may all be doctors and lawyers and clergymen, in which case, gene is still ON PAR with them). so... miss manners calls asshole on them.

(ps-- if gene has stopped hating me, you guys can totally come to my house for christmas dinner! my family is very laid back and welcoming... to other people.)