Once a year my dads side of the family meet up for “cousins day”. Yes it is as awkward as it sounds. The cousins in question aren’t even my cousins. My uncle and his wife on my dads side don’t have any children, so the cousins we see once a year are my second cousins. So it’s my grandma, her siblings and their children with their children. Don’t worry if that didn’t make sense, I’m confused as well. But the long and short of it is, I’m barely related to any of them, I can’t even remember some of their names.
I find the whole day incredibly uncomfortable. Every year it’s the same questions “how’s the year been?” “how old are you now?” “what year at school are you in?” etc. If you know me, you’ll know that I am not good at social situations, they make me feel really shy and awkward and anxious, and this results in me giving short almost snappy answers, resulting in the cousins thinking I’m weird and my parents telling me to “stop being so quiet go and talk to the girls”. I DON’T WANT TO WE HAVE NOTHING IN COMMON, just let me sit in the corner and eat my food in peace.
However. There were also some specific questions that they ALWAYS ASK ME that bother me;
“do you still do your art?”
Okay, one of the ladies is an artist, and when she asked about whether I liked art, I BRIEFLY mentioned that as a CHILD I used to do drawings. I won an award for my art aged 7. This does not mean I still do much art, and when I do, I’m not doing it with the intention of showing her. I don’t even own a sketchbook anymore. But I always answer this with “sometimes” to which she replies with “you must show me your sketches one day”. No.
“are you old enough for the wine yet?”
One of the ladies brings a bottle of red and a bottle of white for the picnic lunch. And every year they make a big deal about me not being old enough to drink. I don’t even like wine, so despite the fact now I’m old enough to drink it, I say no, which earns me a look of pity.
“what are you studying again?”
I reply with “communication and media” which generally gets a response like “oh, wow” followed up by either “you can study anything these days” or “medias important in this day and age”. Studying a media based subject doesn’t make me more stupid than those who study science or maths, it just means I have a different interest. It makes me feel especially bad when the only other girls there are studying fashion in London, and maths in Cambridge…
The fact I have to answer the same questions every year just shows how unimportant the answers are, if they really were bothered about what I had to say they would remember the answers. The whole thing is pretty pointless.
Then, as if this day out couldn’t get any more middle class, we line up against a stately home wall for family photos. With the older generation and younger generation being separated. The pictures are taken with people in height order AND then in age order. Can you hear that? It’s the sound of me crying with embarrassment.
I also have a problem with the speed my extended family walk at. THEY WALK SO SLOWLY. It’s 5 steps, 20 minute stop and chat, 5 steps, 20 minute stop and chat. JUST WALK AND TALK. There’s a small lake/big pond (I’m not sure what to class it as) at this stately home, and my mum, brother and I, can walk round THE ENTIRE THING, before the rest of the family even get to the lake. The waiting around is more exhausting than the walking, and that’s not right.
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