We’re in Victoria for Sal’s father’s 90th birthday. Which coincided with my son’s engagement party two nights before. So we are doing ‘family’ this weekend. Life’s a whirlwind, eh?
And when I say ‘doing family’, I mean that we are engaging more fully with my son’s fiance’s family and in a similar manner as we did when my daughter got married two weeks ago and we met his family. We are getting to know the ‘other side’. We are meeting and engaging with – even hugging and smiling a lot – with strangers. Plus, this engagement exercise is more than just grinning and making small talk, it is truly an undertaking in getting to know people. Fast. They are going to be family after all. Sheesh.
“What is the sister’s husband’s name again?”
“But her mother’s sister’s name and her husband’s?”
“Not a clue. Have we met them?”
“No. I don’t think so. Oh God! What if we have? What if they look familiar?”
“We do what we always do……we say, ‘yo dawg!”
“No wonder we have a reputation for being weird!”
It is a brave new world. People travel. People meet. And people marry. But when more people travel than they used to, more people are going to meet and marry others from distant places. Consequently, families from apart will have to get to know one another and they are going to have to do that in strange new ways. No one marries the girl next door anymore.
B is from Toronto. He married my daughter (Vancouver). Families had to travel to make that happen. Thus the wedding that was held in Mexico two weeks ago (yes, I know the logic of it doesn’t entirely explain Mexico but it worked out perfectly so it must be there in some way). My son’s betrothed is from Victoria as was my wife, Sally. So that part is somewhat more conventional. But still NOT the girls next door.
Anyway…this blog is about the idea of family. And how odd the whole thing is. Really. When you think about it. Family is not about the people you know – as you thought for the longest time. It is, later in life, about meeting people you DON’T KNOW! There you are, minding your own business, ignoring your grown children to the best of your ability while hiding out in the forest and then WHAM! All of a sudden you are enmeshed in an intricate and somewhat intimate web of mingling with strangers who will become part of your family.
That is weird. Don’t you think?