less charming and more strange than your average blog

July 24, 2004

All in the family 

Can you guess where I am right now? Can you? I'll give you a hint: it rhymes with "Atlanta, Georgia." (Which is actually not very surprising because Atlanta, Georgia is exactly where I am.)

My father's cousin's daughter is getting married here tomorrow. I guess that would make her my second cousin. Or cousin-once-removed. Or cousin to the second power. Or something. It's all very confusing. And rather futile, since the amount of family gathered here would make Nia Vardalos run in the opposite direction. Titles like "aunt," "uncle," and "cousin" are assigned less according genealogy and more on age proximity.

I had no idea I was part of anything like this.

Living in the Pacific Northwest has posed something of a barrier for keeping in touch with my father's side of the family tree. He grew up in Toledo, Ohio, and that's about as far west as most of his relatives will call home. Fortunately, Molly, my second-cousin-removed-at-least-once who is getting married, is moving to the Seattle area, so we can add her to our team.

Fun fact: Atlanta is HOT, yo. David and my dad and I landed here early in the morning, so I didn't realize this until later in the day, when we left the air-conditioned confines of the hotel and emerged into the relentless gaze of the sun, sweating out the 80% of our bodies that are made up of water almost immediately. The family, all staying at the same hotel, has been spending most of its time socializing in or beside the pool.

Like I said, there are a lot of us. For the most part, I am a stranger to these people. The number of times I have met most of them ranges from a whopping 1 to zero. They're partying their asses off three floors directly below me as I write this, and I really should be joining them, but even in a room filled to capacity with family I feel alone.

I guess it's appropriate that as I don't have a clue what to say to them, I don't have a clue what to say about them. I know these past few days really have been a lot of fun, though. I'm not sure I could have picked a finer bunch of people to be related to, I just wish I had spent more time around them before now. The running gag here is that we're never all together anymore unless there's a wedding or a funeral, so everyone is pointing fingers trying to figure out who's going to get married next. At least nobody's placing bets on whose funeral is coming up next.

The wedding is tomorrow, which is pretty exciting. Last night at dinner, Aunt Emily, who is really my dad's aunt, put her arms around me and David and hollered, "We put down the money for an open bar at the reception, so if you guys don't make it worth it, we're going to be pretty pissed!" There are times when it doesn't take knowing a lot about another person to feel like family.

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