Growing up, I think most of us end up having a favourite relative. For most people it’ll be someone you gravitate to mostly cos you’re roughly the same age, and/or sex and the two of you are interested in the same things at the same time. So when your families get together at those time honoured obligatory family moments – birthdays, christenings, weddings etc, the two of you get along like a house on fire, and all the aunts etc get to comment on how ‘they’re like peas in a pod those two!’ Bit of a cliche, but there you have it.
For me, it was always my cousin, EtHaB. He’s about 6 years older than me, and he and I always got along famously, though for the life of my I don’t know why. It was probably thanks to the hours we used to spend together, that I became above averagely guy-lingual for a teenage girl! Though why I needed to know the difference between twin Webers and a Carter four barrel I’ll never know! (Totally couldn’t tell you know and feel much edified for having forgotten most of the crap we used to talk about!)
Anyway, he had his wedding anniversary on the weekend (20th apparently) and I went along, mostly cos I felt I had to. You see the sad thing about my friendship with EtHaB is that I have changed so much over the last 20 years, and he really hasn’t. I dont know if it is because I went to Uni, and travelled the world a bit, or maybe it is just cos I’ve grown up in the city and he still has country all over him. But when we went up to their place for the BBQ I felt so out of place. I found it hard to talk to most of the guests – quite a few of whom I am actually related to – as we have no common ground anymore.
So once all the polite questions about my fathers condition were out of the way, I had NOTHING to talk to them about and spent the rest of the night smiling and nodding at some truly outlandish comments, about frozen vegetables being soaked in caustic soda that cause your – wait for it – fingernails to go brown!?!? 😐 how curfews and peer restrictions for young drivers will do nothing to curb road fatalities (and this hours before 4 teenagers die in a hideous crash down in Byron Bay) and (my favourite) how if you sell your house for less than you paid for it, you don’t have to pay the bank back! What the???
You see, I know there is no point debating issues here, from past experience, I know I will just end up being yelled over, and there isn’t one open mind in the room willing to hear an opposing opinion on ANYTHING. It seems the most eloquent (and strangely socially accepted) way in which to make your point in that crowd is to reiterate your viewpoint, louder and louder until you have verbally beaten your opponent into accepting your opinions as gospel, when in fact your listener has merely succumbed in fear of permanent damage to their eardrums.
And then this goes on until the wee hour, followed by what must be the worst night sleep I have ever experience, only to be woken again by back pain at about 6.00am! Again!!!
I’ve had a great night, but that certainly wasn’t it.