Families – Given and Chosen Ones

My family is pretty small, it consists of my Gran, uncle, aunt, their two kids and me. As this weekend celebrates Easter, they came to visit their families. I love them, I really do, but at the same time I feel weird around my uncle and his family especially without my grandma who’s in the hospital. I tend to get along better with his wife than with him even though he is my blood relative. The fact that he even managed to find a decent wife is beyond me because while I like him, he is a nerd of the worst kind and I couldn’t stand being married to him.

It probably has something to do with the fact that he and I are two opposites of the same coin. We’re both know-it-alls, science geeks and so on. He is Microsoft all the way while I swing both ways. I prefer having a Windows desktop PC and a Macbook to carry around with me. I have an iPhone, he has some unnaturally big Android phone-almost tablet. And there starts one of my biggest problems with him. He constantly has to bash my Apple products. I never bring it up but he always finds a way to tell me that his Samsung products are so much better than my Apple ones. I don’t even care, man! I know all the arguments against Apple products but come on, can’t you just let it go for once? We don’t have to have the same conversation every time we meet. I try not to let it get to me but in a way it does.

The repetitiveness is so annoying. I’m not telling him what I think about his kids. Especially my oldest cousin is the laziest person I know which says a lot coming from me, self-proclamied queen of procrastination. Both kids had so many electronic gadgets growing up, I think they overdone it. I keep comparing my cousins to myself. Well, the 90s were a tad different but I saw my mom struggle, there are things I would have liked to have had but I would also never have asked for them because I didn’t want Mom to spend too much money. After all, she was supporting my stupid father. These kids haven’t seen the things I had when I was their age (and my life wasn’t even close to bad as a kid, just not as spoiled) which is probably a good thing but it also taught me modesty in a way. I may be an only child but I’m not that spoiled aside from when it comes to my peculiar eating habits.

The thing is, I constantly feel judged around them. They and especially my uncle, always ask about my thesis and what/where I want to apply for a job after graduation. Like, OMG, I’ve had this conversation so many times now. I get how you’re showing interest in my life but it doesn’t feel right with me. My answers are usually pretty simple. I have some ideas of what I want to do after leaving the university but I won’t tell them because I don’t want my ideas bashed and judged like my choice in computers and smartphones. I have my own process. I figure things out differently than he might does, like writing a blog. My way is not always the fastest but it’s mine and I have to take it. I can’t walk someone else’s road in life. It needs to be my own. I’m my own person.

Like when I told them of my travel plans for the summer it felt like my uncle wanted to say: “Yeah kid, you should just get a job. And oh, that sounds expensive. Are you sure about this? And what do you mean, you will only start looking for a job once your thesis is finished?” He didn’t say any of this but that’s the vibe I got from him. So sorry uncle that my life plan looks so much different from yours. I hate confrontations which is why this post is happening. Ugh, this is me venting in a stupid ass way.

It’s different with my Granny who is more like a second mother to me. We understand each other without words. I may never be told everything but I feel trusted with her. If it weren’t for me, she would have given up on life a while ago. Her words, not mine. Not quite sure if it’s more humbling or scary because I can never live up to be the amazing person I want to be to make her and Mom proud. I’m still trying.

I’ve grown up enough to understand though that there is more than one kind of family. It doesn’t just have to be the one you were born into. You can make your own family, not only by choosing someone to spend your life with but also through surrounding yourself with friends you care about. For example, when I meet up with bestfriendboy’s mother I don’t feel judged. I can talk more openly to her than to my uncle or his wife. She understands like no other what kind of strength last year cost me. I feel understood and valued for who I am and not judged because I happen to have different views on a lot of things.

Then there are the theatre folks. I may not have a lot of contact with any of them outside of theatre but we’re still some sort of family. A big, loud and messy one.

And then there are the true friends you have; the ones who listen to you complaining for hours or can watch FRIENDS with for the 1.5468th time; the ones you can sit in silence with without it getting uncomfortable. They are my real family, not because I was forced on them but because we chose to be in each other’s lives.

I know Granny won’t care that I’m gay even though I still haven’t told her. Never felt like a good time which is a cowards excuse, I know. With my uncle though…not saying he would hate me for it, but it’s something I feel uncomfortable telling him because I’m afraid he would find some way to stomp on my heart for it. Not necessarily with words but in the way I can sense his disapproval of my travel plans. Also, I never get how religious he and his wife truly are and what views they have on homosexuality. I know that I should have told them by now. I need to do it for my own sake because then I can stop thinking about it. Only, how do you steer a conversation there without being like: “Can you pass me the potatoes and btw I like women not men!”? He stopped asking if I had a boyfriend some years ago after I got angry with him for his nosiness so that is not an option for opening this conversation.

I’m not even expecting much from coming out to them. I just want them to know without making a big thing out of it which seems to be irreconcilable to me. Why can’t I just write them an e-mail? I feel so much better in writing than speaking, probably why I’m a blogger.

Look at the time and word count. I’ve rambled on for over 1200 words now and so much for getting to sleep early, maybe reading one or two chapters and then fall into blissful sleep. Good job, way to go me!

Basically, what I was trying to say is, I can love my relatives without being in synch with them I guess. We’re just too similar in some ways and too opposite in others. I just have to make it through 2 meals this weekend without loosing my shit while hopefully finding an opening to come out. And then I can go and have fun with my real family. Thanks for listening to me internet. You’re a true pal.

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  • Haha, wow I can totally relate with that kind of family dynamic. It’s definitely frustrating when everyone is one different pages, but what can you do? In the end they are still part of your family right? But yea, I tend to vent on here as well, because there really isn’t any other place I would do it! And good luck on that conversation starter!