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The Family Reunion Is A Trap

collins family reunion 7_30_08

It’s summer. It’s hot. Having to wake up everyday and go outside just to sweat in the hot sun and walk into an overly air-conditioned building can really start to crush your spirit. We all know that summer will never mean what it used to. There is no more sleeping in until noon, no more laying by the pool all day, everyday, with your biggest problem being deciding what to eat or figuring out who’s in town to hang out.

You now spend your summer in the office, working away, contributing to society…or at least pretending to. Despite going to work every day, you can’t really afford the vacation that you want and, frankly, need right now. The only options available to you for “summer fun” are cookouts, camping trips, and maybe a short road trip to visit a friend from college (I guess you can count weddings, but like, that’s a totally different category).

Let me paint you a different picture in this summer scenario: Wait, what’s that up ahead? A paid vacation to a resort with a pool, cabanas, and a hotel suite — all funded by your parents. Is this the adult version of spring break? Is this a mirage in the desert that is your entry-level position? No, no it’s not. I’m talking about the dreaded temptation of the long-awaited…family reunion.

The family reunion is like Thanksgiving, Christmakkuh, Festivus, and Easter all magically landing on the same weekend. Some asshole you’re related to, who probably has their shit together, decided it was time to plan a reunion and check in on all the family members you haven’t seen in at least a year.

Yeah, family is great. I absolutely love my family. They’re always there for you when you need them. But at this point in your life, you definitely haven’t fulfilled the trifecta of things your family worries about you doing. You may have graduated and (1) gotten a job (and congratulations on that accomplishment), but are you (2) married? (3) Do you have children? If not, when are you planning to? Because if you haven’t done any one of those three things and you’re done with school, family events are nothing more than an obstacle course of questions you’re avoiding.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t go, but you might want to consider not going. Why stay home? Because of the lethal combination of free alcohol, plus awkward we’re-related-and-we’re-family-but-I-don’t-need-to-know-how-many-hours-a-night-your-kid-is-sleeping interactions, plus the look on your mother’s face when you pour that extra glass and…did I mention the free alcohol? It can escalate really fucking quick, like faster than that comment your aunt made about how her 30-something-year-old son just got a promotion when you said that you recently got your first job. Fucking one-uppers.

Maybe you have great self-control and maybe you’re not insecure when people compare you to your family members (I don’t care if Cindy has twins and managed to be here on time! I slept in on my vacation, so sue me!). Maybe you’re a really good person and just enjoy forced family time and actually wouldn’t call it forced. If that’s the case, send me a postcard from your awesome family reunion where you all just sit around and soak up each other’s awesomeness. But if you’re a normal human under the age of 25 who desperately misses when you drank just to go out with your best friends every night and have the time of your lives, the family reunion is just a trap for you to embarrass yourself. It only ends with a shamefully hungover plane ride. Oh and also, you’ll only have 12 hours before you have to be up the next day and return to your “real life”.

But hey, if you want to risk blacking out around your entire family to the point where you were smoking in front of your mother, crying to your brother about how sad you are because your parents sold the house you grew up in, causing your older cousins to be afraid for you to be around their children, and risking your dad having to physically walk you back to your hotel room because you can’t do it yourself, be my guest. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you. Personally, I won’t be going to another reunion until I’m married with three kids.

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