Trip Check-In

I'm sitting in my brother's house in Oregon.  Today, we're all (except my parents) going to the coast.  A couple things are standing out for me again with my family culture:

  • There is a lot of drinking, especially among certain people (my brother-in-law and brother-and Dad but he wasn't at the barbeque last night).  This happens even when it's not a "party" just a family gathering, which says people are looking for a reason to tip a few back.  Of course this affects the quality of interaction and feeling of the gathering.
  • The depth of conversation is not what I would enjoy.  My sister - even though we had a short conversation not long ago about this - didn't ask me anything about things that matter to me, such as dance, theatre, community work, friends, etc.  Nobody asks about these things.  They'll ask about dating and men sometimes.  My brother and I talk about work and family, and he knows about my efforts to become a mother, but with my sister and parents I feel invisible a lot of the time.  Or I'm valued for being an Aunt and a creative person, but not for what I'm doing in my life back in the Bay Area.  Even if they can't relate, I think they could ask.  I ask them about business developments, Junior League, and other things I can't really relate to.

Anyway, it bugs me that I care about this still after all this time.  I think when I don't have time to myself to get grounded, then I feel more affected by this stuff.  Writing it out is helpful.

But I am loving the time with my niece and nephew (4 and 2  years old).  They are so incredibly imaginative and playful.  Yesterday/last night we played with bubbles, made rat cupcakes, sang songs, played hide and go seek, etc.  I was tired at the end of the night but it was so fun.


  1. It is so hard when we are so different from our families. I've pretty much given up trying to cross the chasm. They live in one world and I in another- even before TTC. It would be nice if they would remember a few things each to ask you about, but you might have to take the conversational bull by the horns if you want my acknowledgement: Hey, guys, at my job recently we were.... Isn't that so cool? I never knew I would .... I try to chalk it up as sometimes people just don't know what to say or, in my case, don't want to make me angry. Oh well. Enjoy as much of the trip as you can!

  2. Isn't it amazing how family can seem so familiar and yet like total strangers all at the same time? BTW, what are "rat cupcakes" anyway?

  3. Families can be interesting. I agree with MN about taking the conversation over and talking about your life. I know it would be more polite if they asked, but I have known people in my life who are just clueless and self-absorbed and talk about themselves, and when I would ask why they they never asked me about my life, their response is be "well its for you to tell us what is going on". Very weird, I agree, but there are people like that unfortunately.

    And as Ali said what are "rat cupcakes" ? :-)