Wednesday, December 21, 2005

It is the shortest day, four days pre Christmachanunkwanzamass and who has not gone to the post awful yet? I haven't gone to the post awful yet. I suck.

It occurred to me the other day, I grew up several hours drive from all my larger family. An entire day's drive, actually, so visits were rare. Now, when the inlaws express a desire to spend more time together I do feel as if they are from space. That just isn't what families DO in my experience. I saw my grandparents ONCE at winter holiday and then for a few weeks every summer. I see my dad ONCE a year. I see my mom maybe twice. Such isolation from extended family is normal, except of course, down here it isn't and they're only 20 minutes away and don't understand why we don't come around more. For me, I think "well we saw you at Thanksgiving and we saw you in September and we saw you before that in the summer and how much more do you want of us?" and they are thinking "Geez, we sure would like to see you guys more often." so there is a fundamental disconnect. Throw in all the stuff we haven't got in common and it is a hard one to rectify comfortably. For example, I don't remember my family EVER discussing religion (I think it would have been considered rude to do so) but it is a central theme for my inlaws. I think the number of things my family didn't talk about out of a desire to be polite probably outnumbers the cans of worms they did open. So I get itchy when those topics are broached and feel as if I cannot really politely say how I think (cos it's usually at odds with the popular theory) and would rather just skip the whole thing entirely. I always feel like I'm blundering through a minefield, crushing the eggshells with my combat boots and pissing off the whole family with my lack of tact. Not liking how this feels, I try to minimize the exposure.

And maybe, like the dh has suggested once or twice, I just tend to hermit way too much anyway. Maybe that's partially true. I often keep people at arm's length, which is perhaps why the internet is such a stellar mode of communication for me. Even the telephone feels like a horrible intrusion some days.

Maybe I really do belong in a house on a hill with 80 cats and no outside contact except the grocery delivery guy.

I'd probably get a heck of a lot more knitting done, anyway.

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