Tuesday, September 1, 2015 (“Le temps ne fait rien à l’affaire” by Georges Brassens)

It’s been a little while since I’ve written anything on here. This past weekend, my parents came up to visit. They came up on Saturday morning. Before they got here, I was in a mad scramble to clean up as much as I could. It wasn’t the best of efforts but I would say that it was effective enough not to look like a complete shambles. We went down to Ocean City as soon as Michelle got home from work. It was my (great) uncle’s birthday. There were a lot of family members there.
It was strange. We all look like each other but we all hardly know each other. I don’t know what to make of all that. Family is important to a lot of people but I have never felt particularly close to mine. They all live in different places and we usually only meet up when someone dies or gets married. In this case, it was nice not to have such a grand occasion to meet up. I suppose a person’s 75th birthday is a big enough occasion but it’s not something a large as a death or a wedding. Your life doesn’t automatically change once the clock strikes midnight – at least not in the same way that births and deaths happen and wedding vows are exchanged.
To be completely honest, I do and I don’t see the point in family. You only really get the family you’re given. But on the other hand, what do you do with them? These people I’ve only really ever seen sporadically throughout my life and even less so since I’ve become an adult. Funny, when we were walking around talking to this one and that one – the whole thing was basically just reciting a report to each other of what has been happening in my life since we’d last seen each other. Since in most of the cases, I couldn’t for the life of me remember when that was, I just filled in the last few years of my life. We could’ve just got a bulletin board to pin our stories to – or one of those Facebook groups and we could’ve read each other’s stories. Very little was exchanged other than the executive summary of one’s life. And frankly, that’s not really fun. Very little of our personalities were exchanged. Just stories of dead people and people who were not there.
I don’t know what I was expecting, truthfully. It was my uncle’s birthday and he was kind of running the show. It would’ve been rude for me to do anything other than just sit there accept what was going on around me. But I would’ve wished to connect with people with whom I’m the closest to genetically on the planet. We come from the same family and the same culture – yet I didn’t really feel a part of it. I felt like I was back in elementary school again (or even work). A place where we weren’t free to do whatever we pleased, so long as we didn’t hurt each other or steal from one another. Everything was too programmed. I don’t even think as if it were that way even. I guess I just didn’t feel free to do and say as I pleased because I was still “a boy” in their eyes. And grown-ups, no matter what age you are – so long as you are much younger than them – run the show.
This is where I would like to say that should the shoe have been on the other foot, I would’ve made the environment more conducive to freer chat. Honestly, do you guys really give a fuck about the fact that I hate my job and am slightly miserable in my life at the moment. If I told you that I’d be a little whimp looking for sympathy. If I told you everything was fine and dandy, I’d be a liar. Not wanting to be either one, I just shut up about my life.
I really wonder when you ask how another person is, are they really telling the truth? Are they giving you a brave face? Are they lying? Are they exaggerating how bad things are? Do you actually want to know what’s going on? Almost 100% of the time when I greet someone, I do so with a “Hello” or something like that. Almost never with a “How’s it going?” It’s rude to me to ask and not care – or not even listen to a response. It almost requires an elicited response of “fine” in order not to burden the questioner with reality if it happens to be a bad one.
Anyway, I don’t know how I’d run one of those things. Perhaps the stifling nature of the day was only in my head. But I will say that I was not really comfortable being myself. It was mostly ego-driven. Older people matter more than younger people. To be fair, younger people are more capricious and inexperienced. But older people interrupting and “setting you straight” doesn’t really help matters much. I’m not as young as I used to be and I no longer accept that older people are wiser. On the other hand, I don’t think young people are necessarily stupid or smart either. Age has got nothing to do with it.
Anyway, in order to create my own little clan, I’ve got to start with having a family. Michelle and I are a little worried because our future is so much up in the air at the moment. I’ve told her numerous times that the actual physical location doesn’t matter as much as the situation. The situation has to be good and then we’ll pick up and go. I think both of us are at our wit’s end as far as the living situation is concerned (an apartment that’s falling apart), the job situation is concerned (we’re both pretty unhappy at work) and money situation is concerned (she’s in debt up to her eyeballs and I’m not making any money). I think the idea of having a family sounds fun and exciting. I know there’ll be a lot of shitty diapers and bad grades and the occasional shouting match – but in the end, family is about ties that cannot be broken no matter what. No matter what, your kids will be your kids. Your stuck with them – whether they’re brain surgeons or jailbirds. There’s something great about that.
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