You can’t choose family


The Carillon’s survival guide to getting through family reunions

Dustin Christianson

Gathering a group of people who tend to annoy you to insanity and somehow have conflicting views on everything should be considered cruel and unusual punishment, but such is the nature of the family reunion.

The best way to deal with a family reunion is actually quite simple. Don't show up. How much fun can a bunch of familiar, skin-covered creatures, all gathered up celebrating their own collective stink with (and with only) their own kin-folk be anyways? You've got a duty, kid, to your family, and that duty is to get laid and procreate. To prolong and diversify your bloodline. Since the chances of this happening are already infinitely minute and forever undetectable in their proportion, the best interest of your entire family lies in your absence. Honestly, you'll need to use every moment you have in life in order to achieve reproduction. After all, even if you do end up procreating at your family reunion, it's quite probably under the pretenses of incest. You and your reproductive junk (and your potential putrid progeny) best be getting along elsewhere, your grandfather would say, fiddling with his new colostomy bag.

If, even despite your adamant refusal to attend, you find yourself thoroughly convinced of your obligation to this familial affair — perhaps finally swayed by your Mother's sound argumentation and profound rhetorical swagger — then the situation has grown truly dire. Bring along your walkman, your iPod, or whatever musical-brain-injection device you have that is inter-cranial in its operation and convenient to carry. iPods traditionally have more games, apps, and pornography than your walkman, even though it has that barbie sticker on the back that you used to wank it over. If, even though one brings along the preferred musical-playback-contraption-device, one still finds the family reunion unbearable, other easy options remain.

Pursue a crystal meth addiction. Fortunately, they say, addiction is prone to arise from merely a single dosage, and if you time it perfectly, your three-day weekend will hastily dissipate from existence with a veritable, heretofore unfathomable, speed. Furthermore, if you show up to the family reunion on meth, doing meth, and carrying meth, you will be the life of the party! Perhaps, though, you'd rather not take up meth for just a single, selfishly beneficial weekend. It seems immoral to be so non-committal.

"The best way to enjoy your family reunion is to remember, in advance, that it is an opportunity for positive energy, good experiences, and beneficial development, not a complete onslaught of the opposite."

So, meth’s not your thing. Try doing the opposite of what you’d be doing on meth then, and sleep as much as you can. You already do this anyway, so the behaviour should be familiar. Doing so at the family reunion will not only speed up the passage of time, but your family will all learn of your most intimate nature and true identity, through first hand experience. And this, in some sense, is the true purpose of the family reunion. You can sleep on the way there, when you're there, and on the way back. Tell them you're just tired, from old age, or diphtheria and diarrhea or something, like more than half the people there.

But, even you can only sleep for so many hours (and count so many sheep), why not do what really should have been your first idea and just be yourself. Your whole family is there, being and becoming itself, together. You can do your part, just like any of them, in creating the whole. Your family will not be as robust or full in its potential if you are not there, or simply do not try. They don’t care if you are a drug addict or if you have failed the greater portion of your university classes since you spend most of your free time on the internet watching scat porn. Your family does not mind the tremendous gaping hole in your being – they will fill it, or at least try to fill it, with love. For free.

The best way to enjoy your family reunion is to remember, in advance, that it is an opportunity for positive energy, good experiences, and beneficial development, not a complete onslaught of the opposite. Enjoy the time, the company, and the sunshine, since – sooner or later, and sooner than you think – we'll all be dead.

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