there is a family on my father's side that is synonymous with drama: let's call them x. for years, many have jested that, as an x, life just aint worth living unless there's a family feud brewing. in recent years, my immediate family has been the prime target. i gather that much of the strife stems from a northside-southside battle. albeit one-sided, here's a little history on the situation:
my father and mother picked up and moved my sisters and me to glenview when we were very small, leaving my dad's siblings and family who all lived in homewood, south holland, and posen. naturally, we kids didn't have any concept of the socioeconomic connotations of living in the north suburbs. if anything, we were the ones who felt disadvantaged: all my cousins lived blocks away and went to the same church and schools. when we did make the hourlong drive to see them, we noticed there were things different about us -- we looked different, talked different, and had different likes -- but we still couldn't wait for the next time we could pee our pants laughing with them. my family is really hilarious.
family events weren't constant happiness; some of our differences were made more obvious by adults. we were greeted by random third cousin thea somethingendingwithoula in a stream of greek. when we sheeplishly let on that we didn't understand what she was saying, we'd be scolded and shamed for not knowing the language. since we didn't eat greek food at home, we were less willing to load our chinet plates up with steaming dolmades and murky mageritsza, and for that, we'd get yelled at. we figured that, as long as we steered clear of the adults, we'd have good times.
eventually, we three became adolescents and young adults and systematically declined invitations to many southside family events in favor of horse shows, chances to perform at bowl game halftimes, and time spent with closer friends. as the time between gatherings we went to grew, the colder the x's became. a few years back, we were the only three cousins invited to nikki x's [we have four nikkis in the clan] wedding all on one invitation without guests. my sister's boyfriend of three years [now her husband] could not join her because, as nikki haughtily broke it down for my dad, we three are "aloof and antisocial." this was our punishment for not ever going to any family functions, she told my dad.
i learned that tori x, the eldest cousin, poisoned her kids against us. her daughter, little miss janesandra x was a junior bridesmaid at another cousin's wedding [allegedly after much pressure from aunt x]. when i entered the church, janesandra was smilingly handing out programs, so i went up and said hi. what did i get? a cold, blank expression before she handed me a program and looked the other way. most recently, tori told my dad's wife, "those guys think they're so much better than us because they grew up on the north shore, but now, we have more money than the three of them combined." aahhh... bask in the glow of love.
what's puzzling is that their disapproval of my sisters and me doesn't stop the x's from sending us a constant stream of invitations to pool parties, showers, and birthday galas, to each we politely extend our regrets. most recently, we were each sent an invitation to sour janesandra's eighth-grade luau/graduation party. my sisters and i always try and calculate the most auspicious time for getting voicemail to decline invitations because making smalltalk with these folks is excruciating. i think they'd really be surprised if we actually came to any of these parties. we'd just as soon prefer they'd stop inviting us.
okay, so if you're reading this far, maybe you can help me out. the invitation to the pig roast [janesandra and her parents are large people -- what an unfortunate choice of theme] asks for a reply by august 10.
thanks for your input!