I've heard it said about extended family that if you don't know where you've been, you don't know where you're going. I'd prefer it be said that if you don't know where you've been, there's no way you can get away from there.
I've never really liked visiting my relatives here in Minnesota. It's unpleasant coming into the middle of a family disfunction that's been in existence for the past 50 years. There are members of my extended family that are all right by themselves, but once you get them in a group, boy, do things heat up quickly. Usually, this isn't too bad, because we come around Christmas or in the summer, and the family only gathers for a couple hours one day of the visit.
However, because this visit is occasioned by a funeral, I'll be in close contact with my relatives for this entire week. Not only that, but with Uncle Barry's death, tensions are even higher than they are usually, and a lot of family are coming in from out of town.
If I knew people out here besides my relatives, it might be better, but the fact is, these adults with all their dramas and woes are the only people I know, and they dominate life even when they're not around. When I'm in the house, they're there, and when our family is elsewhere, that's all we talk about. It's really stressful.
This is the explanation for the last quote of Dad's in my last post. The influence of my relatives is great enough that it affects my mood. I've been listening constantly to Coldplay - that's how bad it's gotten. :P
In 50% unrelated news, my Uncle's wife asked me to read a Bible passage at his funeral this Thursday. It doesn't seem like very long ago that I participated in their wedding. So, yeah, I'm in a rather dark mood right now. The sooner I can get out of Minnesota, the better.
The only good thing I can get out of this is that because I've seen this so many times, I'll be slightly more able to avoid repeating family history in the future.
Well, I've got other business to attend to...