While those of you who know me may be surprised by this, I’m actually a bit of a sentimentalist. Most would never guess it from looking at my tough exterior. (Remember how when I took weight training in college it took me a month before I could bench press the bar? No weights, just the bar. Hey, it weighed 30lbs! Luckily I had discovered in high school that being a little goofy and making friends with the teacher can get you a good grade in situations where your wussiness is not only apparent, but generally frowned upon.) Ok, while I’m not necessarily physically tough-looking, or even physically tough if we’re getting nit-picky, I don’t feel like I let my emotions show very often. Well, someone can correct me if I’m off on that one. Please, by a show of hands, how many of you have ever seen me cry, get really angry, or laugh? Put your hands down, that last one doesn’t count!
Anyway, my point is that I probably don’t let people know often enough how much I appreciate them. Take my family, for example. I’m the youngest of six kids and was four years behind my next oldest brother in school. That meant that I was home alone with my parents for four years. I think the solidarity of the quiet house has made me appreciate and love the pandemonium that results when everyone gets together. Plus, it helps that everyone in my family is really funny. From my dad and his Laffy-Taffy-esque jokes and puns to my mom and her ability to laugh at herself when she exclaims things like “Hot, my eye!” to, well pretty much everyone else and their witty ways. But I generally don’t think to tell them how much I appreciate them and love being around them.
I have also recently rediscovered the joys of extended family. With the exception of the fun two years my cousin Pam and I were roommates, I haven’t ever spent a lot of time around extended family – especially not around extended, extended family. But, over the last few months I have enjoyed getting to know some of them better. I guess it started with second-cousin Katie (she’s the one asleep on the wall in the last post) and then moved on to her sister Allyson, then Dave, then Jenkin, and the rest of the clan, and then has branched out to others that I have maybe seen once before ever in my life. The conclusion I’ve come to is that family is fun! Either we’re all a fun-loving and funny bunch that is a blast to be around, or we’re kind of odd and only truly understood by our “own kind.” Either one of those explanations is a possibility, really.
Well, it’s for all of the above reasons that I am glad we have now instituted a monthly “Cousin Night O’ Fun” (some of you may better know it for its former name “Cousin Love Fest” personally, I prefer steering clear of anything that sounds like it could result in jail time, but that’s just me). Hopefully one day we can get more than five people to show up for it, but for now, I’ll take what I can get.