Saturday, February 14, 2009

Washed up


A wave's end
Deerfield Beach, FL, December 2008 [Click to enlarge]

About this photo: Thematic Photographic explores "up" this week. Got a uniquely twisted take on something that's "up"? Click over here and share it with the world. Oh, and a new Caption This goes live on Sunday. Click here to submit suggestions for last week's photo.
We're just home from the big city a couple of hours to the east. We spent the past day attending a family bar mitzvah whose details would make great fodder for a Saturday Night Live sketch. Old codgers who haven't quite balanced their meds? Check. Hatfield-and-McCoy-esque family strife? Check. Cringeworthy comments about everyone and anyone from people who really ought to know better? Got those, too.

In the end, it was the kind of event that looked perfect on the surface, but even a mildly astute observer would derive perpetual entertainment from the fun going on just beneath the surface. We're glad we went, as we got to spend time with a few folks who truly do matter. But in the end, it was good to put it all into our rear-view and head west. As we pulled back into the driveway a couple of hours later, I knew that everything that mattered to me was right here.

Your turn: Family events from hell. Please discuss.

20 comments:

Cloudia said...

"As we pulled back into the driveway a couple of hours later, I knew that everything that mattered to me was right here."

Carmi: A "Seinfeldian" post. Great ending! Aloha
ps: so that's where that wave ended up!

Sandi McBride said...

I looked around for you but I didn't see you...you just described my family outings, so I know we must be kin...
Sandi

Hilary said...

I can do one better than, Sandi...

Reading this post also makes me feel like I was at the same event.. same people and same off-the-meds remarks. And in fact, I believe I was.

Literally.

I'm sending you an email. ;)

David said...

um - i have a story - it just needs polishing
gimme a sec, ok?

Netchick sent me

kenju said...

A good ending to a nice day - and a good tribute to your family (the last lines).

bobbie said...

Your photo is a unique take on "up".

Family events such as you describe are always bitter-sweet, aren't they? There is always that under current, threatening to erupt at any time. I think Cloudia said it with "a Seinfeldian post". I guess the trick to getting through these things is to hold on to you sense of humor, and keep remembering that you will be home and return to sanity soon. I prefer to visit relatives one at a time.

FrankandMary said...

I don't get together with family much; I've made my own family. If I had siblings or my parents were still living it would be different.There was always too much declaiming of words at full volume at family gatherings. I'd prefer not have to mill around a soap box. Once in a while an entertaining blackguard or a noblesse oblige elder came forth, but mostly, better off home with the cats. ~Mary

Mike Althouse said...

Love the pic, especially nice when "embiggened" (I love that word).

Regarding the interpersonal conflicts you described - I can relate. Mostly petty sniping by petty people who must not have anything better to do than to sit in judgment. Sad, really. However, those close to me who are truly genuine make up for it.

Tanya sent me over...

Mike

Nikki-ann said...

Great water photo! I love the beach, despite the Mid Wales coast being really windy!

Mojo said...

There's actually very little of my family left anymore (not that it was so very big to begin with), but yeah... I remember. If my maternal grandmother was around, you could pretty well bet on some blog fodder (had we known what "blogging" was at the time). And never, ever try to mix mom's side of the family with dad's. There were a few points of harmonious intersection I guess, but in the main... uh-uh.

On the "Up" side, (c'mon, you couldn't see that one coming?) I've actually had a couple of additions, but the first one went live the day of the crash in Buffalo, and somehow it seemed a little frivolous. For those of you who missed it, you can find it here:
Thematic Photographic #36: "Up" v.2.0 - Up the Down Staircase

And my latest "Up" offering is also available now at:
Thematic Photographic 36: "Up" v.3.0 - A Spire to Greatness

Manhattan Roasts said...

Always fun to have some crazy family time! Thanks for a fun read.

Netchick sent me!

NWlambear said...

So enjoyed your post...and got a few juckles (sp?) out of it as well. But you put it:

"As we pulled back into the driveway a couple of hours later, I knew that everything that mattered to me was right here."

...is so true. I know that has always been the case for me over the years. I'm at the latter part of my life journey...hence I'm one of the "old codgers trying to keep track of her meds" lol.

I still love to see family, although I'm one of the few "elders" left. In my old age I've become more sentimental...I remember all the good times...and leave it at that!

colleen said...

I always think it would be fun to follow any one of us around for a documentary or sitcom. We're all so funny and get funnier with time. Net chick surfing to Pandora.com.

Pamela said...

I almost posted a 2nd picture depicting up.

It was my bathroom scales.

arrrgh.

Pamela said...

as for reunions... it always brings to mind that old saying about being able to choose "your friends, not family."

Awareness said...

I have learned that alcohol and family events are a caustic combination. It brings out the weirdness, the past gripes. Inhibitions and good behaviour go flying out the window...

Last Sept. at my parent's 50th anniversary, I was sitting innocently with my fav. aunt and uncle catching up after a few years of no contact. We were having a really meaningful conversation late in the evening. out of the blue another auntie appears completely looped and really ticked because I had neglected to inform her of my husband's stroke a couple of months before (he's fully recovered) I have no idea how she didn't know this, but we live far away from one another. I had just assumed someone would've told her. Anyways, before I could answer, she hit me in the head! WHACK! The "F" bomb came pouring out of my potty mouth....something like "F! That hurt!" and in the middle of this lovely party, she starts berating me. How ladylike is all of this??? I can't believe I dropped the "F" word at a catered soiree!!

She and I are/were close, but not so close that she would've been on the top of my list to call in the middle of the stroke crisis....I figured someone would inform all these relatives. Besides, she should read my blog if she wants to keep up! lol!
Well, my uncle (her brother) jumped up and was ready to protect me, but he has parkinson's now and was so wound up he lost his words and shook like crazy! So, I'm standing there holding my head and trying to calm my uncle down watching this crazy drunk woman go off on a tangent about a emotionally stressful time I had gone through with my husband....and she was pissed (emotionally and spirit-ually) enough to slug her niece over the head???

As soon as it happened...I thought...no wonder my father keeps his distance from these siblings! But, I was dumbstruck by the absurdity of the scene.

My sister, who got wind of what happened, came over to me and said...."oh, don't worry about it. Aunt Cathy has hit me on the head too!"

Funny how when you write down a story it appears to be worse than it was? It still does have the feel of a scene out of trailer park boys.

Apart from that incident, it was a pretty good party. haha! I'm glad this one only happens once every 50 years.

Mel Fraase said...

Sounds like our family, too. You're right, in the end you've got what matters with you already!

Martha said...

Beautiful photo for W for the A-Z photo Challenge Carmi! Thanks so much for playing along :-)

Julie said...

Now that most of my family has passed over and those old family reunions are now so fondly remembered, and missed I loved this post. Love the shot also.

Oz Girl said...

Beautiful "w" photo, I absolutely love the look of the wave... and yes, we all have some of "those" in our families, don't we?? I have stories, but I won't go into that here! ;-)