This past weekend, we had our fifth annual-but-not-really-annual reunion in Tennessee. What I mean by that is that my Dad’s side of the family decided about six or seven years ago that we should start having reunions every other year, and then around three years ago the decision was made to make them annual. The reunions usually involve around 25 of us gathering in the same place for the weekend—traveling in from seven different states—for a weekend full of food and fun.
This year, I was especially excited for the reunion because some of my cousins who haven’t come in several years were able to make it. During this three-day reunion, full of lots of food, catching-up conversations, pool time, story time, and a family history play, I came to the realization that my family is way cooler than yours.
Don’t take it personally. I just know my family really well, more than other families—not counting TV show families—and I’m convinced that the one I have is pretty great. I’m sure that after you read my list, you’ll come up with a few reasons too for why your own family is equally great.
10 Reasons Why My Family is Better than Yours:
1. My dad’s cousin Steve researches, writes, and directs a play about our family history. I don’t really know how he got the idea, I just know he traveled to where our family is originally from in Germany (Prussia) and learned a lot about our family history. The plays thus serve the amazing purpose of teaching the rest of us about our roots and how our family evolved over time. I think at first some people were wary about the concept, but now, four plays later, we all just have a good time, especially once props became a major part of the play. Plus, the lines often include a hint of sarcasm, room for improvisation, and read—in a rather hilarious way—like “service lines” in a movie. You know, those lines that manage to include some important fact of the character, like “Mary, you’re the youngest exec in your company, of course you’re feeling tired all the time.” Where these lines can be distracting in a movie, they become hilarious in our family history play. Each year, the play covers another section of history. Unfortunately, unless we feel like playing ourselves at the next play, I think this may have been the last one, as we are mostly caught up to the next generation.
2. We still have a kids table for dinner, even though the youngest kid right now is 14.
3. In addition, my Dad never fails to take pictures of all the tables eating dinner, and it never fails to happen right when everyone has just gotten their plates.
4. My grandmother’s eggplant parmesan. Oh my goodness. Better than anything in the whole entire world.
My mom’s homemade strawberry cake is also pretty freakin delicious.
5. The fact that most of our family members actually want to come to the reunion and stick around during all the activities, even when it means singing in rounds for “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” one of the songs for the Family Musical. Oh yeah—Steve made it a musical this year. Apparently he was inspired by our Christmas “My Heart Will Go On” tradition.
6. We can all rely on each other. Whether it’s making sure everyone is fed at a party to walking an elderly family member to their seat to providing a place to stay anywhere from one week to one year, we got you.
7. There’s a lot of us with a lot of different heritages. The reason my roommate asked me on my first day of college “What are you” is probably because of my grandmother’s lovely Italian genes. She’s the youngest of my seven, my grandfather the third of four. So cousins everywhere.
8. Newcomers are always welcome—and often given a part in our plays.
9. Someone will either 1) always support you, no matter what, or 2) tell you what you need to hear, even if it’s hard to take. This ranges from advice on bad relationships to support for any crazy pipe dreams you have to just emotional support while baking cookies.
10. We have fun! Even if it’s often loud and overwhelming and sometimes you need to stand in the bathroom for five minutes of alone time. Overall, a heel-kickin’ good time.