Anybody ever been slapped in the face? Not literally lol. As nice as I am, I don’t think I could write about being literally slapped in the face AGAIN lol. If you are clever enough to clock me you only get one time LOL. Anyhoo, obviously I’m just using the figure of speech.
Just like most people, I have two sides of my family. I’m not terribly close to either one since I grew up very far away from them, but I’m closer to one side than the other. The side that I’m not close to is the side that I tend to lean more towards. We have more in common, and I just happen to enjoy those personalities more than the other side. Strangely enough, my favorite cousin is on that side. We’re the same age, and oddly enough, I’ve spent more time with her than anyone else on either side of my family. She’s the youngest of 5 with the next one being like 5 or 6 years older than her. So obviously when we would go to NY for our summers we would spend all of our time together. But like most family and/or friends, people grow up and grow apart. Our NY trips became fewer and farther in between the older we got. With me being a very relational person, I’ve always tried to be the bridge to bring our family together, you know? Pre-Internet days, I always liked to write to my grandma and my older sister. And then whenthe Internet came, I got my cousins’ email addresses and screen names and I would try to keep in touch with them. However, I was extra shy and quiet back then, so I never really had much to say and was not good at keeping conversation going, so my work always failed. But, at least I tried, right? So, you know, this cycle of getting in touch and losing touch keeps going and going and going. But, you know, at some point I had to assess the situation. Why am I always the one reaching out? How come they don’t try to keep in touch with me? How come we never hear from them unless someone dies? Why are we always an afterthought?? I remember when I was graduating from high school, I sent everyone an invitation. Of course I didn’t expect anyone from NY to come, but I thought I might get some cards or something. So I ran my list down to my mom to make sure I had everyone. She looked at it and said, “now, you know you’re not gonna get much from these folks, right?” She was pointing to the part of the page that was all my father’s family–the ones I try to keep in touch with. Deep down I knew that she was right, but I really wanted to believe that maybe this one time they would actually be “family” and support me. Needless to say my mother right. No phone calls. No cards. No nothing. I take that back. About 8 months later (which was post-birthday time), I got one card. “Sorry this is soo late. We love you! –Aunt & Uncle So-in-so.” I think it had like $10 in it. I think, for me, that’s when the slapping in the face began. I didn’t really know what to say! I was soo salty yall. A little after that she, my aunt, tried to KIT (remember that from high school? lol, it’s “keep in touch” for those who don’t know) over IM, but I wasn’t feeling it. I was just like, I used to write you when I was a child, I attempt to keep a family fire going, you send me a graduation card 50 yrs. late seems like, and now you want to be an aunt to me?? That just made me feel soo cheap, you know?
So, over the years the slapping continues. You know, I’m a very determined person. Minus a few things, I don’t give up easily. If I get knocked down I’ll eventually get back up even if it hurt. That’s how it is with my father’s family. They used to call us on the holidays. After a few years of that, I was like, you know what? Why do they only call on the holidays? True, long distance is expensive, but it’s not like it’s any cheaper on the holidays! It’s like they do it out of duty or something. The only other time they call is when someone dies. Unlike a lot of Black families, we don’t have that much illness in our family so ummmmm…………….not that many people die!! I remember another time my sister Tracy (the older one) sent me an email with pictures of this newborn baby. Ok, yeah, babies are cute….everyone loves babies…..but who the heck is this baby?? How about we never knew that my cousin who’s baby this was was even pregnant! I was like ok THANKS for letting me know!! Folks get married and we hear about it like a week before, and I’m like ok, what if I wanted to go to the wedding? I can’t get an invite? So finally, this was the last straw. I mentioned my favorite cousin for a reason. We kept in touch pretty regularly like my first two years of school because we used to IM. But, she started working full time and got involved in other things, so she wasn’t on the computer for like two years. I’d email her, but she didn’t write back and after a while I stopped emailing. So we missed out on two years of our lives. One day I decided to call the house, and we got back in touch again and exchanged cell phone numbers. She called me once, and that was about it. There went another two years. Earlier this year I called her again to see what was up with her. What’s cool with her is that we never miss a beat. True, there’s a 1000 things to catch up on, but it doesn’t feel like we’ve been away all that time. Anyway, I called her, she called me, I called her (that’s the “schedule” we said we’d keep), and it’s still her turn to call back….like 4 months later. It just soo happen that the first time I called she had recently got engaged……like two days prior. They had been dating for like two years, so she didn’t want to have a long engagment, so the wedding was going to be sometime near the fall this year. Cool! I just knew that I’d get invited to this one. NOT!! Now, she DID send an invitation to my parents, and she would be the first to actually acknowledge that we exist down here. I did appreciate that. However, I’ve been living on my own full time for like 5 years, and she knows that. Why didn’t she contact me to get my address? I would have LOVE to have gone to the wedding, or at least I would have attempted to go. The wedding was last weekend, and my sister sent me the pictures today. That was the first thing. The second thing is, why didn’t the cousin who sent my sister the pictures send the pictures to me? She and I KIT on a semi-regular basis too, so what’s up with that? So, last Sunday I wanted to send my cousin a text saying, “congratulations on your wedding you never told me about!!” Is that wrong? I still might send it lol. They’re all comedians, so she’ll probably think I’m just joking. But anyway, is anyone feeling me on this?? Or do you just think I’m crazy and am crying over spilt milk?
Now I’m to the point where I’m almost through with them, you know? I’m tired of trying to keep things together. I’m tired of trying to be noticed so someone can think about me. Obviously I can’t forget about my family………..well actually, yes I can because they sure as heck forget about us!! I haven’t decided what my resolve is going to be yet, but I’m leaning more towards the “forget about them” attitude. It’s soo tough to be me sometimes, you know? Being so people oriented and all. I don’t like broken relationships, but er ummmm………….methinks these ones will have to remain broken for a while……………….at least until my face heals.