Monday, January 24, 2011

Cousin It

My cousin recently friended me on Facebook. Not that unusual, granted but a couple of friends have pointed out to me how little I’m in touch with my cousins. I have two who are the same age as I am, another three a year younger or older, and the rest are more than 5 years older or younger than me. Any difference in age doesn’t really matter when you’re over 25 but when you’re growing up it makes all the difference.

I guess I just never got to know them. I mean got to know them beyond the family occasions such as weddings and birthdays where we were all herded together, given sweets/crisps/ice cream and told to keep quiet and out of the way. We lived so far away from my father’s side of the family, I only got to see my cousins at midsummer when we all gathered to my paternal grandparents’ house in the middle of nowhere. Eight siblings with their partners and children, how did we ever manage that before we added a few extra sleeping quarters? I do remember spending a lot of time in a tent.

Pick the odd one out :)
My mum’s side of the family was closer by when I was young, but the cousins closer to my own age were all boys. And there were three of them. I didn’t exactly feel like I fitted in, even though my very best friend was the boy next door. I don’t know what happened there, I suppose we just never connected. My other cousins on my mother’s side are two boys who were closer to my brother’s age, who is eight years my senior. The three of them usually ganged up on me of just took of leaving me on my own. I didn’t mind, and I must say there are some very funny pictures of us sitting somewhere and it’s obvious I have been shoved into the photo under extreme protest.

I know a lot of my friends who consider their cousins as their substitute siblings. Sometimes I wish I could say that, but I often wonder whether or not I actually have anything in common with my cousins. I get along with them, talk to them on Facebook, see them at family functions, am genuinely interested in what’s going on in their lives and all that, but I don’t think I’d consider any of them as anything more than a relative. You can’t choose your family, but you can choose your friends, they say. If my cousins were strangers, I’m not sure how many of them would make the cut. It’s just that I don’t really know them. Why, I don’t know.

It’s great to catch up every now and then, but I don’t think any of our lives intersect beyond the relatives we share. I know which cousin is married, dating, has kids, has moved, is building a house etc but most of this information comes from my parents or I get indirectly via a post on Facebook. These little snippets of information is all I really need, if truth be told. And I’m pretty sure my life isn’t so riveting and exciting that my cousins are hanging onto my every blog post and Facebook status update.

Or maybe I am the odd one out. Maybe all of my cousins get on great with each other, talk on the phone frequently, visit each other regularly and every now and then my name is mentioned and they all go “Mmh, yes, her. Cousin It”.

No comments:

Post a Comment