The Secret Life of Melanie O.
Friday, April 21, 2006
Family reunion
FAMILY REUNION CIRCA 1950My youngest son is getting married, and like a good mother (and a bad mother in law), I tried to get him to wait until after he got his Bachelor's degree before he made such a huge commitment. Of course, I'm not really one to give out that kind of advice, as I got married right out of high school and started my family right away, much to the consternation of my parents. My youngest, however, a devout church-goer, is at the age where he's going to either get married, or make lots of visits to the confessional.

I won't actually be able to be there for his big day, and I feel pretty terrible about it, but with distance and financial constraints, I had to make a decision - either I go by myself back to the States for a week to attend a wedding reception for a couple of hours and then twiddle my thumbs for several days afterwards while the youngsters go off on their honeymoon, or we wait a little while and save for Dan to come with me, we travel at off-peak, and we arrange, with my mother, a family reunion, where we can all meet the new wife, and, in general, drive each other crazy for a week - the purpose being, to remind me why children grow up and move out of the house in the first place - and to take the traditional family portrait photos.

Family reunions are usually a pretty big deal. I've actually never been to one that has been designated a "reunion" - only because we had enough weddings and funerals in the family that served that purpose. So, this will be a bit different. What does one do at a family reunion besides wear a funny t-shirt that says "Family Reunion" and has the date cheerfully emblazoned on it, drink too much beer, overeat, take snapshots and kick a football around?

My ideal family reunion would consist of renting a few rooms at a nice resort for a week; having handsome men in tight shorts give me full body massages every day (my husband of course, is welcome to a busty woman who will do the same for him, as I know he would fall asleep in the middle of it); lazing about by the pool with our Mai Tais and reading trashy magazines; dining on lobster and champagne nearly every night while we watch old classic films like Cool Hand Luke on the large television screen; and lounging disgracefully across our double king size bed until the wee hours.
Mai Tai - one of life's staples
All of this, of course, would take place in an exotic tropical location with enough amenities and interesting sites to see, that we don't get under each others' feet for several days. The older members of the family would receive free Botox and collagen injections, with some lipo on the side, and the younger ones would receive free nightclub passes. A professional photographer named Raoul or Franćois would take the family portraits amongst the backdrop of a tropical garden of delights, and the lighting would make us all look at least 15 years younger than our actual ages. And, to top all of this off, at the end of our sojourn, we would find that we've all lost 15 pounds.

At the end, after the kisses and tears and gift exchanges, we'd fly back to our various destinations, congratulating ourselves on what a fantastic reunion it was. Reality though says, that we'll be eating grocery store bakery cake and deli meat sandwiches. I'll be taking the family portraits with my trusty Canon and there will be at least one fight amongst my sons. The house will become a wreck and we will be stepping on each other in sleeping bags, in the middle of the night when we get up to use the bathroom, which we will fight over in the mornings, for showers.

Heck, it'll be worth it to see my family again. For as much as we annoy each other, we love each other even more. I'll just have to remember to bring my own paper umbrellas for the Mai Tais.

posted by Melanie O. at 8:53 PM -
  • At 11:10 PM, Blogger gardenbug said…

    What an excellent idea. Let's save out money for a wonderful vacation and reunion at a resort for the NEXT reunion. I wonder how our poor family members will accomplish this? I no longer feel obligated to pay their freight. How about St. Croix or Aruba? Porto Rico? Costa Rica? If at St. Croix, We could stay at Sprat Hall...Joyce Hurd's historical French plantation. Jim Hurd died last neighbor's youngest brother. The plantation has maid service, but meals are at the beach house...but cooking "in" is allowed. Joyce is in Milford this week for eye surgery. I am her designated driver, as her sister has her hands full with a disabled husband. If you wanted massage and stuff, it isn't available at Sprat Hall. We would have to make reservations at the Buccanear...think I mis-spelled that name. Actually, I find golf a bore...the main activity at that luxury resort. Swimming is in the ocean, not a pool. Second thought: I've never been to Porto Rico......

  • At 7:08 PM, Blogger LivinginOz said…

    hee hee! Sounds like a great idea to me!! Let's do it.

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About Me
Name: Melanie O.
Home: Durham, North Carolina, United States
About Me: Female, American health and beauty-conscious professional who has rekindled a childhood love of dolls.
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