Happy Holidaze!

Mom left yesterday. I finally got my new theory regarding sex and violence on TV out into the world. Tonight begins the two-day mass of family that occurs at the holiday season. All is more or less right in the world.

It was great having Mom here. As an only child raised by a single mom, we have a certain bond that makes her more of a friend than an authority figure. While I still listen to her advice and such, I tend to just enjoy her company more than anything else. Dani and I are bummed that she had to go home before Christmas could even get off the ground, but she’s still working to pay off the damage I did to her credit back in the days when I was a college student. When I make my millions, I’m gonna buy that woman the world.

So now Dani and I are heading off to see her family for two consecutive dinners. They’re mostly located around the Bay Area, so it’s pretty easy for all of us to get together. When you look at it objectively, it’s really a nice thing. It’s so heartwarming to know that your loved ones are close enough that you can call them together at the slightest provocation. But, for me, it’s still a weird experience. I like Dani’s family a lot, but I have a hard time dealing with all of the obligations living so close to them brings.

Being raised by just my mom and seeing Dad every other weekend (and less frequently as I got older) my family obligations typically consisted of making sure I called if I was coming home late. Holidays were a time when Mom made a special meal and we ate at the table. Occassionally I’d go to see my Dad’s side of the family, which is your typical large Mexican/Spanish family, but that was maybe once or twice a year. And if we missed it, no big deal. There was always next year.

Dani’s family is different. It’s important to everyone that every memeber of the family show up. There’s the typical familial tension which does cause some occassional friction between members, but that doesn’t stop us from being obligated to gather on birthdays, holidays, weddings, funerals, etc. I’ve done more with Dani’s family in the last year than I have with my own in the last ten.

That takes a lot of work for me. I’m just not used to it.

But, ultimately, it works out quite well. Like I said, I do like Danielle’s family a lot. This is a good thing, since I plan on becoming a part of it. While I don;t like having so many weekends taken up with family obligations, I’m learning to accept it not only as something that’s necessary, but also something that’s enjoyable. Some day, when we have kids and a house and all that, our place will become a destination for family members. And it will be wonderful to fill the home with the love and warmth that comes from such a meeting.

Merry Christmas to you. May you also be surrounded by the warmth and affection of your loved ones during this holiday season.

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