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Monday, August 13, 2012

Weddings and diaspora



My lovely wife and I got in late from a wedding. I spent Sunday feeling hung over -which is pretty odd for a wedding reception that didn’t serve alcohol. A high school buddy of mine married into a religion that doesn’t believe in the stuff. To each their own. His only daughter, who’ve I known since she was a baby, was the bride. Some events you just have to show up to.

My high school buddy was from New Hampshire. His wife grew up in California. Their daughter when to college in Idaho. She met her husband there, who’s from Nevada. Family get togethers are going to be problematic. With their family scattered all over the place, I felt it was worth making the effort to attend. For me, it was about a 300 mile round trip. Doable. They were glad my lovely wife and I showed up.

Just to make things interesting, there will be another reception in Nevada a week from now. Those poor kids. They should have eloped.

The wedding brought home to me how people have scattered all over the place. Cheap, reliable transportation changed everything. People don’t have to marry the girl next door anymore.

I married someone from New York state, but we don’t visit anyone there anymore. Almost all my wife’s family left the state. High taxes drove them away. My in-laws are over 2000 miles away. My dad lives almost 1700 miles down the road. At least my kids and grandkids are in New England.

My experience is not unusual. Families are scattered. It’s harder and harder to have real cohesive connections with relatives. Social media doesn’t cut it.

Historically, there was strength in tight knit large family groups. Families would take care of their own. It’s a lot harder to provide support to people living thousands of miles away. It’s not like you can casually drop in for a cup of coffee.

It’s not all bad. A family’s eggs are not all in one basket. If one place is having a bad time (everything from natural disasters to economic problems) odds are there is a relative in a better place who could help you start over.

Yeah, these are the sorts of things I think at weddings. At least I rarely voice that sort of thing out loud at these functions. Instead I say: yes, she looks lovely. Nice decorations. They look good together -and so on. However, in my mind, I wonder what kind of relation my friend will have with his grandkids.

-Sixbears

9 comments:

  1. Hope your friend is able to see his daughter and grandkids it isnt easy. ON anouther subject a while back you posted you were thinking about a bike.Me and you are about the same size and i was thinking about one to.SAturday i stoped at a yardsale and they had a bike for 10$ i decided what he heck.Well got home wife and kids laffed said i wouldnt make it down the drive.I rode it about a mile was fun.Dont worry most frames will hold a large fellow BUT THOSE POINTY SEATS HURT LIKE HELL.Yardsale bike 10$, seat for my fat butt 28$.find you a used one if you enjoy it get a better one.

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    1. Picking up a new bike today. Ordered one last week from the local bike shop. They worked with me to find one that could handle my weight without buying a specialty bike. I might end up wishing that I'd done what you did.

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  2. Read another blog recently that said the reason for the high price of gas was to purposely destroy our ease of transportation (If we can't travel and we can't shoot, the government feels safer.) Maybe it was THIS blog; Heck, I can't remember!

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    1. Sounds like something I'd say, but it might have been someone else. After the first thousand or so posts, I sorta lose track.

      Makes sense to me.

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  3. My cousins are scattered all over, but there is still a lot of them back in Pennsylvania where I was born. When I go up there we spend a lot of time visiting relatives on both sides and old friends that we grew up with. Always enjoy that.

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    1. You are lucky that there's still a concentation of relatives and you can see them now and then.

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  4. Sometimes, living far from family is not a bad thing. Majority of both sides of my family is in Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia. But, as the older ones die off, you lose contact if you weren't close growing up. I love my family, but I rely on my friends.

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    1. Sadly, sometimes you get a fairer shake from a stranger than a relative.

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  5. We live right across two bridges from my hubby's siblings..Never see them since his Mom died in 2000..all kind of bullshit with those siblings, some half sister died this past tuesday, I have been married nearly 40 years never met the woman she was 82 years old and was nearly 18 when my husband was even born. My late Mother in Law was married two times once to a fellow and had her daughter..then to my hubby's dad who fathered 8 kids but never was around to feed, raise, cloth and care about them let alone be a husband of any sort! I have many half siblings my Mom married two times, her first husband passed from this earth in world war 2 and my dad she had many kids with only to pass from this earth young, we were scattered..To me people you meet and are friends are better than kin, my kin, only liked to torment me with unkind comments after asking for money, I married and never had anything to do with them at all, to tell the truth I consider my friends my family and not the kin I was forced to live with I got to choose them and my kin I did not!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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