Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving. . . a time for "family"?

So I've noticed that, as more and more time goes by, the less people I spend my holidays with. When I was a kid it was the whole family. Mom, dad, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents (from both sides) and even some even more extended family that I wasn't even sure of the relation to them. When I got to be a teenager, grandparents started to pass away. Along with their passing my parents chose to spend the holidays apart from my aunt and uncle. It seemed that my grandma (my dad's mother) was the glue that held us all together for the major holidays and when she passed, the rest of us became more separated. So then for most of my late teens to early 20's it was just my mom and dad and the "boyfriend" at the time for the holidays. Then I met "the one" (or should I say the one at that time in my life) and we moved away. So for the past 7 years I haven't spent but one holiday with MY family. Sure he and I spent the holidays with his family, but it still didn't feel the same as I remembered. Then "the one" and I divorced and I spent the following year with "the rebound" and his mom. So for the most part it was down to just me and him and his mom. Now this year I find myself down to two. Me and "the one I hope will be the one". The difference here is that, he has no family. None at all. But that's a whole different story. He has many people in his life that have become "like family" to him, but none of them are actual family. I have met several of them over the time that we have been together. Some I adore and some I could do without, but I guess that comes with any "family" unit.

So for a moment I would like to jump to a somewhat different topic. I have been with my present boyfriend (Mr. "the one I hope will be the one") for almost a year now. He has met my friends and coworkers and I have met his friends and coworkers (which most he considers his "family"). But alas, he still has not met my parents (they live 1000 miles away BTW). At first, early on, it never really bothered me. Then as time went by we talked more and more about going to visit my parents out of state in the early fall. Well that time came and past. He wasn't ready to met them yet. He was still fighting with the "demons" in his head about taking the next step in meeting my parents. I was hurt underneath but I moved on, knowing that day would come in time if he was really serious about us. So now we are planning to visit them in the Spring. I am excited about that. And like I said before, I was disappointed that he didn't meet them sooner, but I never pushed the topic on him. I knew when the right time came he would meet them.

So Thanksgiving is upon us. A week away. I find my family 1000 miles away and my best friend and her family on vacation over the holiday. So I assume it will just be he and I this year. He mentioned volunteering at the local soup kitchen. I was all set for that! Something new, something we could do together and make memories from, plus we would be helping people who really had no one. Then he mentioned spending the day with several different friends/coworkers (his "family") that I had met before. We (I thought) pretty much had it narrowed down to one couple in particular. A couple that I respected and enjoyed spending time with. People that I could easily see becoming my "family" as well. I was comfortable with this. But now that has all changed. He has decided that we should spend the holiday with a couple that I have never met before and probably had no idea that I even existed until I heard him ask "can my girlfriend come too"?

This bothers me. A lot. I did not see myself spending a major holiday with people that I have never met before. Don't get me wrong, I have enjoyed meeting many and all of his friends and coworkers; his "family". I know that these people are very important to him. But I do not think it is an appropriate time to meet a new couple on a major holiday for the first time. But he doesn't understand how I feel (so he says). He says these people are very important to him and very good people. (Now if this were the case, and I'm not saying that they are any less special then anyone else I have met, then why I have I not met them before this?) He tells me that I do not have to go with him. So then my choices are: spend the holiday with people I don't know, at all or spend it alone.

So now time to pull everything together. When it came to him shying away from meeting my parents (people that are obviously very important to me), I let it go. I got over it and now wait for the "right time" to come. And keep in mind I wasn't even asking him to meet them during any major event. But now I find myself being forced to meet his "family" or spend what was going to be our first major holiday, alone. How is this fair? Why do I have to tip toe around his feelings but it is ok to dismiss mine all together?

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