Ok, am I the only one whose family is a total nightmare when it comes to communication? I don’t mean my nuclear family. I mean my extended family. Remember the old game of “telephone” that we all played as kids, where one person whispers something to another, who whispers to another, who whispers to another…? Remember how by the time the last person got the message, it was totally distorted? That is how my family is, only worse. My family is like the game of telephone on crack.
Case in point: I asked my dad if my mother (his ex-wife) is invited to a party being planned for my grandmother’s 90th birthday. I didn’t hear back from him. So I asked my cousin if she knew the answer to my question, since her father is my father’s brother, and they were, supposedly, planning the party together. My cousin didn’t know. So she put a call in to her dad. While awaiting a response, she called her sister and mentioned that we were wondering if my mom was invited. Her sister then called my grandmother, and informed her that my mother was not invited to the party. Grandma then called my brother and my sister in a tirade of anger. My sister called me and told me to call my grandmother. It took me about a half an hour to talk her down off a ledge and convince her that no one ever said my mother was not invited! To make matters worse, my grandmother had told her sister that my mother was not invited. Her sister is the mother of my father’s cousin, who also happens to be my mother’s best friend. With word traveling at lightening speed in our family, I knew it was only a matter of minutes before someone called my mother and mistakenly told her that she was not invited to my grandmother’s 90th birthday party! I called her, but she didn’t answer. The voice mail I left her went a little something like this…”Mom, it’s me. I need you to do me a favor. PLEASE call me back before you talk to anyone else in our family!!!” The message must have sounded absurd. But the urgency was necessary.
In the end, mom is invited, grandma is happy, and poor dad caught a lot of crap for something he never even said. But that is how my family works. We are loud. We are opinionated. And we can’t keep secrets. But we are also fiercely loving and protective of one another. I guess in the grand scheme of things, I should be thankful that my family is so close. I’ll have to remind myself about that next time the game of telephone goes awry!