I have a huge extended family. I wouldn't recognize most of them even if they put us all on an island and handed out name tags.
So why does my Mother think I give a shit about which one had a root canal, which one has hearing lose or which one had a botched up colonoscopy?
I don't know these people. I don't have a connection with these people and just because they are fortunate enough to share some of my DNA, doesn't mean I have to care about these people.
After all, they must be freaks. They share some of my DNA.
Mom is on all the older relatives emailing list so she feels like it is her matriarchal duty to forward all of them so the entire tribe can share in the latest travesty that has ruined their lives.
My clan consists of mostly second generation Italians who think gravy is red, fish should be prepared with eyes intact and spatting out olive pits onto a plate across the table while showering the person next to you with saliva is the norm.
To them, good news is no news.
The only thing worth sharing is death, terminal illnesses and bank repossessions. Not once have I been forwarded a newsy letter of how little Vito won the science fair for his moldy Italian bread experiment or that Uncle Tony and Aunt Camille bought that new summer house on the north shore they've had their eyes on. Nope. That isn't news.
I don't even hear about stuff that may even interest me a little. Ya know...like childhood dirt such as what little shits my parent were. Even stories of what it was like back in the 30s and 40s would get my interest. Oh no. That shit is over and will be buried with them.
Buried pretty soon from the sound of these emails.
I decided to try to alter the situation one day by sending out a happy email depicting all the wonderful things that are going on in my life and the lives of my children.
Of course I had to lie but that isn't the point.
The point is that each and every story was one upped with one of theirs. And not in a good way. "I am so glad Anna got all As. Little Sophie has quite a little learning disability that we are hoping isn't cause by a brain tumor."
"Now that Jimmy is doing well on his own, perhaps you can make room for your Cousin Joey and his kids. They got thrown out of his apartment because he lost his job and are currently living on the street collecting empty cans and eating pizza crusts from trash cans.,"
I get these emails and wonder if they are trying to find someone to pass this tradition onto when they are all gone.