I am not particularly close with my extended family. My father was in the Air Force and we moved around while they all stayed put. We vacationed with my aunt and uncle who had children close to us in age and I share some wonderful memories with them. But at the same time, I don't feel a bond other than one of necessity. You know, the "I'm related to you therefore we must have a relationship and be involved with each other's lives." I'm working through my feelings about the current state of my relationships with them all. At the moment I don't know how to incorporate these people into my life. I don't know them very well and they don't know me very well. I'm not sure if I want to remedy that or leave it the way it is. But in the meantime, talking to them is laborious and uncomfortable.
The relationship I struggle with most is my mother's parents. I didn't know my father's parents very well and they both passed away when I was much too young to know the significance of their passing. All I have to connect me with my living heritage is Nana and Papa. I am going to spare you the self-absorbed details but I will tell you that they are old-school and really don't know how to communicate feelings in a constructive way. They find boys much more useful and precious than girls. I'll leave it at that.
I've struggled with feeling like their opinion of me is one of disappointment- I am not married nor have I bore them great-grandchildren. They have my cousin for that. Despite my "shortcomings" I have a stable relationship, I have a B.A., I am working towards a Master's, I am pursuing a career that drives me, and I think I have a lot to offer people; I'm funny and smart and gosh darn it- people like me! I just don't think my grandparents can see me that way. And you know, it's their loss.
This rambling brings me to the present. My birthday was earlier in the week. I wasn't looking for things in the mail because I've been really busy and my birthday snuck up on me. And I didn't notice that I hadn't gotten anything until I checked my email. My grandparents emailed me birthday wishes. Emailed. On one hand I'm glad they remembered and a little relieved they didn't call me so I can have the "you're getting old- what are you waiting for" talk. (For the record, I'm a spry 27.) On the other hand I'm all, "You can't spend a whopping $3.00 on me?" They used to send me a lovely card and a small monetary gift that shrunk with every year. I don't care- they're old and on a fixed income- whatever. But those ass-hats can't even send me a card?
I sounded my displeasure to my sister. She's great for some perspective. "We tried to tell him you love getting cards in the mail but he still thinks emails are a novelty and thought you'd find it really cool." Hmmmm..... Okay, Old Man. I'll give you this one. But I want a mother-fucking card next year even if writing my name causes your eyes to bleed.
At least he took the time out of his day. Thank you.