Some people always complain about the grandparents and aunties most when it comes to nosy family members who get all up in your business during the holidays. I have had a very different experience.
I don’t mind my grandparents jokingly inquiring about my love life during the holidays. As infrequent as family gatherings with my grandparents have been, I don’t mind catching them up on my love(less) life. There’s something endearing about it. Maybe because I don’t sense judgment or an impending ambush when they ask if I’m involved with anyone. All I hear is concern. The interested, hopeful and optimistic kind. I talk as much as I feel necessary to talk about it and we move on.
What has been known to throw a mean cog in my personal enjoyment of holiday festivities though, or any family get-together for that matter, is the incessant, sneaky investigation that other family members only a few years older than me have done via social networks so as to spill the proverbial beans about me in front of the rest of the family. My stomach used to tie itself into a pretty painful bow as I walked up to whoever’s home we were ‘celebrating’ at that year. I was always on edge, trying to remember if I had posted or said anything about anyone that my cousins could use against me in the presence of God and all the kinfolks I hadn’t seen in ages. Sure enough, shots were always fired. And fired. And fired.
“Well I wanna know who this guy La was all hugged up with on Facebook, though!”
“Uhhh huh… What was so ‘magical’ about last weekend that you posted on Facebook, huh La?”
I used to sit there so embarrassed with nowhere to run because half the time they took things out of context on purpose. Twenty pairs of eyes looking at me while the ones who stirred the pot sat back and reveled in the crapstorm they caught me up in. I used to get mad. These instigators who had no lives of their own – and I truly mean NO life – targeted me and my liberal ways to stir up some mess in the midst of a more conservative family atmosphere. And I know you’re thinking this was probably all in good fun and I’m too sensitive. It wasn’t and I’m not. I know the difference between jokes and interrogation. I hated the holidays. The anxiety would build up and every year I’d try to avoid what I knew was coming by ducking into another room or by trying to stay silent or invisible. It never worked.
Early this year I decided that I had enough. How dumb had I been to endure this crap for this long? I choose not to dread the holidays this time around. I am grown (cue Beyoncé here)! I own every bit of who I am and what I do and I love it. Instead of hiding in shame or some kind of embarrassment for doing nothing at all but living my life as I choose, I decided to be open and happy. While I owe no explanations, I’m certainly not owed another miserable holiday. Nope. Not when life and God has been so good to me. Nosy relatives have been blocked on every social network I have, and they know it but have too much pride to ask about it. I don’t feel sorry. Deck the halls with big ‘Block’ buttons!
Now I can enjoy the holidays and share as much or as little of my well-lived life as I choose. We’re grown and they’ll deal with it. Joy to the world and happy anxiety-less holidays!
But hey, if folks aren’t meddling this time around, I might tell them that I “met someone” on Twitter…
Nah. I’ll keep that to myself (well, between me and you now).