Tag Archives: family

Family and stuff

The last time my dad’s side of the family had a big shindig was probably at my cousin’s wedding three years ago. I love that side of my family. My dad’s the youngest in his family, so the aunts and uncles are older on that side, meaning my cousins are at a pretty good age. Admittedly, they’re all older than me, but I think if they were all my age I’d hate them anyway. Apart from weddings and funerals, the whole family very rarely gets together. There were two or three birthday parties over the years aswell, but it’s nowhere near enough.

This was all brought on there by a visit from a cousin of mine who’s a builder with a science degree he doesn’t use. Anyway, he’s doing a bit of a job for us tomorrow and called over for the evening to look at our pillars and our puppy. He couldn’t get over how gorgeous our Ozzy was, and had a gawk at the hens (or the ‘chucks’ as he called them), along with the pillars. We played with the puppy, he had a pint, watched TV, and chatted in general. He’s one of those people who can tell a story well, so plenty of them were told.

I don’t know, I just think it’s kind of sad that I so very rarely see these people who I’m related to. We have a good laugh when we’re all together, especially when there’s alcohol thrown into the equation, so it’s not like we’re fighting or anything. We’ve no reason not to have more get-togethers, but we’re probably just all too lazy to give a fuck. I remember back at my Granda’s funeral when I was in first year there was talk of a family reunion that summer, which never materialised. Next thing on the cards is my brother’s confirmation in May anyway, but that’ll be a mixed affair, with both sides of the family present.

I see my mum’s family alot more frequently, probably due to the fact that all members are confined to two counties; Cork and Kerry. We head down to visit my aunts, uncle and nana fairly regularly, and they’d come up too. There’d be the odd visit to extended family in West Cork during the summer too. My dad’s family are scattered around Ireland, both North and South of the border, and one cousin living abroad with her own family aswell.

There’s not much point rambling on about it I know. Either I deal with it, or I organise something. I have been known to say ‘You choose your friends, not your family’ but I think the fact that you’re tied to your family without any choice makes that relationship alot stronger. If you have a fight with your friend, you can leave in an instant, but it’s alot harder to just dismiss a family member. You’re shaped alot as a person by your family, and what you perceive as ‘normal’ is, generally, what your family do. If I grew up in a different household, I would be completely different. So I think that if a group of people in your life have that much influence over you, then it’s important to keep in touch.

So go on, add your cousin or aunt or uncle on Facebook. Or maybe even go as far as giving them a call..

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Knowing

“What happens in houses behind closed doors…”

– Miss Maudie, To Kill A Mockingbird

What do you ever really know about a person? Seriously, when you think about it. You think you know everything about your best friend, but surely that’s a naive thought. Everyone has secrets, some bigger than others. There’s stuff you’ll never tell your friends, unintentionally perhaps, but there’s always a reason.

Then there’s the things you don’t tell family members, that only your friends know. I guess all this leads to the question, are you the only person who truly knows yourself? Even at that, you need to ask yourself alot of questions and do some searching before you’ll ever begin to know yourself.

The other day someone made a comment about a family member of mine, which may have been a little accurate on the surface, but it made me laugh. It made me laugh at the person’s naivety for making a judgement about a person they didn’t know at all. It was also quite a hypocritical comment, but that’s for another day. I know we’re all prejudiced and judgmental, but I realised how you can never think you know someone. How do you know that someone’s private life isn’t completely different to the facade they put on for the world? Not necessarily a bad thing. Some secrets have to stay secret, and an outer veneer is often the only way to protect that information from the world.

You look at a person; you think you know them, and to a large extent, you do. What’s more interesting though, is what you don’t. What exactly is that person hiding? That friend who seems so strong, is there a reason they seem so knowledgeable about life? That relation who snaps at everything, everyone; what’s up there?

I think we need to be a bit more tolerant of people. To be honest, if I ever write that post on hypocrisy, I have a feeling I might link back to this. I’m not a tolerant person, and yet here I am, asking others to be tolerant. Ironic. How can you blame others though, for just trying to deal with their own lives, their own secrets…

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Sometimes people just annoy you

I’m not just being mean. I’m not having a bad day. I’m not trying to find something to rant about. I’m not holding any grudges. There are just some people who I find it hard to like.

The worst thing is that don’t even know why. For some reason, I just don’t like them. Plain and simple. Which is absolutely fine if you see them once a year. That sounds suspiciously like I’m referring to family, but I’m not. I mean, if you can avoid the person, then it hardly matters if you find them grossly irritating. It’s when the person is someone you see regularly, someone who others like, someone who you have to live with, someone who may even be a friend. (If anyone reading this knows me, I am not referring to a particular person there, but just various general situations.)

It’s awful, really awful, if someone annoying comes along and ruins your day. You may not be able to complain to others, and there may not be any specific reason, and that’s the worst about it. If it’s someone who is blatantly annoying or even abusive, then it’s fine, because you have a reason. But if it’s just some person who grates on your nerves for absolutely no reason. It’s like nature just meant it to be. It’s as though you’re both the same end of a magnet, repelling each other.

I don’t know how else to put it. Is it just me being irritable? Maybe, when I think about it, there are reasons why certain people annoy me. No-one annoys me for absolutely no reason. But the aspects of a person’s personality that annoy me don’t annoy others. Is it because, as people, we like and dislike different things? Or is it because some people are far more tolerant than others?

Some situations tend to increase tensions, especially Christmas with family. There’s always some stress surrounding the whole dinner and celebrations and whatnot. And if you’re stuck with relatives for days on end, any one of them who annoys you is going to annoy you even more, for the simple reason that you just can’t escape.

It can also happen within a group of friends, where two friends don’t get along for no apparent reason. It might be quite obvious, or perhaps not noticed at all, even by the person who is the ‘irritant’ so to speak. Just the ‘victim’, the person who is annoyed beyond belief, but who can they go crying to?

That’s just life folks, and you gotta deal with it.

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Christmas, and the people it brings.

I like Christmas, and pretty much everything about it, but my absolute favourite thing about Christmas is how it brings everyone home. Yesterday was one of the nicest days in town. I saw lots of people, but the ‘highlight’, so to speak, was seeing a person who has moved across the water and who I haven’t seen in a long time.

We were queuing up to get waffles with chocolate sauce and I looked out of Winthrop Arcade and saw this person. It was like everything and everyone else disappeared and I ran across the street shouting his name. He put down whatever he was carrying and gave me a hug. It was nice, so unbelievably nice. I knew this person pretty damn well, but due to age differences and the like we haven’t exactly kept in contact or met up the odd time he comes home. But we chatted, and it was like he had never moved away. It’s been a few years, and I guess we’ve both changed, but it was still comfortingly familiar. He’s one of those people you can just talk to, and laugh with, and it’s easy and so, so lovely.

That really made my day.

It also made me think about this sense of home that exists at Christmas. Students who are dispersed around in various colleges nationwide, and even worldwide, come home to their mammies. People who are living their own independent lives become children again. Everyone’s looking for presents for their friends and family. It’s like Christmas unites everyone together, and we’re all the same again.

And seeing people you miss, it’s just the best.

In other unrelated news, I passed the Theory Test today, with full marks may I add! I went for a coffee and a scone beforehand in my favourite coffee shop and one of the guys who works there noticed. He was telling me how he only did it earlier in the year, and then wished me luck as I was leaving. Later on, I went back with a few friends, and as soon as I was in the door, he shouted down to me and asked me had I passed. That was nice. Things like that make me smile.

Going into Plugd today also made me smile. Aside from Albert being nice, there was a first-time customer in there, who wasn’t used to Albert’s quirky sense of humour and his various phrases. She got a bit confused, but was very funny about it, and decided that she loved the place and would be back. Then Albert said ‘We’re closing at the end of the month.’ It was interesting how he can still make a joke of such a horrible issue, and how everyone laughed.

Christmas holidays are deadly.

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