Instalment III – Wherein our Little Heroine remembers blood

Tales from the Tropics II

Last night, I went to a family reunion dressed in red. We roll six-generations deep. So that’s the bloodline starting from my grandfather’s grandfather. I’m gen 5 which is the inferior iphone and the superior internet.

The turn out was pretty good, maybe not in relation to how big it should have been given the first generation produced seven offspring. My grandfather is also one out of seven siblings.  At the reunion, it is presumed branches of the family tree were missing because a) they couldn’t afford the per person cost b) they hate us at the moment or c) lucky combo of both.

Each branch of the family was assigned a colour to differentiate the lineages, thanks for letting me know guyZ. The late notice resulted in me being sent out the day before by my uncle with a wad of cash to buy a red dress. My aesthetic is lost in translation between us and he emphasizes again to buy something pretty with maybe flowers. My mother, to my defense of course, reports that because it is late notice that other clans wont be wearing their assigned colours and to please let me wear the blue party dress I picked out before this colour coded rainbow wreacks havoc. Not us, no. Uncle Vinnie wholeheartedly rejects the blue party dress which I suspect he doesn’t like anyway. “She can’t wear blue, everyone else will be in red. SJ go by a dress”. Turns out he wasn’t wrong, our side of the family all spite come in red to prove our unity. Blood is thicker than water and that is how I emergency wore a polyester dress to appease my family. Thank god, I didn’t wear blue. There was one section of tables where the families were all dressed in the same green shirt. That was wild.

I am currently very attached to this notion of home and family. The reunion made me feel misplaced and forlorn that I didn’t know any of these people really and how easy it would be for me to drift away. The little foreign renegade.

If you were to ask me where home is, I would say, my grandmother’s house. This is my cultural legacy and as western as I am with my liberal opinions and religious skepticism there is a special tiny little bit of inexplicable fairy dust that still binds my heart here. I guess, home is where we can lick our wounds. I am surrounded by people that love like me and share my value system, We are of the same ilk. When my uncle is proud, I understand it. I would rather watch the world go to hell than apologise for it. Culture of honour. Cut throat curse. I can’t reconcile this DNA to all the self help books I’ve shoved down my own throat. Is this my family’s blood curse? Pride? How do you atone for that? What saint do you pray to? Is there a shaman?

Fuck, if a curse runs down seven generations then let’s hope it started with my great great-great-great grandfather so it only has to ride out till my grandchildren.

SJ xx

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