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2006-03-27 - 8:32 a.m.

..with the family...

K arrived a week and a half ago, and I haven't had a moment to myself! I struggled to get assignments graded, and then head immediately off to visit the family at a house they rented in North Carolina, on the Outer Banks. It has been absolute insanity.

I'm sorry that the holiday was more stress - we had some fun moments, but my family makes me feel different, selfish, and self-centered. I think this happened for two reasons. The first is that we are so completely different. Renting a house in a suburb on the beach is not really my idea of a holiday. We spent our time crawling in and out of my brother's minivan. The one time we tried to walk somewhere (1 mile, to a park), they came driving over to pick us up, claiming that we had to enter the park together or else we would each have to pay an entrance fee. Once again we were crammed into the minivan from hell. I'm not a part of the car culture; I don't like having to drive out every day to find my entertainment.

Another difficulty is that my family tends to feed us all the time. I think this is a common family issue. If you even look towards the kitchen, my mother breaks into a report of the entire contents of the refridgerator, asking you what you want. It makes me crazy, and it then takes my body a week to recover from the food fest.

The other difficulty revolved around our impending nuptials. The family kept asking for our wedding plans. Well, truth be told, we don't have any. We might go to City Hall. We might go to Connecticut. The truth is, I don't want to plan anything. Everytime I have tried, I get stressed out by the wedding industry. The officiants I contacted cost $600 for five minutes. The 'wedding' also caused great tension, because I didn't want to talk about it. I appreciate that this is difficult for a family to take - they want to give us presents; they want to be there. But it's just not a very good time. Anyway, it caused some tension, and the end result was that I came away feeling like a selfish person.

I'll try to focus on the good moments - we went to Roanoke and walked around; we walked around the Wright Memorial; we played a rousing round of minigolf. On the last night we played "guess that movie quote" which was quite fun. My niece was a very good girl. There were good moments. I will try to think of the positive - my family is full of good people.

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