August is a busy month for Mat's family. The Simcoe Day weekend (known to other Canadians as the Civic Holiday) is a family reunion for his dad's side of the family, which is always hosted at my in-laws' house. The following weekend is the reunion for his mom's side of the family, with a different location every year.1 The week after that is Mat's birthday.2
So this weekend was the paternal family reunion, featuring a grand total of 31 people. I should probably preface all of this by saying that I love my inlaws very much: they've always been very accepting of me, despite our cultural and religious differences, and they've never made me feel anything but loved when I am at their house. That said, there are very real cultural differences, and a long weekend of that can be very overwhelming, especially for an introvert.
It was especially bad this year because of the wedding. There were guests at the reunion who are not invited to the wedding. (Mat's great aunts and uncles and some of his second and third cousins; we've had to draw the line at our first cousins because it would've added approximately 50 people to his half of the guest list. I am meeting almost of all these people for the first time this summer.) Most people, I think, would be fairly sensitive to the delicacy of these situations, but we got asked more than once where these relatives' invitations were. Awkward. I also got to attend a Passion Party put on by my future sister-in-law, along with her cousins and aunts. More awkward but eventually hilarious.
I got to have dinner with my parents and spend a few hours with my mom, which was really nice. My grandfather's condition is worsening (mentally at least; not sure about the physical) and he's been hospitalized for the time being. He will probably move from the hospital into an old age home. This has been a long time coming; it has been very hard for my grandmother and some of my aunts to admit that my grandfather's needs to go beyond her ability to care for him. I'm hoping that the transition goes well for both of them. Growing old is scary.
I skipped out on a good chunk of the 50 Days of Tea since I wasn't at home, but I did have a peach-mango white tea today. Very nice taste; lots of scent; not convinced that Lipton's much vaunted pyramid-style tea bag really makes all that much difference.
1 Yes, this does mean that every five or so years, they will host back-to-back reunions for about sixty people total.
2 I have bought him an iced tea set, and I will be buying him a sgian dubh for his kilt.