We had a busy extended weekend recently (hence the lack of posts), visiting The Trouser's family across the ditch.
Although he has almost no family here, he has a real shitload over there. Hundreds of them - aunts, uncles, great-somethings, plus cousins of various stages or removal. Seriously, hundreds of them!
I had already met a few, and we met about 40 or 50 more at a party during our visit. Some of them were lovely; some were less lovely. Some were quite lovely to him but less so to me (perhaps because I am of the wrong religious/ ethnic extraction; perhaps because we aren't married, who knows). It made me feel strange then (I didn't know what was not quite right); when The Trouser mentioned it last night and suggested the reasons, I finally figured out why I had felt so weird. It makes me feel sad.
What makes me feel distinctly un-sad though, was The Trouser's declaration that he loved me best and didn't care what they thought. Plus since the party, he's been extra-affectionate, as if he's trying to make up for his possibly xenophobic relatives.
On the upside, we got to spend some time with some lovely relatives, including 2 grandmas who love me as if I were their (biological) grandchild, and who have "adopted" my little brother as their grandchild also. The first time we met, we bonded over the fact that we all think The Trouser is just the bestest thing ever, and the cutest and the loveliest, and it has been a lovely relationship ever since. :-)
Seeing them always makes me so happy (though I also feel wistful about how I relate(d) to my own grandparents), and seeing us seems to really make them happy too. I never begrudge them the time we spend there, even if they do take us to leagues clubs to eat, and provide smelly pickled herring for The Trouser.
I also got to see the aforementioned little brother, who has moved away for a job. We are not especially close, but I like and admire him a lot, and it made me really happy to spend a bit of time together. Finding him some extra grandparents was an unexpected bonus - he is not entirely alone where he is, but I like him having some family to lean on when he needs it, and for the grandmas to have someone else to love and spoil.
If you have a lovely grandparent or great-something who has embraced your partner or friends, please give them a big hug for me. Even if you have lots of family already, bonus grandparents are a very special blessing.
Meanwhile, we are hoping for a break after the last 2 months' worth of family overload. I think it's time to sit back and enjoy each other's company, plus The Trouser's early birthday present