Tribal Gathering

Just been to a family celebratory BBQ near Leeds. One of my wife’s cousins has been married for 60 years. Seems a bit excessive, even compared with our 52 years of marriage!

We hadn’t seen them for about 30 years, even though they live so close to us. In fact the last time we saw them, we were at the golden wedding of the cousin’s mother, now sadly passed.

Well, in that time their tribe had expanded somewhat. The cousin’s six children, now ranging from their 60s to their 70s have had lots of children themselves! Their fascinating family tree, including my wife, was on show, and now extended to 4 large pages, – more of a small wood than a tree!

The event provided me with a number of issues.

When you meet someone in a gathering like this, who are they? ( they’ve changed a lot over time, and so have you), and what, if any, is their relationship to my wife?

What are the names of their children, and which ones, of all those milling about, are theirs?

Yes I know one could always ask, but I find it difficult to hold all the new information in my head at one time.

Luckily there was a photo ceremony, unfortunately towards the end of the BBQ, in which the six children were arranged for the photo in order of age. So that gave some clues – but not enough, and a bit too late!

However, genetic similarities did help, with lots of the kids looking uncannily like their parents did so many years ago! So it was possible to group them into families, fairly accurately…. I think!

A charming event, with lovely food – but lots of opportunities for social faux pas!

Am I alone in having these difficulties?

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