Friday, August 7, 2009

Standards of Disappointment

On Wednesday, my mother went to a family reunion dealy at my Aunt Peggy's. If you know me, chances are you know I'm not much of a "family" kinda guy, so I of course didn't go.
My mom's cousin Joey was up from Miami with his wife and his 11-year old daughter, Joyce.
The last time I saw Joyce, I was around 11 or so myself. I apparently played peek-a-boo with Infant Joyce for a long, long time, and they have the most adorable video of it.
Apparently, Joey is really upset that I wasn't at the reunion, because apparently "Joyce really wants to see me."
What they don't know is that I've grown up and I really, really don't like kids. I like extended family even less. I guess the idea that we're supposed to act like we're hella tight with these people that are in reality more like strangers is just beyond me.
Here's the extend of what I know about Joey and his family:
1.He's my mother's cousin.
2. His wife is from that country that got hit by a tsunami a few years back and wiped a lot of it out. (for those yelling the name of the country at their monitor and calling me an idiot, I'm really geographically retarded. I've just never been good at it. I couldn't even name all fifty states without a map, and even then it's iffy. It's just one of those things my brain can't do.)
3. They live in Miami (I just learned that ten minutes ago)
4. They have an 11 year old daughter, Joyce.

Apparently, this video of me playing with peek-a-boo with baby Joyce is a favorite in their household. They love it so much. Do I remember it? ...vaguely, and probably only because it's been mentioned a few times across the years.

Well cousin Joey and family are stopping off at my grandmother's before they go back down to Miami, and really want to see me. They want to see me. Joyce wants to see me. Just one more peek-a-boo, for old time's sake.

I'm not going.

Why? Because deep inside, they don't want to see me. They want to see 11 year old, 3'9" Alex climb out of the car, and in his tiny, tiny voice, say "Peek-a-boo!" Joyce doesn't want to see me. In the video, she sees 11 year old Alex, and she sees someone she could be friends with. They could play. They can run around now, now that she's not an infant. They can play on swings and run in the woods. She and 11 year old Alex can have a blast.

But that's not me anymore.

I'm 22. I'm two feet taller, I've probably tripled and then some in weight. My voice is deep now. I've got acne.
The Alex they want to see isn't the Alex they'll get.
They'll be disappointed. They'll be sad. And the image will be ruined. This cute, adorable, perfect version of me will be shattered... and that's not what they want.
Sure, they'll head back to Miami, disappointed they didn't get to see me...
but if they had seen me, they'd be even more disappointed.

So I'm going to let them continue to watch the home video of 11 year old Alex, and let their minds play with that. I don't even know if there are any home videos of me other than that one, so it's not even my memory to play with. There's no possible way I can live up to the standards that Joey and his family have set up for me... so it's honestly better that I don't show up at all.

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