“The more, the merrier” — or not.

My aunt, my dad’s older (deceased) brother’s wife, has been based out of New York temporarily since the end of May until now. Despite her having been here for over three months, I’ve only seen her once. Part of this is because of my own travel, part of it is because she’s been traveling around the East Coast to visit family and friends, and part of it is just because our schedules don’t mesh, and I don’t want to see her with five of her friends every single time we meet. She’s very much of the mentality that “the more, the merrier,” so whenever she sees me, she always wants to bring at least one or two of her Jehovah’s Witness friends along. When it’s just us, I have to insist that it just be us; I can never just assume that when she makes plans to see me that it will ever just be her. With these people — we always have absolutely nothing in common, and we just have to make polite small talk, and then after we part, I immediately forget anything I may have learned about them. I’m sure they feel the same way about me. Oh, and her son, my cousin who lives in Brooklyn, never comes because he is angry that his mother spends all her time with JW friends and no time helping him raise his son. Well, I don’t feel sorry for him.

After spending two weeks in Honduras with her JW friends, she is back for less than a week in New York, and then going back to San Francisco on Monday night. I asked if I could see her before she left; the only time she had “free” was on Saturday for lunch. Yet she said that when Chris and I got to the restaurant that we ask for a table for five or six. There’s only three of us, so obviously she’s invited two to three other friends. When I ask her if we can just have lunch with the three of us, she insists that she already invited them and has to see them, and this is her only time she is free this entire weekend because she is seeing other friends the rest of the weekend. The only other time that will work before she leaves is Monday for lunch, but I have meetings throughout lunch time (yes, because some of us actually need to work), so I can’t do that.

So we had to give in to having lunch with her and her JW friends. We won’t have any meaningful conversation, and she will go about her happy-go-lucky life paying for all these random people’s lunches and enjoying her life, even though she doesn’t know how to spend any quality time with her real family. Maybe she just enjoys not having any really deep relationships with anyone, even those “closest” to her.

Maybe she’s realized what I have realized and knows that her real family isn’t so great after all.

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