When I first noticed the laziness in some relatives, I was about six years old. I recalled watching an uncle who was only a few feet away from the kitchen tell another relative to carry his dirty glass and plate into the kitchen. I didn't like him for that and later in life I still didn't like him when he repeatedly asked others, while sitting on his behind, including myself, to do more of the same--be his servant. I refused. He was able-bodied, there was nothing wrong with helping himself.
There were other family members like that lazy uncle, men, who sat in front of TV screens next to girlfriends or wives for hours, and they would rarely buy a gift, offer assistance and sometimes added no value to any conversation others were having. Those male relatives who did pitch in to help the women in the kitchen was distracted or talked into joining the other men in the living-room area and some would quite boldly say, "You don't need to help the women, come in here with us."
These family members, who don't bother to do much of anything--not even entertain children, tend to eat the most, complain more than others, and talk too much. They are also the ones who want to be treated with respect, but don't act very respectfully to others. Over the years, the family gatherings declined and those who use to host have said, "I am so glad I don't do that anymore...I hated it when people didn't bother to help. The food was costly to buy and time-consuming to make, so glad I don't have to feed a bunch of lazy You Know Whats!"
Some of these same lazy relatives were also the ones who didn't stay employed for long, didn't get married or did but later separated or were divorced, and they were also the ones who had many health issues, because they didn't bother to get checked out.
As I look back over those times of being with fun, wild, lazy, and crazy relatives, I realize that good times didn't last very long. As I grew up, it also became harder to deal with some of those family members too without becoming easily frustrated and irritated with the things they would say and do. Unfortunately, many have since died.
If there is anything I would say to those, who are working hard to make a family gathering pleasing, relax, no matter what you do, leopards don't change their spots. If you don't have to invite some, don't. (I have no regrets not seeing some of those trouble-makers once I became an adult).
Get the most out of the good memories with those you sincerely enjoy being around, because life is indeed too short!
Nicholl McGuire also maintains the following blog:
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