first, it is my belief the that majority of people are closer (more comfortable, more connected, feel like they fit in best) with their mother's family. i know that is not everybody's experience, but it is mine as well as janine's, and many people i know. that said:
there was a card in the mail today for janine and me from my aunt (one of my dad's sisters), uncle and my two cousins. it was beautiful. they all each wrote a little blurb about how they saw the pictures online and we looked wonderful and happy and how they cannot wait to see us at christmas. but i got nervous as i was reading it. i searched for any possible insincerity, particularly from my cousins, in their messages.
i don't know why i still do that. nah, scratch that. i do. it goes back to what i wrote up top. because i've never felt 100% secure and part of the group with my father's side of the family. even more so as we all grew up. and even more than that now that i've been in NC for 3+ years. when we were younger my brother and i would go to family gatherings and our cousins (we have a shit ton) would laugh and get along and talk about stuff that neither billy nor i had any clue about. we always felt a bit left out. i think that's because their mothers were all sisters. and because my dad is horrible about relaying family info.
but i digress. i worried so much that my dad's family would hate janine secretly, that they would not really mean any of the nice things they said. it's an even worse feeling with our marriage, because a lot of people who are "fine" with gay people are not so "fine" with them getting married...for an example, see option two results of Kara's marriage poll. so despite the card and the wonderful messages, i still wonder if they really love me. or secretly judge me. i need to adjust my attitude. when cards from two more of my aunts (two more of dad's sisters), one of which was also signed by my grandma, came in the mail, i was excited and relieved.
i think it really is: i care what my cousins think because i never felt like i fit in, and i am nervous about janine going to boyle family christmas on christmas eve. my dad is one of 9, and every christmas eve we go out to yet ANOTHER of my aunt's house and sing carols and eat food and read "the night before christmas"...and this will be janine's first time. and mine, with a lady friend. not just abstract "steph is gay" but 100% real life example "yep, steph is gay, here's her wife"...i wish i didn't let that feeling get to me so much. i've just always felt weird about being the odd one out. i am the only openly gay family member. even my uncle's sister who looked/acted like a total dyke...up until she got married to some dude...well, i'm the only one. either way you'd think out of 23 cousins, there'd be someone else...nope. at least not in the open.
but you know what? i have the matriarch's blessing. grandma boyle has always loved me, definitely without a doubt loves janine, and that is really all i want or need. and she will be SO HAPPY to see us on the 24th. we didn't get to go last year because i caught a nasty stomach virus (booooo) and exposing my 89-year-old grandma to such a fucking awful thing was not a good idea.
anyway. i think i've thought this through enough. typing this out helped calm whatever unease i felt when i opened that card. and when janine gets home i'll talk with her about it.