Family Values

I went to a family birthday party for my “first cousin once removed.” This is what my aunt who does the family’s genealogy explained to me.

She turned one-year-old.

The cousin not the aunt.

There were babies everywhere, so you know I loved that! Much of my family drove over from Melbourne for the event, so we did what we do: Made small talk with the other party guests for about five minutes before we formed a tight little circle of just immediate family and spent the next four hours catching up and sharing inside jokes. It was awesome.

Every once in a while, one of us would hop up to offer assistance to the hostess, and then grab a plate of food on the way back to the circle.

I’m not really sure why people keep inviting us places as a group, but hey, I’m not complaining. Any excuse to hang with the fam’. I had a great time.

As some point between pleasantries and that nauseous feeling I got after eating too much sugar, my auntie and I were chatting, and she asked me, “You’re not going to blog about this, are you?”

I said, “Oh, no. Of course not.”

And I’m not. Of course.

I got up this morning and was reading some of the articles featured on and stumbled across this one: “Do You Blog About Your Dates?” Have you read it?

Now, devotees will remember that I’ve vowed not to write anymore about guys I’ve dated or am dating. Which is kind of a shame, because it does make the blog a bit more fun. There’s nothing funnier than life, and when you’re dating, well, as my dear mother reminds me, you have to keep your sense of humor about it.

Making the decision not to tell-all was not a conclusion I came to without some thought. If you know me at all, you’ll know it takes me a loooongtime to make a decision. I’m the same person who took three years to decide on a sofa. And P.S. the sofa in question was finally decided upon because it was on the showroom floor, available, and on sale two weeks before my grandmother was due to pay a visit.

Here’s why I came to the decision not to blog about that aspect of my social life, though:

As funny as it may be and as much fun as it is, it’s personal.

More personal than the things I do choose to share here. It’s the stuff I don’t even write in my journal. And while it did give me some relief to share the personal stuff when I was going through a particularly tough break-up, I don’t need to do that anymore. I know myself better now.

There are some experiences, some people you meet, that make you grow up. That’s what happened to me. I grew up. I went from being a girl to being a woman. And if dating is a girl’s realm, loving someone is a woman’s.

As much fun as dating can be, as it should be, when you’re moving into relationship territory with the one you’ve chosen, it becomes serious, because they become your constant companion, your co-conspirator, your person to lean on and share your secrets with. In short, they become your family.

And I see that with a clarity I didn’t possess before I had my heart broken by someone who didn’twant to be my family. It made me realize the value of those who do and who already are.

And my family is the kind that bands together at parties and holiday gatherings to form a tight little circle. We’re friendly and open to outsiders, many of whom become like-family, but we do seem to trend clannish. And I don’t want to ever have to explain to a member of my clan why the story of us is plastered all over the internet. It’s their story as much as it is mine, so it’s not really mine to tell, even if I didn’t know they were going to be part of my clan when I wrote it.

My cousin remarked to me as she was walking me to my car at the end of the party, an overflowing plate of food balanced in one hand, keys in the other, and two souvenir Hershey bars tucked into my purse, “I think family is all that counts, you know? If you have family, you have everything.”

As much as I love my fellow bloggers, we’re friends. I value that, too. A lot. Really. More than you know. But it’s not quite a family. It’s a community. No disrespect intended.

So, no, I don’t blog about dating anymore. I don’t gossip about the trials and tribulations of the rest of my family either. I’m not about to upset my house to further my blogging hobby.

Because if you have family, you have everything.

And if I’m going to gossip about my family, I’ll do it with them.

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