It’s a little known fact that you should really only stay with extended family for a maximum of three days. Three days is just the right amount of time to spend with your in-laws, great aunts, great uncles, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. At the end of three days, you will part ways looking forward to the next time you will get to see them. The longer you stay, the higher chance that everyone will get on each others’ nerves and will also increase the chance that you may not want to see them for a really, really, really long time again.
You may wonder how I know this or wonder if I have suddenly become some etiquette expert overnight. In some ways, I have. In other ways, I’ve come to this knowledge through much trial and error. Nearly 10 years later, I have come to the factual conclusion that three days is a pretty magic number and amount of time.
I’ve been with my extended family for nearly six days now and I can tell you that my theory and conclusion has been proven again. I was fortunate enough to have a respite in between when Ninja came to meet us for the family wedding and we were able to be in our own hotel room on a far away floor. That small window of time away has helped to preserve and prevent myself from going nuts. Despite all the laughter and fun we are having, it is clear that it is just time for everyone to go back home and resume normal life.
The only exception comes from having a small child, preferably under the age of 7. This child must be entertaining, good-natured, and be a little bit of a diva. It also helps if this child is relatively cheerful, cooperative, and cute.
If such said child can craft stories and draw pictures, the chance that this child can bring together a family that has driven each other nuts is high. See the picture evidence below:
Such pictures usually come with some sort of a story and if that child can tell those stories for nearly an hour, all will be forgiven and the family will depart on a happy note with only memories of laughter and love.
Tonight, Ninjette sat the entire family down (one great grandmother, two great-great aunts, two great aunts, one great uncle, one grandmother, one grandfather, and one mother) for an hour – everyone sitting side by side – and “read” them stories that she wrote while showing them her illustrations. Everyone’s eyes were on her and for that hour, we were all on the same side, same team, same family – and doting and loving a little girl all together. It reminded me why I love my crazy family so much, no matter how much they may drive me or each other a little nuts. It also reminded me that our time with them is coming to a close. My heart already aches at how much I am going to miss them.
Oh, and my family would all agree that Ninjette has a shot at being a storyteller, or being on Broadway, or tv/movies. They are recommending that I send her to Manhattan to some special school that can really nurture these talents.
My dear family, you’re right – she is pretty talented. She knows how to bring a family together and break a hard-fast three day rule while reminding us why getting together is so important.