GL's ultimate family reunion survival guide
Babysitter NOT for Hire
You’ve already played hide-and-go-seek a million times and changed too many diapers to count. Nobody said anything about you acting as the babysitter for this shindig. So speak up, sistah! Mention to your aunts and uncles that you’d really like to get to know some of your older cousins, or spend some time with your grandparents. Chances are, your aunts and uncles didn’t even realize that you were playing mommy all day, and they’ll be happy to give you a break after all your hard work.
Don’t Knock It ‘Til Ya Try It
There’s always that one thing or person at a family reunion that you’re dreading coming into contact with. It may be your aunt’s scary-looking potato salad, your uncle who spits when he talks, or your cousin’s overwhelming desire to teach you how to fish. But before you head for the hills, try the food or activity, or talk with the family member that you’ve been avoiding. You never know when you might find a new fave food, or discover that your uncle is actually a really cool guy. And if your worst instincts were right, then at least the next time you won’t feel bad about politely declining your family members’ invitations.
That Awkward Moment When…
The last time you saw your Aunt Mary, she had accidentally walked in on you while you were in the bathroom. It was super awkward, and you ended up avoiding her ‘til it was time for you and your ‘rents to say goodbye. Well, it’s time to turn over a new leaf, chica. Don’t let history get in the way of having good family relationships—when ya see your relatives, smile and greet them all as if nothing bad has ever happened. They’ll probably play along because they’ll either have forgotten the oh-so-embarrassing episode, or they’ll just figure that you’ve matured since then.
Clinginess Isn’t Just Bad in a BF
Whether it’s a younger cousin who idolizes you or an uncle who is fascinated by your love of tennis, there are some relatives who just won’t take a hint and leave you alone. But rather than saying something that you’ll regret later, keep your cool. Be patient, and wait ‘til you can get a moment alone with one of your parents to explain to them your dilemma. If they know that you’d prefer not to hang out with the same family member for the entire reunion, they’ll probably do something to help you out. They can either distract the person themselves the next time you’re being followed, or, for example, they can speak to your cousin’s mom about introducing your cousin to someone new the next day.
You know that awkward stage where you’re too old for little kid games like tag or dollhouse, but too young to sit and chat with the grownups for hours on end? Well here’s how to skip right over it: head to the grownup group and ask your aunts and uncles if anyone would be up for playing a more organized sport, like baseball or soccer. Once ya have a few takers, you can open up the game to your younger cousins, too. Just make sure that there’s an even amount of good and bad players on each team, and don’t get too hung up on the rules of the game. It’ll be a good way to mix up the age groups, and it’ll keep anyone from feeling left out.