I love my immediate family, and that includes the lovable little monsters− my nephews and niece. But if there is something I am eternally thankful for, we grew up not having close family ties and that entails no dreaded family reunions. So trust us not to be acquainted with our distant relatives because we are not fans of reunions. I would be so confused at how I became second, third, fourth cousins with Kuya A or Ate B and when they try to explain it to me, they ended up adding to my confusion and I will look so embarrassingly lost.
There was even a relative that I regarded as a cousin for as long as I can remember only to find out she’s my granddaughter. Imagine my horror! I’m like, how the hell did that happen?
But the horror does not lie in being reunited with relatives. Seeing them would have probably been awesome if not for those questions that make you mentally berate yourself for even bothering to go.
So I sincerely hope you will not come this close to actually saying these out loud.
Ilang taon ka na nga?
- Taon-taon naman po tayo nagkikita, just add one year please. That’s not so hard, di ba?
- Trenta po. At sampung taon na po akong nagsisi kung bakit pa din ako pumupunta sa reunion na ‘to.
Ano?! Single ka pa din? (and the next statement usually goes, “Aba’y di ka na bumabata.”)
- Ano? Wala pa din kayong manners?!
- So it’s a requirement now? Sensha na po, di lang ako aware.
- Kunin ang videoke microphone at sabihing: “Sa mga interesado pong malaman at para isang sabihan na lang…. Opo, single ako. Kung may tanong kayo, punta po kayo sa presscon sa sala pagkatapos niyong lapastanganin ang lechon.”
O, eh bakit wala ka pang asawa?
- Babae / Lalake din po gusto ko. And when they recovered from the shock, “Joke lang. Bisexual po ako.”
- Kung magaasawa po ba ako eh, maaahon sa pagkakautang ang Pilipinas? Di na ba kakailanganin ng mga kababayan natin na mangibang bansa?
- Kulang pa po ung ipon ko pambili ng papatol sa’ken eh.
- Actually kaya po ako pumupunta ng reunion para ipamukha niyo sa’kin yan. Thank you po ah!
Kailan ka ba ikakasal?
- Don’t worry, you’ll know. On Facebook.
- Pag legal na po ang same sex marriage.
- Kailan po ba kayo pwede?… hindi pumunta?
Ilang taon na kayong kasal, bakit wala pa kayong anak?
- Ewan ko po ba. Eh araw-araw, gabi-gabi ginagawa na nga namin. Iba’t-ibang posisyon na din nga. Pati nga sa opisina, pinupuntahan ko pa siya para lang gawin namin yun….. Atsaka…. (The trick here is to make them as awkward as possible )
- Sorry pero may deadline pala?
- So pinadala kayo ng NSO dito para mag-survey?
It’s like there’s no winning. If you’re single, they’ll pester you with your status and look at you with pity that it feels like they’re throwing you into the arms of any single man they’ll see on the street. As though marriage is the key to nirvana. And if you’re married and with no kid, they’ll insensitively ask you why you’re childless.
It’s a different ballgame too if you’re balikbayan; your clueless relatives think you’re pooping money wherever it is you’re working and you’re expected to treat them to expensive restos. Bad enough that they brought their entire family, they bring with them the cousin of their kids, househelp and all those other relatives who you don’t have an iota of an idea whether you’re relatives by consanguinity or affinity.
Then there are those relatives who just mean well and are actually concerned. So practice maximum tolerance whenever you can. I’m just glad we don’t have to bear with these occasions.
Here’s to hoping you won’t have to resort to these comebacks. Cheers!