Ever since I was an infant, my extended family (on my mother's side) has held "informal" get togethers every Sunday evening. These were usually hosted by my grandma, who, without saying a word, somehow guilted everyone into coming. Every Sunday. For over 20 years. I can only imagine what that kind of power feels like.
Now that my grandma has left on a mission, the Sunday get together has dwindled to a few of us eating cereal at my Aunt's house. Thus, spouseman and I decided that he could safely opt out of the get-together. I would go, ( I can't not go. I have been cognitively trained to seek out my family every Sunday evening. No matter where they are.) and spouse would stay home to finish a project. (Ok, I'm outing him. He was tying a quilt for his friend's infant.)
Anyway, I show up at said get together, sans Dan. And you would think it was the freaking end of the whole world.
relative: "Where's Dan?"
me : "He's at home. He's finishing that quilt."
relative: "Did we hurt his feelings?" (me, internally: wtf?)
me: "No. He just wanted to finish that quilt."
relative: "Are you sure?"
relative: "Now I'm worried we hurt his feelings!"
me: trying to resist the urge to strangle relative.
other relative: Hey, where's Dan.
me: At. Home.
other relative: Well is he coming?
me: I don't think so.
other other relative: Wait! Where's Dan?
Replay scene 10 times.
Despite the fact that only 1/3 of the family was there, my missing husband was apparently so catastrophic, that the whole function fell apart. Despite the fact that I have been faithfully coming to these functions my whole life, my husband of barely over 1 year is clearly more important. Then I remembered the near-to-last thing my grandma said to me before leaving on her mission-
"If you ever leave Dan, I will just stop talking to you."
Gee, thanks. After we all die (and hopefully not by strangulation,) and are enjoying the next life as an eternal family, I will apparently need to duct tape myself to my husband. Because I just can't handle an eternity of "Where's Dan?"
I hope they have duct tape in heaven.