I’ve just spent the weekend at a family wedding. It wasn’t only a weekend of love, commitment and happy memories, it was also a weekend of education, ridiculousness and inappropriateness. Most people who attended the event, will resonate with the first three, but there are 9 people who will be nodding, smiling and also hoping I don’t reveal half of the things that were talked about in a south Devon caravan over the course of 3 days (apologies to our half term holidaymaking neighbours). Don’t worry, I won’t disclose the contents of those conversations, what happens at the caravan stays at the caravan, but lets just say I will never look at waffles in the same way again.
I laughed so much this weekend, I spent most of the time just sat there clapping like mute seal. I’m not officially part of the family by marriage or blood, but I’ve never met a bunch of people that are more warm, welcoming and share a similar sense of humour to me. Most of them believe I’ve earnt my place in the family though, just by spending the last 14 years as the long suffering girlfriend of their relation (my other half). He has an inordinate amount of cousins from Scotland, Ireland and Newcastle. They are all roughly the same age and as kids they grew up spending a lot of time together. As they grew older, the get togethers have reduced, but every time they do have a reunion at a wedding or a big birthday celebration, it’s a pretty unforgettable experience. I am always sad to see them leave, but pleased that my liver and kidneys get a rest from the immense amount of alcohol that is consumed.
There are so many ‘in’ jokes, I genuinely feel sorry for anyone outside the circle of trust that attempts to join the family. Not because they wouldn’t receive a warm welcome, but because of the hilarious random stories and anecdotes that get discussed, which if you are faint hearted and easily offended, then you would be left speechless and heading for Wikipedia or as we call it ‘Wackapedo’, to find out what the hell they’re talking about. Heaven forbid that someone overhears any conversations without any context. In fact, even with context you’ll probably still think we’re weirdos!
The mixture of accents are another thing. I have a Portuguese mother and Welsh father, so I think I’m pretty good at understanding different ones, but I must say I struggled to begin with! I was 19 years old when I first met all my other half’s family, to say I was intimidated was an understatement. My nervousness was completely unwarranted though, but when you have a roomful of Scottish, Irish and Geordies talking and drinking together, it is certainly a sound to behold! I love it though, particularly all the colloquialisms used, it is awesome to listen to. And now I’m so used to their accents, there is rarely a time when I have to ask any of them to repeat themselves. Only maybe when I’m confirming logistically how someone could poop in a smarties pencil case. Don’t ask.
They have so much love for each other though, it’s truly awesome. They can rip the shit out of each other, but behind the jesting there is an unspoken family camaraderie which I think is a rare quality nowadays. The fact that they can go months, sometimes years without seeing each other but when they are reunited, it’s like they’ve never been apart, and they just pick off where they left off. I feel lucky and privileged to call myself part of this eclectic bunch of people. The wedding itself was epic. In beautiful surroundings, with an incredibly happy and well suited couple. Y.O.M.O. You only marry once. Quite apt. And although I’m not, I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to host a party for this crazy lot, wedding or otherwise.
Now, I’m off to watch Step Brothers so I know which random outbursts over the course of the weekend were quotes from the film and which were just drunken misunderstandings #smugglershole