We are on holiday this week, in Noosa, with all the in-laws. By ‘all the in-laws’, I mean my husband’s family. About 42 of us have gathered, some from the US, some from Australia, and some from New Zealand. Of the 42 people here, 8 of us are not blood relations.
It’s an odd sensation, being part of a group to which I don’t really belong, except through a relationship I chose nearly 20 years ago now. I am a little on edge all the time, not quite understanding the family connections and nuances, not quite sure what the expected behaviour is, not quite able to work out how to fit in. And given that I self-identify as an introvert, spending hours and hours with other people is wearying in any case. The only time I really relax is in our own unit, with just my own immediate family there. And my husband’s brother, who is a good friend as well as an in-law.
I wonder if this experience is a little bit like being an immigrant. Always a little on edge, never quite understanding what the expected behaviour is (“Ladies a plate”, anyone?), not quite able to just fit in.
This experience is good for me.