For most stories, journalists need to reach out to experts in the field. But for this one all I had to do was look at my own family. We like to say that we put “the fun in dysfunctional”. I've seen many an argument on which turn to make when heading to the family cabin (which even though we've been a million times, no one ever seems to know the right way). And don't ever think about complaining about what you're served (even if it seems as though every meal is the same) — I've seen it all. The evidence from our recent summer vacation supports the fact that we continue to live up to that motto.
Every July, three families from my mother’s side descend upon our grandparents’ cabin in northern Minnesota. We exchange pleasantries — “Good to see you. How have you been?”—and then five minutes later, shocker! Chaos ensues when someone posts a picture on Facebook or steps in Uncle Joe's dog's "gift" on the front lawn. Typical.
Some families manage to find harmony when vacationing with kinfolk. I have no idea how they do it. Our four, very different families operate on black and white schedules and what is a hard and fast rule in one family is a suggestion in another. By the end of the week, it’s like, How are we even related?
If nothing else, it’s taught me how to diffuse potentially disastrous situations. Here are seven tips on how to handle, bear, and possibly even enjoy family gatherings. Amazing, right?