Author Topic: "Cool kids" vs the rest of us at Christmas - what to do? - more info post 10  (Read 3599 times)

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penelope2017

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Re: "Cool kids" vs the rest of us at Christmas - what to do?
« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2011, 10:41:52 PM »
OP here.  The other problem between the two groups is it is definitely cut down the line of the drinkers vs. the non-drinkers.  Not that anyone in our family is totally against drinking, it's just that the card players drink non-stop and it gets louder and louder.  Grandma can't take it any more.  Now that she has a hearing aid (she's 85), the loudness is unbearable for her. 

It seems to me like for the last few years, there is a group in the family that comes to eat, tolerate the gift opening, then bolts for the basement to drink and play cards.  In Grandma's old house, there wasn't a basement so the card playing was done on the same level where all of the rest of the family was and it seemed way more inclusive. 

I guess I just get upset when we get together and there are cliques.  This happens as well at our summer family reunion.  Cliques abound.  Grandma sees this and it upsets her.   My husband nailed it when he said that once Grandma passes, our family will fall apart.

I think more info is needed about the dynamics between the 2 "groups". The previous solutions seem so obvious to me...it wouldn't even be questioned in my family if the "non-cool" peeps started their own games or invited themselves to the other group...that I suspect that there must be something more going on here. If not, then any of the posted options are not rude. It also wouldn't be rude for your grandmother as hostess to announce that something different would be going on this year and have a different activity of her choosing or different way of handling the card game planned.

So OP, is it that you want to be included in the games, or you don't want others to play the games? What's the ultimate goal here?

If it is to be included, it sounds like the Grandma crowd, including you, doesn't want to play. You can't control others' behavior, though. So either you guys join in or things continue status quo. Generational ages are often going to be into different things. And it sounds like this crew holds this as traditional. You're still spending time together. Look at it that way.


cattlekid

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Re: "Cool kids" vs the rest of us at Christmas - what to do?
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2011, 11:20:50 PM »
I guess I'm just sad that there are cliques in my family.  So much so that you can see it when you sit down to dinner - there are multiple tables and you can see that some members just won't sit and talk with other members.  Same thing with our summer reunion - certain family members are not spoken to for the entire time they are there.   The whole thing just makes me sad, but I guess that's what happens in big families. 

I saw the same thing on my dad's side of the family this summer.  This family NEVER gets together except for weddings and funerals and one of my aunts took it upon herself to organize a reunion.  Almost everyone attended, but you could see the cliques there too.  It took time, effort and money for me to travel to this reunion and it just seemed to me like a giant waste of all three.

So OP, is it that you want to be included in the games, or you don't want others to play the games? What's the ultimate goal here?

If it is to be included, it sounds like the Grandma crowd, including you, doesn't want to play. You can't control others' behavior, though. So either you guys join in or things continue status quo. Generational ages are often going to be into different things. And it sounds like this crew holds this as traditional. You're still spending time together. Look at it that way.

Ms Aspasia

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Part of the group is too noisy for the host's comfort.  If Grandma wanted to change this, how should she go about it?  I assume she can ask people to keep the noise down.  Could she also ask them to stop drinking if that seems to be the underlying reason?


SuperMartianRobotGirl

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I think it's reasonable to want to be included, and it seems like all you'd have to do is set up another table and start another game,if there are always people waiting for a turn and more people who want to be included. But I don't think it's reasonable to expect everyone else to stop with that activity because you don't want them doing it. It's normal for big groups to break up into smaller groups, and it's a practical thing too depending on how big the group is and how big the largest room in the house is.

LadyL

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Re: "Cool kids" vs the rest of us at Christmas - what to do?
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2011, 09:41:31 AM »
I guess I'm just sad that there are cliques in my family.  So much so that you can see it when you sit down to dinner - there are multiple tables and you can see that some members just won't sit and talk with other members.  Same thing with our summer reunion - certain family members are not spoken to for the entire time they are there.   The whole thing just makes me sad, but I guess that's what happens in big families. 

Do you know the reasons for these "cliques"? Are the people grouping together closer to each other? Do you know why people are being excluded? There may be underlying reasons that you're not aware of. Big families tend to have very complex dynamics and more secrets than you might think. I'm the middle grandchild out of 14 and was shielded from family interpersonal drama until very recently (I'm 26).

It could also be a communication dynamic thing. LordL's family avoids talking to each other because several family members have volatile tempers. They will literally go through an entire meal without asking each other basic pleasantries like "how's the new job?" or "saw you got a new car, how's it working out?" etc. It can be horrifically awkward. LordL and I actively steer the discussion along various safe topics so that at least we're not all sitting there in silence.

Yvaine

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Part of the group is too noisy for the host's comfort.  If Grandma wanted to change this, how should she go about it?  I assume she can ask people to keep the noise down.  Could she also ask them to stop drinking if that seems to be the underlying reason?

I think the group going to the basement is the way they, and Grandma, are dealing with the noise level. Grandma could throw a dry event if that's what she wants, but the fact that she hasn't yet gives me the impression that she doesn't actually mind the drinking, she just has trouble hearing if she goes down there.

I guess I'm just sad that there are cliques in my family.  So much so that you can see it when you sit down to dinner - there are multiple tables and you can see that some members just won't sit and talk with other members.  Same thing with our summer reunion - certain family members are not spoken to for the entire time they are there.   The whole thing just makes me sad, but I guess that's what happens in big families. 

Do you know the reasons for these "cliques"? Are the people grouping together closer to each other? Do you know why people are being excluded? There may be underlying reasons that you're not aware of. Big families tend to have very complex dynamics and more secrets than you might think. I'm the middle grandchild out of 14 and was shielded from family interpersonal drama until very recently (I'm 26).

This is a good point--and also just that it's super hard for a huge group to all converse together. For example, any time I've been out to dinner with more than about 5 or 6 people, the conversation will split. And at big family gatherings, yeah, they do tend to spread through the house after dinner.