10 Things You’ve Probably Experienced During Family Gatherings

Remember in the not-so-distant past when family gatherings used to be a thing? You probably saw them as more of an obligation than a fun event–one that interfered with your weekend or study time… But now that it’s been over a year since the pandemic hit, you realize you actually miss going to family gatherings. While that’s still not an option yet with the health and safety protocols in place, we can always look back on the memories we’ve made instead. Here are 10 things you’ve probably experienced during a family gathering.

1. You’re asked if you have a girlfriend or boyfriend yet.

Growing up, you were always advised by your relatives to concentrate on your studies first instead of getting distracted by relationships, so you get to enjoy a few years of being exempted from the classic “do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?” question. But once you graduate college, all your relatives start asking you why you’re still single. What happened to prioritizing school, auntie? How do you expect us to find a girlfriend or boyfriend when we’re supposed to be studying the whole time?


2. Your parents and relatives started sharing their kids’ achievements.

Photo from Gulf Insider

It could start with someone mentioning their kid being part of the Dean’s List, and it triggers a conversation where everyone is eager to talk about their kid’s achievements. Your parents might share that you became the president of your school organization, an aunt might talk about how her daughter got a promotion, and an uncle might reveal that his son had recently been engaged. Sometimes, the conversation would even veer towards the skills you learned as a child, even if those skills are practically non-existent by now. 


3. You had to participate in an impromptu talent show.

Screenshot from Monsters, Inc.

In line with the previous point, if your relatives find out that you can sing, dance, or play a musical instrument, they will most likely make you do a demonstration. You would be lucky if there didn’t happen to be any musical instruments lying around, but if it’s a matter of singing or dancing, you’ll most likely find yourself reluctantly participating in an impromptu talent show in the middle of a restaurant. 


4. You sat next to a relative who keeps giving you food.

You know that relative–whether it’s your grandparents or your aunts, who always think you’re too shy to get food for yourself, so they keep piling more food on your plate no matter how many times you tell them you’re already full. “No need for a diet,” they would say as they load your plate up with the equivalent of a seven course meal.


5. You taught your grandparents how to use their phone for the 4063rd time.

Photo from Horizon

Grandparents aren’t the most tech-savvy people, although many of them still try their hands at smartphones. They usually know how to use all the basic functions, but when they get disconnected from the internet or don’t know how to turn on the flash on their cameras, they will turn to you for help. Situations like this make you feel like an expert IT technician, even though you did nothing but press a few buttons.


6. You had to deal with a child having a tantrum.

Photo from Getty Images

Family gatherings are a chance to bond with your cousins, but sometimes, the younger ones are too busy having tantrums. You never seem to know the reason why they’re upset. It might not have anything to do with you, although once or twice, you probably caused it because you ate the last piece of kropek that they really wanted or refused to let them borrow your phone when they wanted to play a game.


7. You have relatives who keep forgetting how old you are.

We all have those relatives who we rarely see. They usually have the impression that you’re still a child even though many years have already passed, so when they see you at family gatherings, they would comment about how much you’ve changed and how tall you’ve grown. It’s a nice compliment to hear, especially if you literally haven’t grown a single inch in a while. 


8. You got dragged into a game of mahjong, but you don’t know the rules.

Photo from CBC

Mahjong has always been a sacred game for the adults of the family, but you’re hit with the realization that you’re an adult already (even if you don’t feel like one) when your aunts and uncles invite you to play mahjong. That’s when you also realize that you don’t know any of the rules, and you can add that to the checklist of ways you have disappointed your ancestors.


9. You heard the words “when I was your age…”

This has become a very well-known line already, as you would always hear someone say: “when I was your age, I already had a stable job” or “when I was your age, I already got married.” However, this line isn’t always intended as criticism because there are times when relatives really want to reminisce about the past, and you just have to sit there and listen to their stories even if you’ve already heard it before.


10. You’ve tried to wrangle everyone into a family photo

Photo from 10 Things I Learnt In

What would a family gathering be without a family photo? As simple as it sounds though, the process of taking the photo could be tedious because you pretty much have to wrangle up the kids who are running around the restaurant, the cousins who are too busy on their phones, the aunts who might still be in the bathroom or the grandparents who are already asleep.

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