My experience with family reunions was my nuclear family traveling to some city (usually in the south) for a weekend, to “fellowship” with hundreds of other people who happen to share some great-great-great-great-ancestor with us. This was our attempt to fight the family-destroying legacy of slavery by establishing an extended family much wider than cousins, aunts, and uncles we saw at Thanksgiving dinner at Grandma’s house. Maybe I was too young to understand such a noble goal, and how to meet it, but for me, these events were mostly exercises in awkwardness and futility. Each one meant meeting strangers who I was supposed to build a connection with, using fumbling small talkish attempts to “get to know them”, but always remembering that Sunday would come and we’d head home to never think about each other again. Exchanged addresses forgotten without one letter sent, we’d return to our normal lives, until the next event 2-4 years later, where we’d repeat the cycle with a new set of people because no one ever attends every reunion. I’m sure these reunions still happen, but now that I make my own travel decisions, I can’t say I’ve been interested in attending one lately. It feels so artificial, and forced, that I haven’t been interested in finding a good reason to attend.
Cue A Better Tomorrow.