You see family, have a great time, only to be kicked right in the fucking pants

My Opoe (oh-pooh) and me!

I’ve been working on a post about my weekend in Grand Rapids. I’m struggling.

When Tina and I drove away from my grandparents’ apartment after the weekend with everyone, I started to blubber like a child. I was an emotional basket case. I had to pull over, because I was overwhelmed with the pride, joy and happiness of having a great time with my family.

There were so many experiences in the past 10 years when I was so worked up over my non-theism that entire trips were ruined, because I couldn’t be myself. Now I’m free from that albatross. I am proud of who I am. I don’t need to talk about my lack of faith. It just is, and that’s all the difference. Now I can focus on loving my family and being myself.

Seeing them used to stress me to the nines. Now, it seems to be getting better.

I made one comment about my beliefs to my brother about the incident that happened here. Damn, I feel (and felt) shitty about that. I should have been more sensitive. I said to my brother Jon, “I ‘liked’ a video who’s title was ’10 reasons the bible is repugnant.” I should have been more sensitive to my brother’s beliefs. I could have said, “I ‘liked’ a video that was called, “10 reasons why the bible isn’t cool.”

But even though their culture is steeped in prayer and expressing their beliefs constantly, I keep mine to myself (for the most part).

For real though, I continue to have excellent experiences with my family. I told Tina that my niece was even more affectionate toward me than ever, which I simply melted over. It was really cool. There was this one point when I took this picture (to the right), and afterwards, I overheard my niece whisper to my other two second cousins, “That’s my uncle.” With major emphasis on “my”.

My heart was gooey caramel on top of melted chocolate.

I was writing yesterday about the weekend, and I was smelling the air. Something was stinky. I grabbed the armpit of my shirt, and it wasn’t that. I plunged my finger in my belly button … not that. I couldn’t quite put my finger on the odor. And then I thought, “This smells like my family’s dirty laundry.” So I didn’t post what I wrote. I decided to sit on it.

To distract myself from writing, I went ahead and put together some of the shots that I took at my Opoe’s birthday party.

You see, I got the invite to go to the party about six weeks ago. The invite was a forwarded email from one of my aunts through my dad saying, “Hey, Pieter, ask Jeremy to come and make sure he brings his camera.” When I talked to my dad about it, “Make sure you bring your camera,” he says.

It’s hard not to be offended by that. First, I bring my camera everywhere. That’s not the issue. I “donate” my services often. But to have people want you at a major landmark event and in the same fucking breath as “Jeremy” is “bring camera.”

That’s selfish.

That’s wrong.

That’s crossing the line of socially acceptable and socially handicapped.

How about, “Hey Jer, we hope you and your lovely wife come to Opoe’s birthday. We’d love to see you and catch up with you. I know you’re a photographer for a living. We’re not loaded with extra cash, but we were hoping you wouldn’t mind bringing your camera with you to get a shot or two of the entire family. Would you mind?”

I touched up several shots and uploaded almost 70 pics yesterday to facebook and to my pro site for printing. I was even going to offer the cheapest prices possible for printing and let them download the shots for free if they knew a better place to print … something I do for friends and family.

You know what happened? I got a comment from my cousin this morning on facebook asking if there were any photos of the kids.

Did you see that? It just landed there on the floor. It was the straw that broke my back.

I was already moderately offended walking into the church where we had the birthday party. I was even more offended, because family had put together boards of pictures showing my Opoe’s life.

I was in one photo, and Tina wasn’t in any of them. Of course Tina pulled me aside and asked why she wasn’t in any of them. We couldn’t invite everyone to our wedding, but those who were there had cameras.

I’m appalled. Did I go up to the people who donated their time and energy to creating those boards and say, “Where are the pictures of me? How about of Tina?” No, I hugged those people and said, “These boards are awesome. Thank you for putting them together.”

I donated more services than I heard my aunts spent to buy the food, Sprite® and sherbet to make that disgusting ubiquitous church-event staple called “punch”, and they have the audacity to say, “Where are the shots that we don’t see?”

Well, first of all, your kids were not at the party; they were running around the church the entire time. When I was hefting 10 lb lens around for candid shots, they were nowhere to be seen.

Secondly, I didn’t go out of my way to work at an event in which you get to just hang out. I came to celebrate Opoe’s birthday with my family. When you’re celebrating, do you bring your work with you? I didn’t think so.

You can say all day long, “Jer, you’re being to sensitive.” And you might be right. Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.

Does this mean you’re going to get a nose full of my family’s dirty laundry? It just might. Stay tuned.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s