March 14, 2013
Over spring break I went to Miami with my family to celebrate my cousin Elena’s christening. Elena’s father is my cousin Liam, his wife Maria is from Colombia. Christenings are very special in Colombian culture and especially in Maria’s family. Like my family, Maria’s family also flew to Miami to celebrate this wonderful occasion. The day of the christening I chose to fulfill the iExamen assignment because my family, whose only job in life is to tease, would be at the celebration. Needless to say, I thought this assignment would be extremely interesting, especially since I could not come back with any teasing of my own.
Being away at school I have missed my family, but not so much the teasing. Whenever there is a chance someone on my mother’s side whether it be my older cousins, or uncles, and sometimes even my aunts, slip in what they think is a harmless joke. I call my mother’s side of the family the teasing Tracy’s because it seems that only the true Tracy’s can pull off a lighthearted tease or funny joke. My family members who are in-laws quickly realized this and leave most of the teasing to the Tracy’s.
On the day of the christening my Aunt Carolyn, Liam’s mother, told us all to be on our best behavior and make sure to especially behave in front of Maria’s family. Well I thought to myself, “this is going to be hard.” Throughout the morning I tried to lay low and avoid my cousins or my uncles that I know would be on their game, because family parties are primetime for teasing, tricks, and jokes. I played with my baby cousins and ran around outside with some of Maria’s little cousins also. I wanted to observe the jokes and tricks for the day.
Not even five minutes into the party and I could hear my three cousins joking around with each other and insulting one. Liam, Brendan, and David are brothers and they pick on each other all the time. They hadn’t been together for six months so there were lots of jokes and tricks to be played make up for lost time. Brendan’s new favorite trick is having his two-year-old daughter insult his brothers or play a trick on his mother. This is a great strategy because who wouldn’t find a two year old adorable, even if she was being put up to some mischief.
When I talked to my cousins, they did not try to pick on me. We talked about school and all the great things about Loyola, life on campus, and the Jesuit ideals. We had a great conversation together. They gave me insight to what they wished they could go back and do over or do again. They all agreed studying abroad junior year is a must. They wished that they had taken advantage of that opportunity when they had the chance. I was so happy that I was not a target or a victim of my family’s jokes or tricks. Unfortunately I can’t say I was off the hook for the rest of the week.
Overall I found this activity very interesting and very rewarding. I was able to observe my family and how they interact and communicate with one another. It was a great test to myself to try and not go along with the teasing. I liked being apart from the jokes for once and seeing how people reacted to it. Most of my family takes it, but by the end of the vacation, every one was ready for it to be over. I love my family very much but sometimes kind, true, and useful words are not in their vocabulary, after all, they are the teasing Tracy’s.