Men and women are fundamentally different. For a man, two weeks spending every motherloving minute with the wife, kid, in-laws, cousins, and fruit of the loins of the elders of the paterfamilias is something like hell, except worse, because in Hell they just get about punishing you, but with the family, the punishment comes clumped with interminable small talk and really wacky ideas. For a man, spending that kind of time with his own extended family is hell, too; the fruit & nuts mix of the in-laws only enhances the experience.
For the typical woman, spending that kind of time with the hubby and kids and extended family – appears to be the most wonderful kind of thing in the world, only there isn’t enough closeness and intimacy, so maybe we should try to do it for three straight weeks next year instead of the two weeks like we did it this year.
This would tend to confirm Coleridge’s observation, that women are insane.
It would also tend to confirm Coleridge’s observation that men are utterly stupid. After all, almost without fail, we look to marry women.
Just a note for women wondering how to negotiate the family / boyfriend / husband relationship landmine field with an ordinary guy, who doesn’t mind closeness, but who also doesn’t want to mainline it like a heroin overdose through a quarter inch pipe in the jugular. Find a couple really cool cousins – they can be guys, or “lads’ girls” who like sports and a pint. Get the cousins to schedule regular outings for your boy – maybe sports, maybe fishing, maybe just beers.
Don’t take it out on the boy. Think of him as a different kind of monkey from you. In a drug study where the drug was “emotional high” and a woman was the monkey, she’d hit the little button dispensing the drug every 30 seconds until she died, not eating, drinking or stopping as long as the supply continued. The guy monkey would hit the button 10 times in 15 seconds, scarf the drugs, run off to hump the girl monkey, then fall asleep in the sun picking fleas of his hairy belly and watching two other male monkeys hit each other with rocks.
As long as you remember this gender-based model of emotional behavior, you will be okay.