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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Column: F*ck everything about Family Weekend

The UA’s annual “hide your drugs and sober up weekend,” or Family Weekend, is coming in hot. Great. 

As a student who has lost a parent, I have found myself dreading this weekend for the past two years. I can’t help it and, no, I don’t want to hang out with your family when they get here. 

When my father died, I realized that there is no handbook. There is a whole list of things that no one tells you will become utterly different now in your life­­­—no matter how long it’s been since your loved one has been gone. 

This phenomenon is not grief. Trust me. It’s a side effect of being a young person, losing a loved one, and then trying to figure out how to live through awkward situations for the rest of your formative years. 

Christmas? I don’t like it. 

All these families trying to look perfect, sending out Christmas cards, going to church together—everyone’s happy and living the American dream. 

B.S. You’re all just hopped up on egg nog.

Family Weekend is the same charade. Students across campus right now are scrambling to make their rooms flawless and maybe to come up with a few good grades to show their parental units. 

Don’t forget to hide your bong, kids! 

There is an uncomfortably large emphasis placed on this weekend, and I literally have no idea why. 

I hope while you’re shoveling that hot dog in your face at the tailgates this weekend, you can consider what it’s like to be an out-of-state kid, a student whose parents cannot come or even one who doesn’t have any family. 

It freaking sucks. 

It’s alienating: searching for places around Tucson to hide, hoping that there won’t be an invasion of sunburned, smiling families in “I’m an Arizona (insert whatever relative you are here)” shirts. 

Hope you didn’t pay too much for that scratchy, ill-fitting sportswear!

It’s like Disneyland. There are long lines everywhere, camera-happy tourists, no parking and an abundance of high-priced greasy foods.  Welcome to my nightmare. 

And, for the love of God, tell your parents to shut their pieholes for once. Don’t ask me “where are your parents?”That’s just so awkward.

During my freshman year, my mom came to Tucson. This is how some conversations people had with her went: “Where’s your father?” or “where’s your husband?” they asked. 

“He died five years ago,” said my mom.  

“I’m sorry. Nice to meet you.” 

I don’t know why that’s not included in icebreaker games! We should all be forced to talk about something truly upsetting from our past within the first three minutes of meeting someone. It’s intimate and sexy. 

If you’re a student whose parents enjoy participating in the whole “we’re perfect, we love each other and we are so proud to be in this happy, complete family” façade that we call Family Weekend, please remember something: Don’t ask if your friend, whose parents cannot be here for whatever reason, if they would like to share your parents for the weekend. 

Hell no, I’m not going to pretend that your dad is my dad. That’s weird. And I hate that. I hate him. If you ask me again I might throw a punch. 

Yes, I am cynical. No one told me that when I lost my dad, the smallest random things could turn me grouchy or that I would resent families trying to be something they’re not. No one is perfect; enjoy one another in the good and the bad.

To all of those in the “dead parent’s club”:  I salute you. Deep breath and remember—it’s only three days. 

Follow Trey Ross on Twitter.

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