@plainlaine I was in tears because:
a) I do not, like… Do families in general? Like I can barely handle my moms and my sister, I am okay with Pif’s family but they are by and large all extremely laid-back AND I only ever talk to them on the phone AND the one time I met them in person I spent half the time hiding and the other half drunk. I haven’t done an Extended Family Meal since my ex-family from whom I’m now disowned (who… had their own dynamics, whatever), and for some reason I did NOT think that this would be an overwhelming or stressful experience going in, so I was (by my own shortsightedness) unprepared for a lot of shouting people surrounding me and had a panic attack, which, incidentally, brings me to
b) this may be hard for someone who is, as you are, familiar with my girlfriend irl to believe, but among her relatives, she is noticeably the quiet one. I kind of thought maybe they would be, like, AS loud as her, but not significantly MORE loud. This is because I’ve never met a family of working-class Irish/Italian Americans from New York. I have now! Very Loud, Sensory Overload All The Time.