July 01, 2012

10 Things You Can't Escape At A Family Picnic

America, (and Canada) it is time to celebrate.  We commemorate our freedom and the inevitable things that are bound to happen at your family picnic.  Family picnics get a bad rap because there is no perfect family.  Some families live a little closer to dysfunction junction than others, but we all have our moments, so who is to judge. 

Maybe we could have some fun and make this a quiz:
1-5 "yes that's happened to me"=normal family
6-8 "yes, that's happened to me"= probably teetering on crazy town
9+ "yes, that's happened to me"= get checked out, and welcome, there is a support group, I am the President

Ten Things That Will Happen At Your Family Picnic:

Blow Off A Body Part

What is a family picnic without illegal fireworks?  Somebody is going to procure some illegal pyrotechnics and possibly injure themselves while putting on a show.  While fingers are the limb most likely to be lost, be careful of burns and deafness also.  I'd like to offer you some firework safety advice, but I don't have any.  They scare me, I'm a wimp. I like to watch them from a far distance, we are talking miles.  I'm already worried Aunt Velma is going to catch 'Sparklers gone Wild' on her iphone.  Be safe will you...and if you do blow off your finger, put it on ice, they might be able to re-attach it. Also notable, the next time you're in the firework tent spending a fortune, count the dude's fingers. If he tells you he lost them in Vietnam, he's lying. I will also take this opportunity to thank our service men and women, thank you.

What Did You Say?
Don’t' say something bad about my Grandma or anyone's Grandma for that matter.  You just shouldn't talk about peoples Grandmothers.  It will bring out the scrappy in almost anyone, and people who usually aren't scrappy can be scary scrappy when it matters. 

Food Poisoning
Watch what you eat.  I'm sure Aunt Betty's potato salad is fabulous, but if it has been sitting out in the sun for a few hours, you should probably steer clear and have some chips.  They are probably soggy and aren't healthy I know, but food poisoning is not fun.

Food Fight

In the moment food fights might be fun, but it's all fun and games until someone gets an apple chucked in the eye socket. An apple at top speed square in the eye only gives you a black eye and no street cred.  In fact, I will never live it down.  I need to get my 7 year old into baseball.

Don't jump in the pool in a bikini.  Just don't do that unless you are okay with public nudity.  I know I'm not the only victim of pool jumping nudity, just learn from your mistakes. Also be prepared for a heavy debate on whether your bikini malfunction actually showed nipple; very embarrassing.

Fights at family picnics and weddings are pretty much a given.  Sure, I know you have grievances to get off your chest; however, there is a time and a place.  NEVER in the history of the world was a family picnic the ideal place to "talk it out".  We all know after 3 glasses of liquid courage this won't be about the money they owe you, it will get ugly and escalate fast.  Naturally after Grandma breaks it up by threatening a heart attack, you only look a fool.  The family will eye you for 6 months afterwards wondering if you are going to pull a repeat performance at the Christmas festivities.  By the way, you should also not shout, "Hey whore" across the park, yes, I witnessed that.  For reference, I am neither the whore or whore caller. 

French Indian

It is summer.  The sun is not discriminating and will put the burn on you.  You will offer, beg and tell some of your relatives to wear sunscreen and they will pshaw you because they have one eleventy-thousandth of Indian in them and "don't burn".  Suffice to say, they will look like a lobster by the end of the day.  Wear some sunscreen for crying out loud, even if you don't burn.  Nothing takes the fun out of the 4th more than a lobster red sunburn and possible skin cancer.  {Some weatherman weathermen blame their fake tan on the lil bit of French Indian in their blood, whatever you say, Barlow.}
My great, great, great grandfather...

Don't Eat The Kids Food

 Don't deny to your child that you ate their last S'more.  Nobody, I mean nobody can eat a gooey s'more without getting marshmallow on their face, it's physically impossible. So the evidence is clearly all over your face and then you have been caught in a lie.   Nothing breaks all credibility as a parent than being caught in a lie, and you may never live it down.  Again, know nothing about this, but I plead the 5th, S'mores are delicious.

Port-O-Pot Faux Pas

Do NOT forget your flip flops when going to the Port-o-Pot/Biffy/Portable Restroom.  This seems like a no brainer, but I wouldn't feel the need to tell you if I hadn't witnessed it first hand myself.  I would also go potty before you leave home.  If you find it necessary to visit the porto-lieu, make it snappy, hot summer days don't make those things smell so fresh.

What Did You Forget?

You are bound to forget something, just make the best of it.  But usually somebody has to make a run to the store for plates, spoons, ice, napkins, etc.  I find even when making a list this happens, and then I'm only harder on myself because I made a list and still forgot stuff.  May as well forgo the list and wing it.


Yes, you can't escape family at a family picnic.  Wild or subdued as they may be they are your family.  We can't choose our family in this life, might as well go with the list advice and make the best of it.  Families will accept you for all your crazy, black-eyes, and nipple flashing; most forgive.  The good ones have your back through thick and thin.  Our families know our histories, and still support us.  Yes, as dysfunctional as they may be, they are ours.  Love them while they're here, you'll look back fondly on the stories of the family picnics when you're old....and faking your very own heart attack.

Have a safe and happy Happy Fourth of July, and Canada Day to all my Canadian peeps!

 Did I forget anything?  I'm sure this could've been a list of 20 easy...what else can't you escape at family picnics?


  1. I'm not one for family picnics. It's too much work.
    I'd rather go out to lunch. :< )

    1. Word. You really have to amp yourself up for the picnics. But, taking the entire clan to Old Country Buffet leads to its own set of problems.;)

  2. I think you covered everything. I love drunken family feuds actually. Was always traumatic as a child, but now I kinda appreciate all that goes into a slurred "I shouldve said this a long time ago..."

    Can't believe you mentioned French Indian. #weathermanin

  3. Funny !Needed funny today ! Going to Canada for my family July fourth picnic, so lets see if any of this stuff happens:) Small get together, so maybe not ! And Yes families are ours to love & fight with.. whatever works ! Its good to have them!

    1. Have fun in Canada! And happy fourth to you too, sweets.

  4. Oh wanted to add ... Have a happy fourth Cari :)

  5. I never felt so relieved as when a loud shouting match & hair-pulling incident occurred at a family reunion on my hubz' side of the fam. They always appear so normal, with-it, put-together... yet here they were, these two crazy gals screaming & name-calling. It was DELICIOUS. Because this shit happens at EVERY family function on my side! Now when it happens, I can say, "Yeah, but your fam is pretty effed up, too, darlin'!"

    Happy Independence Day, Love! Hope you & the kiddies have a great one!!! :) xoxo

    1. There is ALWAYS someone else who is more dysfunctional than we are! Thank God for that!

  6. first, i think you covered a good amount of the crazy.
    second, i love the pic of your great, great, great grandfather. ;)
    third, i won't be sharing the results of my quiz. what happens at the family picnic, stays at the family picnic. that is all. :)

    1. Haha, those are words to live by! Love it!

  7. Seems like I always end up listening to some relative I've not seen in years go on and on about an ailment, a divorce, a bad boss or some other hoo-ha that is too personal/boring to be sharing for so long. The superficial stuff gets to me at times. I do love the burned hot dogs, though.

    1. I don't eat hot dogs, but there is something about a hot dog on the grill that is enticing. And yes, there is always someone who is knocking on death's door.

  8. I would LOVE to be called a whore at my family picnic. Hehe.

    1. Done! I actually think I would start laughing hysterically. it would make a heck of a post. No, these girls almost went to blows, I just ran before I got shot or something.

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