Well That Wasn't So Bad
The danger of the family reunion was somewhat exaggerated, it seems. For one thing, most of the time we were there, it was just my aunt and uncle added to my normal sense of family. It was a nice Nevada summer day, warm and dry, and we sat around and did nothing. Finally, one of my cousins pulled up in her nuclear family for the last couple of hours. The other cousin and her family never showed, which might have made things overwhelming. Nobody seemed extraordinarily eager to press me about my plans for life, which was nice. In fact, the only misstep I might have made came at the end. I had played with my cousin's 6-year old kid for a while, and she thanked me for it as she left. I replied "kept her out of your hair, eh?" which seems harmless enough, but her expression went blank like I might have said something wrong.
No excess of patriotism, no grilling Rowan, no being forced to eat things I don't want to eat, all good, but unfortunately, no poker.
Still, it was remarkably comfortable, and I think the 6-year old thinks I'm wonderful for playing with her.