"...mainly because they thought it was The Right Thing To Do."

I like that author Ann Patchett wrote this honest, clear-eyed essay "The Family Party Everyone Hated? It was Mine." It made me laugh, and also made my head spin at the shear number of people who entered her life through the channel called "family."

I appreciated the wisdom of these words:

"...I was interacting with this endlessly extended family as if I were still a child, brightly rolling up my sleeves and getting along. When you’re a kid someone else deals you a hand and you have to play it. As adults we’re free to fold...

Obligation and shared history can get us only so far. After a while you keep up with the people you like and the rest fall away."