I love my family. I really do. Overall, I'm very close to my family. In the traditional Filipino culture, there really is no "extended" family. They are all just "family" and as such, you're subject to the whims and judgments of everyone.
In high school, one of my aunts constantly nagged me about a girl I was "in love" with. She didn't like this girl and made it painfully obvious to my inexperienced self each and every time I saw her. Which, when you're being nagged about a girl you like was always too often.
Now, that girl is long gone, my aunt and I are still close but a new cloud lingers on my horizon. It's my other aunt.
Don't get me wrong, my other aunt is great. I love her to death. She oversees the company accounting after I've hacked my way through it. She's the one who recalculates revenue, taxes and works with our CPA to make sure things are in line and on-time.
I see her on a regular basis, but I usually hear from her quarterly, when it's: "Jay, we need to talk. I need checks."
Notice the plural in the word "checks." It's never just one. It's always a cascade of checks needed to be issued and sent to either the IRS, the Comptroller of Maryland or some other government agency extorting us for more cash to feed the machine. It's a never-ending cycle of revenue, taxes and checks - and I'm starting to wonder if it will affect my relationship with my aunt.
There are days when I fear her call, because I know it's the call for money to the IRS. But I was going to use that money to put a down payment on a business jet, I think to myself. Not anymore sucka, you got to pay and your aunt is the Agent For The Reaper.
I want to regale you with stories about my aunt calling, the phone wringing and me, crouched on the floor of my basement in fetal position - but it hasn't reached that stage yet. There are still family gatherings and we sit, chat, joke, laugh and gossip about what problems are in the family this month, so things are still good.
Perhaps next year I'll find myself in the fetal position on the floor in the basement...