Ask a Book: The Big Sleep at a Family Reunion
Posted by: Keir Graff
Have a burning question about etiquette or literature? Ask a book!
Dear The Big Sleep,
I’m planning a family reunion. I anticipate nearly 100 guests spanning 4 generations and have booked a large block of rooms at a small, mountain resort. Given everyone’s unique and special needs, however, this task has become a logistical nightmare. Some people want to pay in advance and some want to pay later. Others demand a vegan option at the breakfast buffet. It has fallen to me to arrange airport transportation and, frankly, it’s impossible to keep track of everyone’s comings and goings. I want to turn it over to a professional event planner but my husband says that, since I volunteered, I’m stuck. I want help! Who is right?
—I Don’t Know in Idaho
Dear I Don’t Know,
The sunlight in the mountains has a way of being bright without showing you anything at all, and navigating the needs of a crowd that large is like playing lion tamer at a Shriner’s Convention. The question is, can some hired hand do a better job than a tailor’s dummy, or are you better off sticking it through to the end even though you may end this little vacation with little more than your coat, your hat, and a clipboard? Any question that can be answered with a question, though, is hardly worth asking. Keeping track of these characters you call family is your biggest challenge—but remember, a flatfoot won’t file a report until your beloved Aunt Mimi has been missing for at least 24 hours. And don’t even ring the station unless you want to know who Aunt Mimi really is and what she’s been doing—which, even if you made her up, can be hard to remember.
—The Big Sleep