UNITED STATES—I hate to admit this, but things are not looking pretty on my mother’s side of the family. We have been planning a family reunion after having a ton of fun 2 years ago in Charlotte, North Carolina. Well, the reunion has moved to my hometown, but we have a major, major problem. There is so much strife and family infighting, I have the slightest idea if anyone is going to even show up to the reunion. Why? It’s so stupid, but the 2 times that I have participated in the planning of a family reunion, it always leads to arguments, petty disputes and dysfunction amongst people.

People do get a bit involved with their feelings, and when you mix that with a ton of personalities where everyone is vying for an opportunity to stand out it never turns out good people. We were to have a committee, but it seemed that did not transpire as expected to lay out an agenda for a weekend of fun-filled activities to entertain the masses.

Per usual you run into that situation where there are 1-2 people who are controlling all of the activities and the price range for the reunion jumped in cost than from the previous reunion. While the cost did not jump to epic proportions, my concern is that some people have much larger families than others, and I cannot fathom myself paying the same rate as a family member who has like 7 kids, yet it’s me and one other person. Does that seem fair not quite?

The budget should be detailed as to where all of that money is going. I would like to know specific details on how much money is being spent on food, hotel accommodations, activities, gifts, entertainment, cost of T-shirts, etc. The only thing we know is the cost of a T-shirt, but we have no idea what the shirt looks like, not to mention hotel accommodations are not included in the dues, which means you’re looking to spend an additional $400-$500 for a three-night stay.

The biggest problem so many people are having is NOT knowing exactly what is planned for the reunion weekend. Nothing has been detailed; it’s like a free-for-all, we have a reunion, but nothing is planned or set in stone except for the picnic that is scheduled for a Sunday, but it is not close in proximity people. I mean you’re going to be traveling quite a distance, and I mean quite a distance, at least an hour drive. I have been to plenty of family reunions before and most people have dues that are little to nothing, so I’m slightly baffled as to why our dues is so high, yet nothing seems to add up as to why things are so expensive. People are starting to take personal jabs at one another, not to mention a family that is expected to be united is fractured and not in the best way people.

This has completely made me reevaluate the idea of a family reunion. If you’re planning a reunion, leave those duties up to an actual planner. With family it seems everyone has an angle or agenda they want to achieve and as a result it never ends well in my opinion.