“Every summer my whole family comes together in Malibu for a pizza making competition. It’s usually me and my direct family, and then also like my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.”
“It starts by us all going to Ralphs together. We each have to buy our own ingredients. You can buy anything you want that you think will make a good pizza. I always get the basics, the dough, the sauce, and cheese, but I usually add different other ingredients every year. I’ve never won so I figured I might as well keep switching it up. Some of my family comes up with some crazy pizzas. One year my cousin won because she made a dessert pizza. It was so good, the crust was made out of brownies and the sauce was frosting. The toppings we all different kinds of dessert items, like M&M’s and sprinkles and gummy worms. Then we’d all go back to my Uncle’s house, it was just down the street, and start cooking.”
“He had a giant kitchen and we all had different stations. It became really competitive at points, nobody wanted someone else to steal their ideas! We had 30 minutes to prepare our pizza before it went in the oven, so everybody would be running around all hectic. Once the 30 minutes were up, we put all of them in the oven at the same time, the oven was super packed haha.”
“Once all the pizzas were done we would cut all of them into at least 12 slices so everybody could have one. After everybody tried each pizza we would all write our favorite on a piece of paper. You weren’t allowed to vote for yourself, which makes a lot of sense if you knew my family. Then everybody would vote for themselves and nobody would win.”
“The winner got the right to choose all of our meals for the next couple days that we would all be together. I’m not sure who came up with this prize, because my families been doing this competition since before I was born, but I’m not really sure how I feel about it. I think there could probably be a better prize, but every time I bring it up I’m immediately shut down because it’s part of the ‘tradition’.”
My Interpretation of the story:
It is very common for larger families to have annual reunions in order to get the whole family together. Most families end up moving all over the country or even the world as they start to move into their own personal lives. Because of this, families grow and get additions that weren’t originally part of the family and most likely were raised differently with different traditions. This is why family reunions are so important, to solidify your family and the new additions and create a greater sense of in group. By having the whole family participate in a competition like this every year, it allows each person of the family the opportunity to develop a sense of in group competition, which drives you to learn more about your competitors, in this case being your family members. This offers a greater bonding experience, not only because it forces family members to be more aware of their opponents but also, because this happens every year, it allows them to attribute specific characteristics to each family member and know them on a deeper level. Competitions such as these at family reunions, that don’t have specific ties to cultural or religious beliefs, allow families to become closer and know each other better and in turn, develop future traditions that appeal to every member of the family.