After a concerted three-decade effort, 31-year old Arianna Capitani has finally given up on the idea of being friends with any of her seven adult cousins.
“I’ve been sending them Christmas and birthday cards since I was 15,” said Capitani. “Up until this year, I was positive they’d all gotten lost in the mail. But I’m starting to realize that they just aren’t really interested in knowing me at all.”
Capitani had also placed 40 unreturned phone calls in the past five years.
“I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, especially to friends and family,” she said. “It turns out, my cousins actually don’t like me as a person.”
It wasn’t until a chance Manhattan run-in with her cousin Oliver that Arianna realized that friendship was not in the cards for she and her cousins.
“I was nervous, like, who is this person talking to me?” says Oliver. “Then I realized that she kind of looked a cousin I used to see at Christmas? I stopped paying attention to Uncle Dan’s kids by his second or third marriage.”
“I don’t really ever hang out with her, unless we’re at a family wedding or funeral,” says Arianna’s cousin, Leanne. “So no, I don’t think that makes us friends.”
For Capitani, finally accepting that she will probably never be friends with her cousins has been hard to accept.
“They say that cousins are the first friends we have,” she said. “So I’m surprised at how much things have changed now that we are significantly older and have our own lives and don’t live anywhere near each other. I just can’t believe we live such separate lives in spite of that powerful family bond.”