The following is an interview I conducted with my cousin. It was a project I conducted to directly correlate to my Personal Narrative: Wolfpack. The past month or so of my writing has been dedicated to self-reflection, and I feel that one of the biggest factors in both my writing and my personality has been my family. As such, they are both the topic of this interview and the previously mentioned post. My childhood has been an interesting experience to say the least, and I wanted to get another account of someone who experienced this first-hand. The following is a word-for-word transcript of the 11 questions I asked my cousin. Capitalization is used as a stylistic choice to indicate yelling and extreme emotion in this piece as I feel it is the best way to capture my cousin’s unique voice.
Q: To begin, could you introduce yourself and describe our relationship?
A: I’m Madison Wilson, and I’m your cousin.
Q: How do you feel this relationship has been influenced by the fact that we’re family?
A: Well, our family forced us to hang out as children, so quite a bit I guess? Like, we probably wouldn’t be friends if our parents weren’t like “Yo. Sit down and play.”
Q: If you could describe or summarize our family in three words, what would they be?
A: Our family is a WILD, UNPREDICTABLE RIDE.
Q: Why do these words come to mind?
A: Because at a Wilson family gathering, you can literally never predict what is happening, and it’s never a dull moment.
Q: Can you lay some groundwork as to our family tree? Describe briefly who everyone is and how they’re related.
A: Well, on top there’s Gerald and Sharon Wilson, the grandparents. They have three sons, Scott, Monte, and Kirk. Monte’s wife is Antonella and Kirk’s wife is Diane. My mom is Anita, but she isn’t married to Scott any more. There are six grandchildren; Sean and I are Scott’s kids, Tegan and Mitchell are Kirk’s kids, and you and Matthew are Monte’s kids.
Q: Do you feel our family interactions have a uniqueness to them? Why or why not?
A: I do. Our family is really weird.
Q: Can you speak to the interactions between the cousins in our family and how this has shifted over time?
A: Oh, well tensions have definitely developed due to shifting family dynamics , as well as natural drifting apart due to different interests.
Q:Do you think your experience as the oldest cousin has been different than Matthew’s experience as the youngest cousin? If so, how?
A: Yeah. We are different people with different personalities, which the grandparents admire in different ways. I don’t really think it has to do with age, more with how adequate you are in their eyes.
Q: What is your favourite family story?
A: Once Grandpa held out some plums to me and said, “Eat these, you’ll never have to paint your toenails again.”
Q: For the last question, can you leave us with any quotes said by someone in our family that you feel are particularly memorable, even without context?
A: Grandma leaping across the kitchen, charging at my brother, who was holding a glass of ice tea, and screaming, “YOU PUT THAT DOWN RIGHT NOW.”