Source — (Pixabay)

The Dreaded Holiday Visit

Clearing the family cache

White Feather
5 min readDec 20, 2019

Christine and her husband Steven were not enjoying the drive to Christine’s parents’ house for the holidays — or at least Christine wasn’t. She dreaded going home at Christmas or Thanksgiving or anytime. Steven didn’t know what to expect so he was good. Christine had not been home in six years but agreed to come so that her parents could meet her new husband.

“I’m sure it’s not as bad as you make it out to be,” said Steven just before he popped some chocolate in his mouth.

“Oh, believe me it is. My parents never change. They still see me as though I’m a kid. I’m 35 freaking years old and a successful businesswoman but they still treat me like I’m 15. They refuse to see the person I am now. It’s like their brains are stuck.”

“Yeah, that’s actually rather typical. The human brain is a lot like a computer. We all have a built-in cache like internet browsers have. When we are around the same people constantly we develop default images of them. For the sake of speed and efficiency our computer brains bring up those default images when we come into contact with them rather than stopping, clearing the mind, and looking at them in their present state. It’s easier, takes less energy and attention and it usually has become habitual. We can’t do that with someone we just met so we have to actually pay attention. We have no preconceived notions about them. Everything is new. With people we’ve known most of our lives we could change the color of our hair, grow a beard, get a tattoo or whatever and they may not even notice because they’re seeing a cache default image. And it’s the same with behaviors and speech and ideology.”

“Let me have some of those…”

Steven poured some chocolates into her hand.

“Wow. I never thought of it like that. I think you may be on to something, Steven. My parents have never cleared their cache, so to speak, so they keep seeing the 15-year-old me instead of who I am now. They still react to me the same way as they did when I was a kid. How do I get them to clear their cache?”

“Well, I guess that depends on how stuck they are in their default thinking. Some people are hopelessly stuck but others just need a little shaking up. And some look with…



White Feather