Family Affair…

I don’t know about you but family has always been a very strange and mysterious creature to me. Perhaps I don’t have the standard family gene or my ideas about family are just flat out strange. Which quite possibly is saying the same thing in two different ways. Anyway, my family is I suppose like anyone else’s, a combination of sitcom, soap opera and amusement park rides (E ticket of course). I love my family but I have to say I’m not very much like them. Like not at all.

In fact, Mom used to say that I was a gift from the mailman. As a young child this confused me and I seriously wondered if I was mailed to them and maybe because they had an extra room they decided to keep me rather than pay the return postage. Though Mom also used to say I was born 40 which really made me wonder why I wasn’t a C section and why I wasn’t allowed to have my own apartment – but I digress…

I find the whole concept of family just a little strange. Here you are born into a group of people with whom you may or may not have anything in common (beyond the genetic pool and markers) and yet you must love them. You must have holiday dinners with them, remember their birthdays, call them on the phone occasionally and forgive when they do some really shitty things. It’s about love and all that. But there is no other relationship on Earth where you are not allowed to choose it, right? I mean you choose your friends, they aren’t just given to you at birth, are they? And we choose our spouses/significant others, yes? Even your co-workers and neighbors you choose (at least a little) and if it turns out you don’t like them you can quit your job or move. With family not so much.

With family you take what you get, right? If you have a crazy Uncle Joe who likes to play the national anthem on his empty Budwieser bottles, you’re kind of stuck with him. Can’t exactly go to the uncle exchange store and swap him out for a nicer more likeable model. If Mom is all twittery, you can’t drug her and make her like Mrs. Cleaver, you just have to live with twittery. And parents can’t trade in their evil little hellraisers for sweeter Beaver Cleaver models either. So you learn to live with it – or you disown them en masse or individually. Though honestly, that really doesn’t work because for whatever reason there is that pull – that invisible silly string that tangles you up with them somehow in way that no other group of people can tangle you.

They can try to devour you on a daily basis, blame you for the sky falling and give you the worst Christmas presents ever, yet still….that pull, that magnetic force that binds you will not release you. Even if you separate yourself from them physically, you can never do so mentally or emotionally. They all sit in the back of your head arguing over the Christmas dinner table, while you’re dodging the mashed potatoes and gravy. Face it folks, their yours and you’re theirs. And no matter how many battles, laughs, tears or whatevers ain’t nothing ever going to change that. Weird, huh?

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8 thoughts on “Family Affair…

  1. When I turned 40, I had a crisis. Not because I was 40. I was looking forward to 40. I guess it was because I had lived half my life, and there were things I didn’t want to live the next half of my life with. One of those things was my parents. Oh, they are fantastic people. They just kind of suck at being my concept of a parent. So, I decided that they are Janet and David. Janet and David are wonderfully eccentric human beings, and have many great qualities. It works so much better now.

    My brothers I have no issues with. I don’t interact much with Rob, but we know we are there for each other, and we get along great when we do see each other. Alex and I interact daily. We just have more in common.

    My extended family … aunts, uncles, cousins … nothing. Notta. Zip. My grandmother was the glue that bound us all together.

    Hey Panther,
    That’s an interesting approach, don’t think I could get away with that – but I’m glad you could. πŸ˜‰
    Annie

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  2. Actually, there are spiritual theories that say that we DO indeed choose our parents based on something we need to learn, need to accomplish.

    Strangely enough, there are times where that makes absolute sense. Then there are other times where it doesn’t. Either way, it’s one of those things you can’t change so might as well make the best of it.

    Whatever that means.

    Thanks for sharing A.

    Hmm…I’ll have to think on that one, Spaz cuz I’m pretty sure I missed the lesson plan. πŸ˜‰
    Annie

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  3. This is why I put so little stock in someone’s nationality, financial income, and religion, or physical traits. People have no choice over the situations they are born into and most just accept what is handed to them and carry on the same traditions. I respect people who do more than that.

    I’m with you, Teens – judge the person by their merits. πŸ™‚
    Annie

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  4. Hi Annie,

    My wife and I put off introducing the other to our families for almost a year after we got engaged, because we each thought our family was too strange for the other to accept. As luck would have it, we were both right. Still, we managed to get past it, and our child will have the advantage of probably never meeting anyone who can shock him by virtue of their weirdness.

    the Grit

    Hey Grit,
    All I can say is – lucky kid.
    Annie

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  5. Weird, yes. But also wonderful. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Home and family is where, when you go there, they have to take you in. We all need a place like that, even if we never have to go there.

    True, welll…in most cases I guess… πŸ˜‰
    Annie

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  6. Weird definitely.

    I once told my siblings that I was adopted……. and they believed me. They came up with numerous reasons to base their belief on too, like my being a mere 5ft 5in while they are all well over 6 ft, like me being involved in community groups and them being self centred assholes, like me going to church and them, well, not going, like me not being a druggo or feral or aggressive or well you get the idea. And also cos they are just all that stupid.

    Our family doesn’t ‘do’ togetherness very well as hard to believe as that is………. lol

    Really? Well I’m just gobsmacked Bettina. LOL.
    Annie

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  7. so was my mother for a moment till she cracked up laughing when I made the same comment to her the other day regarding my youngest bro and sis having a falling out.

    Sometimes family are our sandpaper, not our soft place to land. They take off some of our rough edges and teach us patience, acceptance and how to run fast from flying bricks πŸ˜‰

    LOL – flying bricks – yup that’s about right. You cwack me up. πŸ˜‰
    Annie

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  8. Family: I was raised by my dad and step-mother, and I have two half-sisters. But I don’t view it that way. It’s mom and dad and my sisters. My biological mother chose to leave and left me behind. She lost, and I won big time. You’re right about not having a choice in family, but if I did have a choice I would choose them, warts and all. Because my dad and my mom (formerly step, now adoptive) chose me. (Warts and all, LOL.)

    Hey Mrs. V,
    What a great story – just goes to show you that family is what you make it, isn’t it? πŸ˜‰
    Annie

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