A Unofficial Family Feud Memoir by
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(59 Stories)

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Family Relationships

 

Ah, family. The people you share a significant portion of your DNA with, which for some translates to a deep and abiding love. For others, well, it’s like being stuck in a crowded elevator with a toddler who keeps smearing mashed banana on the emergency stop button. Me? My family? I fall somewhere in the “avoid eye contact at all costs” category.

They say “blood is thicker than water.” Thicker, sure. But have you ever tried to clean dried blood out of a carpet? It’s a nightmare. Water, on the other hand? Water solves most problems and it helps make a wonderful cup of tea also. Perhaps that metaphor needs a rethink?

Then there’s the whole “family first” business. Look, I get it. Loyalty’s important. But my family’s idea of a good time involves bingo nights where the biggest thrill is winning a commemorative tea towel, while at the same time harshly judging my life choices thus making “family second” looking mighty appealing.

Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t raised by wolves (though judging by my uncle Joseph’s table manners, you could be forgiven for thinking so). There were hysterically funny times – Christmas mornings spent strategically unwrapping presents to avoid the dreaded “socks again” disappointment. Birthday parties where the entertainment was watching my aunt Martha attempt the Macarena, a sight that would make even our confused cat raise an eyebrow.

But as families do, they … evolved. Evolved into a collection of human beings who, frankly, wouldn’t be my first choice for my pub quiz team, let alone a lifetime commitment. Let’s just say our family values diverged faster than a flock of pigeons spotting a discarded french fry.

There were arguments, of course. Mostly fueled by a potent cocktail of passive aggression, lukewarm sherry, and Aunt Mary’s unwavering belief that the moon landing was a hoax. Eventually, things reached a head, a glorious, messy head, a lot like a particularly enthusiastic child at a birthday cake buffet.

Estranged? You bet. Do I miss them? Look, I’ll admit, sometimes I miss having someone to blame for my questionable taste in clothing during my teenage years as displayed in almost all of our family photos. But mostly, the silence I now experience is deafeningly beautiful. It’s like finally escaping a particularly bad case of elevator music.

So, to answer your question, dear readers, my family relationships are about as functional as a chocolate teapot. But hey, who needs family when I have friends who I can actually choose to spend time with and who do not judge my Netflix queue nor question my life decisions (too much).

Besides, there’s a whole big wide world out there full of fascinating people who might share my love of obscure 1980 sitcoms and my questionable karaoke choices. Blood may be thicker than water, but friends, well, they are the Red Bull to my existential hangover. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with a full season of Magnum P. I. and a large pizza. Family-sized, naturally. Just kidding. I seldom share my pizza with anyone.

30–

 

Profile photo of Kevin Driscoll Kevin Driscoll
(Mostly) Vegetarian, Politically Progressive, Daily Runner, Spiritual, Helpful, Friendly, Kind, Warm Hearted and Forgiving. Resident of Braintree MA.


Characterizations: been there, funny, moving, right on!, well written

Comments

  1. Jim Willis says:

    Not only very wry and humorous, but also carries a lot of truth, Kevin. Also helps me clarify some of my own family relationships and offers a window into how my two sons and I can live our own lives while still remaining existentially connected. Still wish we could see a little more of each other, though!

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