Unless your last name is Brady or Cleaver, I am betting the biological succession you are part of has dysfunction in it to some extent. Even the august Kennedy clan has its share of lobotomized droolers, people who are not smart enough to avoid static objects and those who’s skills at operating means of transport are homicidal.
After some careful thought and observation of families, fallow ground this time of year, i have come to a conclusion: families cause more misery than any other entity in our lives. From the obnoxious Uncle with the fart triggering finger to the nagging mother dedicated to controlling and making life a living hell, there are family members who could vastly improve our lives by leaving them.
Yet we maintain a relationship with them despite all of the pain they cause us. Why? Because some random succession of people had the hots for each other. Thus these individuals are deemed relatives and, thus, we are obligated to forgive all of their sins and take all their crap. Were they not not part of the same genetic spider web, they would not be a problem. Should we encounter them, we would immediately identify them as “assholes” and avoid any further contact.
Don’t get me wrong. We all, including myself, have family members that we dearly love, that have made our lives good and to whom we feel indebted. This is why I am not advocating the abolishment of families altogether. We just need to upgrade the design.
Families are like school lunches. Someone else decides what is slopped on your plate and you have to eat it, like it or not. They need to be more like buffets. I want to be able to choose the prime rib family members to be in my life and leave the dried-out leftover meatloaf family members to fend for themselves. I also want to have a salad bar. I want to be able to add people not included in the main course.
This is the way I have lived my life and it has worked out wonderfully. For the most part, the people I am related to should be thrown into the deep end of the gene pool and drowned. Drunks, shiftless slackers and selfish twits- I am ashamed to share the same DNA with them. So I have few of those people in my life (and it just got fewer).
I have a family back home that I miss very much. Anchored by a lower middle-class couple- she disabled, he a hard working guy- we are a collection of waifs, vagabonds and societal miscellany that they have take into their home and hearts. I myself am a well educated professional. Among my ersatz kin there are drug addicts, strippers and felons. I am proud to be a part of this family and I miss them desperately. Despite what they are and the mistakes they might make, they live up to the ideal of how family should treat each other. People who have my back, whom I can talk to and who act like they care for me. I, in turn, feel the same way about them. It has always been this way. These people are much more my family than those who may think enough of me to call me on xmas and my birthday- if they have nothing better going on.
This is the way it should be. We get to decide who is family, not some mindless gametes that met because someone forgot to go to the drug store. With times the way they are, family is becoming more important on many levels.
Of course there are those who will trudge on respecting the traditional values and sucking up the emotional pain. I respect this and wish them well because the most important thing about families is to have one.