Freedom From Want


Most members of my family will agree that we will never resemble a Norman Rockwell painting. While we may gather around a table for a major event, you can be certain it took some serious political maneuvering, a lot of diplomacy on the host’s part and probably some major negotiations that likely included phrases such as, “no, glaring is not on the table at this time” to get everyone there. I see our family in terms of the movie “Home for the Holidays” (my yearly holiday movie to put me in the mood) or on any other day, as “All My Children”, “The Young and the Restless” or any other soap opera you can think of that also includes the one about the supernatural and the creepy little puppet boy. I personally never saw that one, but I’m sure it applies. I’m related to witches so how could it not.

Now when you get to be my age and have lived this life decade after decade, you find it’s a comforting disquieting rhythm. Sure, that may come off as a bit of an oxymoron if you’re not in my family, but trust me. You ride our family’s ship and after a few years you realize you just don’t need the Dramamine anymore. You can chuck that stuff off the port, because you’ve now earned your cast iron grit. If one of your relatives attempts to fling herself off a roof after years of stealing from your grandfather and sleeping her way through all her sibling’s spouses, you no longer bat an eye after years of initiation (indoctrinating?). You nod your head and accept this is just another day and that aunt will be outdone soon. It’s an unspoken rule, you don’t let anyone get the upper hand and outdo you in the drama department. In fact, it’s in your best interest to downplay the entire thing so that whatever you have planned next can come off as a little more shocking.

I truly dig the drama train my family’s engineers chuga chuga down our life’s track. I even embrace my role and can really dive into how everyone else’s lives are a complete mess, how their chosen spouses are the worst people to walk the earth, just what exactly are they thinking ruining their lives, their children’s lives, their pet’s lives and the lives of the geckos hunkered in the gardens. Most of it is very entertaining although some of it is truly just downright heart wrenching. I’d venture to say that a portion of my humor comes from making fun of them, but occasionally I do have to throw up the white flag and retreat into myself.

As fun as my family can be there’s still a bit of drama I love more – my friend’s drama. On the occasion that I get too bogged down in the more serious things going on in my family’s life, I find something going on with my friend’s family can center me a bit more. It’s the therapy I need to help come to terms with some of the wackiness we go through. In fact, you can tell my good friends from my good acquaintances based on the amount of drama they own up to – you guys know who you are. It’s not enough to say, “my aunt is nuts,” I require much more from my good friends. I need something I can sink my own teeth into and throw out my off-the-cuff, knee-jerk inspired, unsolicited and bad advice.

Personally, I’m truly envious of those of you who live Norman Rockwell’s idealized life. I don’t get you. I never will. But it sure seems like a lovely dream.

A personal note to my number one fan and supporter – I hope I’ve made you smile without taking away from the seriousness of the recent events happening around you. “All will be will, and all will be well and all manner of things will be well.” I love you.

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