My family isn't as simple as that. My family is a fraction of THE FAMILY. In order to understand any part of what my family is you first have to understand THE FAMILY.
THE FAMILY consists of my grandparents, 8 aunts, 7 uncles, 26 grandchildren, 1 great-grandchild (still in the oven), 3 grandchildren-in-law (if that title even exists), and food. These numbers may seem simple, but it's all a deception! THE FAMILY has an unparallelled ability to squeeze every square inch of space out of a room by simply entering it. They're loud, food-lovin', passionate, physically-stronger-than-average. They also have a way of being completely impersonal while being personal at the same time.
Wow. That was confusing. The simplest way to sum up THE FAMILY is to compare them to My Big Fat Greek Wedding and make a few changes. Watch the following:
Now to clarify how this family differs from THE FAMILY I will now bullet point where the changes would be:
- First and foremost: every product under this blessed sun is inferior to Vick's Vapor Rub. For my grandmas 70th birthday I'm coming up with a list of 70 uses for Vick's. The sad part is it doesn't take too much imagination to come up with 70 ways grandma has used Vick's.
- We aren't Greek, like most American families we are kind of like mutts. In our effort to try and be diverse we claim ancestry from England, Denmark, Ireland, France, Switzerland and Finland (Those are just the ones that come to mind first.).
- While we might not have the Greek accent we certainly do have accents. My grandpa has the thickest one in the entire family. His accent is the southern Idaho farmer with just a touch of a Missouri slang and then a titch of a whistle.
- We don't have a grandma that runs around cursing the Turks, but it isn't uncommon to have favorite family cuss phrases to pop out during stories, or stressful projects.
- The marriage, child baring and feeding expectations are still kept and preached. It's more than a good idea, it's tradition. Grandma was married at the tender age of 17 and was expecting her third child by the mature age of 19.
- Food is love. But the funny thing is that even if they don't like you they will empty their fridge, pantry and kitchen cupboards into your pockets as they try to leave their house. They are no respecter of diets, allergies or your own personal desire to take our food. You take it, or you take it. Those are your options.
- About half of the adults look forward to the end of the world as a child looks forward to Christmas. I dare say they're happiest when a major disaster happens, because it just means we're that much closer to the end. (But after the excitement of a disaster has begun to fade they always feel sad that the disaster didn't happen where they live so they could have a chance to use survival skills.)
- What did you say? You don't know how take a simple thing and worry about it until it has sprouted green warts and toe fungus? Of course you'd be so worried you wouldn't sleep for a week! Literally, if you don't know how to worry well then just have a chat with grandma. She has taken this skill and made it an art. I dare say she is one of the few that can live in a constant mastery state.
- Government conspiracies? Please, I've heard them all. For bedtime stories the adults tell their favorite government conspiracies to the children. Then send them up stairs to eat and get stinky Vick's kisses from grandma.
- And to top it all off, listening to popular music (well any music that isn't sung by the Tabernacle Choir) means that you have sold your soul to the devil.
Today I leave to spend a weekend at another grand and glorious family gathering. So lets all raise our glasses for our dysfunctional, weird, and socially inexcusable families! 'Cause, let's face it, we wouldn't be who we are without them, and isn't that wonderful?!
As my mom says, "we put the 'fun' in dysfunctional!"