posted on November 27, 2012 08:00
As I sit here today, I have 4-living uncles, 7-aunts, 1-brother, 1-half brother, 3-step brothers, 2-sisters, 3-nieces and 17-first cousins that I’m aware of. This doesn’t get into 2nd-cousins or spouses, etc. as that would just get ridiculous. At my Thanksgiving, there were 13-people…thir-fucking-teen.
My point? Don’t really have much of one I suppose other than to wonder if my mess of a family is just that much different than most of the others out there. You watch television and see these grand Thanksgiving feasts, where family comes from far and wide to join one another in a festive meal, exchanging pleasantries and laughter.
Is this how most of you operate? Whether it be logistics, burnt bridges or flat out hatred, our Thanksgiving seems to shrink from year to year. I find myself wavering between feeling somewhat sad for a lack of cohesiveness and not really giving a shit, which tends to win the day.
By the time you hit my age, which is fucking old, you wind up with those you want to be with. As children, relatives were somewhat forced on you. You hung out because your parents were siblings, which made you genetically disposed to being friends. But, as we age, you tend to bring yourself around those you really want to be around. Nobody makes you hold hands or take awkward pictures.
A cousin is no more bonded with you necessarily than somebody you worked with for a few years, and the same goes for siblings. You don’t have to like eachother (yeah, I know, but it SHOULD BE one word) and you don’t have to coexist. Our parents aren’t forcing us on one another and our time is our time.
You see, family can be assholes, and are allowed to be. And you can choose not to be around them. That’s where adulthood rocks. If you’re a prick, sibling, cousin, uncle or aunt, I don’t have to be around you. I have no guilt for this and could really give 2-shits.
I figure I have roughly 25 – 30 years, if I’m lucky, left on this shitfunk of a world and I now have the freedom to spend those as I choose. The people, family or not, who want to be around you, will be around you. They’ll make the effort, you’ll make the effort and you’ll maintain a relationship.
And the people you don’t want to be around, or vice-versa, you won’t be around. You can give the courtesy nod at Walmart, wave when passing on the road or send birthday wishes on Facebook, but you don’t have to feign kindness and jerk eachother (did it again) off for the simple sake of common grandparents, who are long since dead now anyway.
Jeffrey Dahmer and Charlie Manson were likely somebody’s cousins. But that sure as fuck didn’t mean you had to meet for lunch or join a goddamned bowling league together. Pricks are pricks, sickos are sickos and assholes are most definitely assholes. And if you are any of the above, or a myriad of other less than kind descriptions, I don’t fucking want you around, regardless of our shared heritage.
You do your thing and I’ll do mine. Age finds us increasingly around those we want to be around, and our children exposed to people who bring quality to their lives. I am incredibly certain that a great deal of my family would rather spend time at the proctologist than be in my forced presence, by virtue of heredity and holidays, and I am totally cool with that. I am an asshole of huge proportions and seem to pile onto this resume on a daily basis. Many people don’t like me and many are relatives.
This is fine and dandy with me. I’m loud, crude, abrasive and unapologetic, and I get it. I think I’m a fun uncle and, amazingly enough, a good person for a child to learn from. That said, I have many faults and a plethora of reasons you could want to keep your offspring far away, and that is your right and freedom.
I’ll never wish harm on my relatives and will be sad when bad things happen in their life. I root for them and love them and can’t change that, nor do I want to. But aside from being hit by a truck or losing their homes and careers, I don’t really give a fuck how a lot of their day-to-day lives are going. Some I miss incredibly, some I wish I were closer to and some I downright want to punch in the goddamned throat the next time I’m in the same square mile.
What I’ve expended 800-words on saying is we spend our time with those who enhance our lives, and that is the way it should be. Family, lifelong friends or old coworkers, they’re all one in the same. If you want to be around them, you will be. And if you would rather rape your own ass with a curling iron than share a Thanksgiving couch watching football with them, so be it. Life is short, people, spend it wisely.
I’ve got all my sisters and me…KMFP-out!
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