Yes, I am aware of how cold this sounds…but I have never understood why families are looked upon with such reverence and respect. The old adage ‘blood is thicker than water’ sends a shiver down my spine for many reasons.
First of all.
Family is one of those institutions where you have absolutely no choice whether you want to ‘belong’ or not. You pop out of the womb and there they are. Ready-made.
Mother, father, brothers, sisters, cousins…etc, etc. Hundreds of them. Most of them gathered around your cot, grinning and gurning like a bunch of idiots. Most of them you will never see again unless there’s an offer of free booze and food usually at a wedding, funeral or the birth of another unfortunate like yourself. Then, like some magic trick, they disappear. Only to reappear suddenly, to celebrate/mourn another member of the family (in most cases someone they last saw as a child). In the case of a death in the family they pass through at a high rate of knots, picking up as they go any semi-valuable trinkets or anything ‘that helps me remember him/her’. There follows a suitable period of ‘mourning’ before E-Bay is activated.
In amongst this group of strangers that ‘family law’ insists you will run into now and again throughout your life, there will be the ‘usual suspects’.
There will be a mad Aunt (everyone has a mad aunt whether they like it or not), who will have fallen on hard times by marrying the wrong man. She will annoy the life out of the rest of the family and they will all try their best to never mention her in polite company. But she will always be there. Getting drunk at family occasions and bringing stuff up that no-one ever talks about anymore and is best forgotten. For example, how she once caused a scandal by going out with a black man/religious freak/another woman etc. She will insist on causing a scene.
There will always be a creepy (possibly paedophile) Uncle (See The Who’s ‘Tommy) who will always insist on you sitting on his lap. He will always want to tickle you. His breath will smell like a toad, his fingernails will be dirty and he will always have sweets about his grubby person. Your parents will have always have had their suspicions about Uncle X but were never quite sure. Because of their uncertainty and embarrassment they will never discuss ‘the problem’ head-on, their cowardice allowing him to fondle you in a provocative manner as and when he pleases.
Family are rubbish.
However, you need them in the early stages of your life. The all important stages when for example, you need feeding. Families will, if they have anything about them, feed you. They will also teach you the language. They will teach you to walk and perhaps more importantly, to run.
It is best and highly advisable that you release yourselves from their grip asap. Go out into the world and choose who you want to be with. Find friends who like you and want to be around you.
And when the family summons you, do not snub them. Just remember that ‘Blood is thicker than water’, is possibly the biggest load of cobblers you have ever heard.
Return temporarily, to the fold by all means, but return in the high hope that someone in the family has died and left you some money.
Read about family here…