Classifying Relatives

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Relatives are part of your extended family stretching from aunts to great grandmothers twice removed. Relatives bring color and zest into our lives. They are the people who wear the reindeer Christmas sweaters, bake the bunt cakes and essentially bring the fun to the holidays. They add the extra flair and inspire that crazy moment that will be engraved into memory and shared at future holiday tables during “story time.” We are blessed with simple courage, but only with blushed-red embarrassment we dare to call them family. By revisiting memories and analyzing specific talents and gifts of my relatives, I classify them into these seven categories: The Sergeant, The Party Animal, The Bible Clutcher, The Big Fish, The Cheek Squeezer, The Penny Pincher, and The Dictionary.
The Sergeant: This is the relative who arranges everyone’s plane tickets for arrival and departure. She will tell you how many suitcases your allotted and what your carry on should hold. The sergeant does not have any kids of her own. So, they boss all the nieces and nephews around. She will tell you what time you need to go to bed and how long to brush your teeth. The timer is pulled out to ensure accuracy. Then bright and early she will barge into your room waking you up to an exact outlined schedule of what your day will look like. If the Sergeant is cooking a meal, you do not say anything. You just eat it. You don’t grimace, and you don’t wipe the napkin across your lips and secretly spit. She will know and acknowledge your fumble with a second helping and cheerfully share her story (again) about what they had to eat in the military and their gratitude about “having any food at all.” Through training often called “behavior modification,” you learn it is better not to have an opinion; to keep your mouth shut and chew. She communicates love and affection with the discipline of “stand at attention!” She is incapable of speaking softly and bids you goodnight with a handshake or a quick, firm pat on the back.
The Party Animal : This relative shows up at all family functions invited or uninvited. He generally arrives with a bottle of alcohol or some sort of spirit just in case no alcohol is provided at the event. Whether the family hosts a baby shower, a poker night, a simple get together for dinner or an afternoon barbeque you can count on his attendance. He is always the first one to pop open a bottle of booze, and the first one to drink it down, and the first one to start another. Usually by this time his keys have been vigilantly confiscated by a practiced relative. At first they are funny but eventually look stupid and sloppy even to the children. You hear silent whispers while adults try to excuse the Party Animal’s behavior. Sure he can be entertaining. After all no normal person would gulp a bottle of hot sauce, pee in a sink, jump into a December swimming pool or shave half their head along with half a mustache while toasting “Jack Daniels.” He is generally discovered in the morning snoring in your bathroom shower.
The Bible Clutcher: These relatives pass harsh judgments frequently. Their perception of life is an unintentional exaggerated distortion of good vs. evil. If you wear a low cut shirt, you deal with the stink eye all night. If you swear at the dinner table, their toes curl and they cringe as if they have heard nails on a chalk board. Their manners are polished, and they expect impeccable behavior. They make you wipe your feet coming in and going out of the house. They pray that God forgives you for all your sins, constantly reminding you to find salvation. They say special graces for dinner, breakfast, lunch, and all snacks. If you are left alone in a room with them, they will try to convert you, reciting bible verses leaving you dizzy with echoes of their every word. They carry animosity toward you, and they are angry that you go to church weekly instead of nightly. They do not allow you to have your own beliefs. They avoid modern conveniences and technology, denying the television and the new Game Boys they were given for Christmas. They communicate that these are “works of the devil” and will negatively influence children. Freedom of expression like belly rings, tattoos, pink hair and even make-up in their opinion summons the devil.
The Big Fish: This is a family member commonly shared household to household. It is usually an uncle who thinks that they are “high and mighty.” Whenever you see him, he is sharing stories, stories which are never true. These elaborate tales are usually told to boost his self confidence and add to his cool image. He may tell family that he just got back from a spontaneous vacation to Venice. The family asks to see pictures of his trip. He conveniently communicates “Oh, I forgot my camera at home, but I will make sure to bring it next time.” He is a master manipulator and a man who can fabricate truth out of anything. He states he makes a six figure salary but cannot afford to keep a house. He has a wife, but the family has yet to meet her. He continues to boast, “Her job is so demanding. It often whisks her to foreign countries on business trips.” He brags about his great job where he does nothing all day, but earns hundreds of dollars an hour. He is just “borrowing the Taurus” because his Bentley is in the shop. His claim to sexy is a satin shirt cleverly unbuttoned just enough to show a tuff of hair and a cheap gold tone necklace he calls “fourteen karate gold.” We all go along with the stories of his life. Nobody questions him or confronts him about his life style. It is just better to let him fluff his ego and have his creative way.
The Cheek Squeezer: This family member has never been on a date, has never married, lives alone, and has no kids. So whenever she gets the opportunity to see any of the children she goes completely bonkers! No matter what age you are, she will literally grab your cheeks and rattle your head back and forth. She rambles for hours, “My you have grown up so much. You are turning into a wonderful young man.” She treats you like a baby. She is determined to tuck you into bed by seven O’clock and is constantly hugging and kissing all over you. She spoils you at Christmas time with gifts that only she could appreciate like decorative glass eggs, paper weights, and frilly doilies. What are you going to do with a glass egg? This family member is usually over weight. She loves to tell bedtime stories and buying us clothes that are stylish enough for a three year old. Although she is sort of annoying, she does make the most fabulous Christmas cookies, and around that time of the year we are all overjoyed to put up with her body crushing hugs and babying ways.
The Penny Pincher: These are your relatives who are doctors, engineers, and architects, all of the upper end jobs. They live in million dollar homes with all the exotic comforts of sail boats, race cars, hot air balloons, motorcycles, and other toys. Although they make a great salary they are the cheapest, most frugal people you will ever meet. They don’t go on vacations or splurge in any way. Aside from what they already own, they do not buy anything superfluous of what is necessary for life. When it comes to buying family gifts for Christmas or birthdays, they either re-gift presents or send holiday popcorn to everyone. They are very nice people, very loving, just not generous with their pocketed cash.
The Dictionary: This family member is so smart that they are incapable of seeing humor in anything. Enjoying anything pleasurable, making jokes, or plainly being creative takes a great effort. His brain bluntly lacks this simple ability. He knows everything about anything and everyone. It is no fun to play family games like Trivial Pursuit or Jeopardy when he is around. You can never win the game let alone score a point or simply answer a question. When the family comes together any effort or opportunity to show off your intelligence or how you are doing in school soon is quickly minimized by a new patent on his newest invention, or his latest discovery that will change the future of Molecular Biology. Nobody will ever be as smart as him or amount to his accomplishments. His brilliance is easily demonstrated with any sentence he formulates.
Everyone has a very exclusive and unique family. Relatives only further add to the individuality and distinctive mark of your loved ones. They are “out of the box” and make getting together for dinner exciting. There is never a dull moment when you’re with family. With so much character and personality packed into one room, how can you become bored?





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Artgirl1999 said...
Mar. 16, 2013 at 1:28 pm
I loved it! So true!
 
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