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Dysfunctional Family This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     Psychiatrists spend excessive amounts oftime and energy (and a lot of the public’s money) trying toconvince the world that a family is necessary to help anyone make itthrough life somewhat sane. I say that your family is what drives youfarther and farther from sanity. Supposedly your family is what makes orbreaks your relationship with others, and your individual relationshipswith a parent of the opposite sex will determine the outcome of yourfuture with your significant other. (I say that your family is what canleave you alone on the Old Maid Train.)

Let me tell you about myfamily. In today’s society, I have a pretty normal dysfunctionalfamily. In my house resides one terribly bratty little brother (agefive), one tattletaling little sister (age seven) and two totally insaneparental units. We used to have two darling little Yorkshire terriers,but they decided that living with my family was much too crazy and arenow sleeping their carefree days away with my grandparents in Ohio.

As the oldest, I, of course, am expected show my little brotherand sister the ropes in our household, and protect them from our motherwhen she goes on wild rampages and threatens to send us all back wherewe came from (to which I usually respond with some smart-alec commentlike how we won’t fit back in her tiny tummy).

It is alsoup to me to salvage my siblings’ favorite toys and their preciousblankets when my dad goes into cleaning mode (courtesy of the U.S.military), discarding anything and everything in his path. Like I said,my family is fairly normal - fairly normally dysfunctional.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore my family. Youwould, too, if you had the opportunity to see four generations of ustogether for my great-aunt Jean’s famous potato pancakes, or the“Flamingo Rivalry” we have going on, when each generationtries to outdo the other by sticking 75-plus tacky pink flamingos intothe sophisticated yards of another generation.

At Christmas,everyone participates in a tradition we call the Penny Scramble. Picturea bunch of adults - and a few tots - scrambling around trying to collectbuckets of pennies, small gifts and candy dumped all over the floor! Mytwo hilariously loony great-great aunts, Harriet and Louise, love tocome out and tell stories about when they were growing up and how theywere the “hottest ladies in town.” Of course, in their mindsthey still are, and therefore insist on sharing their tips on how tosnag the guy with the cutest rear. Even so, I love those two old ladiesmore than life itself.

It is moments like these that make thefighting, grounding, incessant nagging, and the fact that I’m notallowed to drive my precious little car anywhere not seem so bad. Imean, what’s not to love about family get-togethers accompanied bysome wine (my family is really into that whole “it’sgood for your heart” theory), insane laughter and embarrassingstories? Things get even crazier if someone brings along a newboy/girlfriend. Ah, yes, I do love my incredibly dysfunctionalfamily.

Although I will believe till the day I die that my motheris psychic (that would explain how she always finds out everything) andthat my father’s years in the military have made him completelypsycho at times, deep down (sometimes so deep I can’t find it) Iknow that they love me and not all of their wacky and insane tactics areused just to tick me off (although I would love to believe that). Evenmy brother and sister don’t always specifically conspire againstme just to get me in trouble, and at the end of the day, they are themost adorable little squirts when you tuck them into their little beds.After all, it’s the only time they ever shut up!

No matterhow many fights my family gets into, and no matter how manytimes I convince myself that I am the only person in any generation ofmy family from this planet, they are my family, and I wouldn’ttrade them in for the world.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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wtf1 said...
Feb. 3, 2012 at 11:04 am
how is this a dysfuntional family? it's pretty normal
 
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