Sunday, 18 September 2016

Sunday Tea: Writing Exercise: Free Flow Essay: Family

That would be my family's motto!


I don't know if it is because I am an only child, but I have this weird need to be close to my family.  I always wanted to be like the Brady Bunch - only with a lot of relatives visiting.  I remember as a young kid we would be constantly visiting my parents' siblings, parents and cousins.  Then as we kids started attending school it petered out.  And, when my maternal grandmother passed we kind of broke up.  We still rallying when shit hits the fan, for special events and, unfortunately, deaths.  One of my anxieties as a kid was that we all wouldn't be close - hanging out and knowing each other.  In my twenties I was desperately scrabbling to create family events so that we could be more than just relatives sharing DNA.  Instead I became a shrew to them.  While they would never say it to my face, because it is a cute face, they found me overbearing and were not having fun being forced.  And, it would be in my late twenties after breaking up with a boyfriend, I realized, fuck it.  If they don't care I don't care.

As a kid with no siblings and a LOT of me time...I would imagine siblings.  There were always older - protecting and guiding.  I figured a lot of things out on my own - through trial and error, and always more error.  I had to be the protector of my parents and make sure they make through life.  I came out a lot stronger and responsible, but wouldn't t have been nice to have someone go through it first.  I had older cousins but it's not the same as having a sibling.  You are family but they don't know how your every day life is and you don't really share it to them.  It's like your in fight club and you don't discuss fight club.  I think that is what I miss the most - having a peer that understands the daily grind. 

While God did not find it in his will to give my parents more kids, and it seems like all the smart successful ones were takes, so he gave them a durable one.  If you are going to have one child, you want to make sure that one doesn't get damaged or broken.  I am not so sure why God felt the need to constantly show my parents how durable I was.  After one fall down the stairs I think they understood this one has a hard head.   And, I choose to use all the fall down stairs and slides (I tended to gravitate towards the non-slide side) as a reason I am not a doctor or something important.  I was so durable that age two or three my family left me at the airport and no one kidnapped me.  This was the 80s, people! Cute kids in adorable dresses are not left to just wonder.  And I wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed.  One, I didn't notice that I was no longer with a dozen people that I came with.  Second, I probably had no clue what a cop was and told him my parents names (thank gawd, I thought their names were mom and dad).  Third, I went with the cop in his vehicle and had cookies and milk.  It wasn't that I knew this man was saving me...it was, this man has a cookie and I want it.  Any would-be kidnapper probably saw that I was more trouble than it was worth - and he would be right. 

I have a wild streak of drama in me.  I remember once as a kid my cousin (he shall remain anonymous) threw a Tupperware cup at me.  And, let's just say that my scar healed but that plastic has an imperfection still (ha, my durability continues).  Honestly, I was probably surprised more than in pain, but most likely milked that moment for all it was worth with my Bibi.  That's probably another reason why I was the fun cousin as a child, but annoying as I got older.  I always told the best stories (endorsed by myself) and could lead us in the depths of despair or in a world of trouble.  Sometimes my boyfriend will tell me I am being too dramatic.  Too dramatic??? Hello, I'm Indian.  I grew up watching Bollywood...where death scenes take up 25% of the movie.  You must tell the person(s) exactly everything on your mind before your final breath.  And, I grew up watching Hollywood and Shakespeare...and at age six listening to Opera (though I had no clue what was going on, I guessed that it was not good).  Did I even stand a chance at not being dramatic?

I've rambled on, and kind of forgot my point.......right, family.  So here is what I have concluded about my family.  We share blood but that does not mean we have to like each other and hang out.  I love 99.9% of them and would probably get tested for an organ match for them, but honestly I don't miss them. I enjoyed our time as kids and when Bibi was around but I don't need them to have a family.  I have parents, that I swear gave me gray hairs at 16, that are there for me, and pretty cool.  I have a few cousins that I actually like hanging out with and will make an effort to see make our schedules mesh at some point.  Every month I go to book club and going to book club is super important to me.  I once missed my cousin's day after wedding lunch just so I could make it to book club.  My four friends at book club are my family.  They are the people I tell the good to, but also the bad.  Mostly, because they can sense it out of me, lol.  I've laughed and cried with them and they look at me with the same eyes they always do.  There is my best friend who had a daughter this year and honestly I already love her though I have seen her twice in person.  And, I also feel less anxious because if I die as a crazy book and tea lady I have someone who I can leave that collection to now.  After two years and a half years of working at my present job, the greatest reward has been the group of people I have met.  They get my eccentricities and try to relieve it as much as they can.  Some even get my book speak, and book addiction. And, I have this great woman in my life that is everything I wanted in an older sister.  We don't live in the same country but I have never felt more connected to someone.  Along with our other friend.  She is my older sister in spirit but is age-wise younger.  These two let me know that I not as alone as I thought I was. 

At the end of the day, when I put my pretty little head down...I feel fulfilled with the people in my life.  I am happy with my heart-and-soul family.  They may not be able to give me a kidney, but they would be the first ones looking up other ways to save my life. 

4 comments:

  1. Family comes from so many directions, not always by blood. Enjoy the best of them and just accept all others, boils and all, on your terms.

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  2. I totally agree, Jonetta. I am happy that to call you family that's for sure :)

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  3. Love you, Kris!

    And I definitely considered you family, a sister even. I am so grateful to have you in my life.

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  4. Love you back, Monica! I feel exactly the same way about you and am just as grateful :)

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