Family: It’s Always Greener on the Other Side

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My family is particularly boring, and it’s really … boring. We are a remarkably bland and successful group. When I go to family events, they are not stressful for any of the usual reasons. They are stressful because I am counting the minutes until I can leave and go find something stimulating.

We are a very polite bunch who all have our ducks in a row. For the most part everyone in my family is highly educated—law degrees, masters degrees, Ph.Ds, decorated military. My grandmother didn’t go beyond secretarial school, but for goodness sakes, she was born in the early 1900s. Even the artists in my family are highly educated and gainfully employed.

Secondly, there is no divorce or “should be divorced” couple who is always bickering and on the rocks. I don’t have a giant family, but we defy the odds statistically speaking when it comes to broken homes. Anniversary after anniversary is merrily celebrated year after year.

There are no black sheep in the family. There’s no brewing intervention about to take place. We aren’t even covering up for some disgrace. One cousin did have a child out of wedlock, a sin for sure in my family. However, the family has embraced the child with open arms, and even with that situation, we are all loving and accepting. From this, I learned that even when something could cause tension, everyone would rather keep the peace and help each other.

This sounds just lovely to most people I know. However, no one is willing to stir the pot or go outside our family boundaries of “normal” and “accepted.” I often wonder what goes on inside their heads? It’s not normal that we are all so happy and calm around each other. We never talk about politics in front of one another, lest it ruffle someone’s feathers. And you can forget the subjects of sex and religion. In fact, there’s not even alcohol at my family functions. We are just too proper and stiff. Should anyone find it objectionable, it doesn’t come up with my family.

I would really like a little less convention and a little more personality. Maybe that’s my role in our family. The grass is always greener in someone else’s lawn. Next time all my aunts, uncles and cousins are sitting around the table with our cloth napkins over our laps without elbows on the table, I’m going to make the effort to be more thankful and remember it could be worse than “boring,” but it’s hard to fully appreciate boring when that’s all you’ve known.


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