The Family Factor

Most of mine and C’s family live here in Michigan. One could argue that this is a particular compelling reason to stay….

But com on. Be honest. I know there are plenty of people out there that find it easier to deal with family when there is a significant distance between you and them, when you only have to deal with them directly a few times a year. I know that is true for me. I suppose that sounds like a lousy thing to say, and maybe it is. All I know is that when I lived in Kalamazoo, I got along better with my family in general. And frankly, I think they probably liked me better. They might not say that, but I’d be surprised if it wasn’t the case.

I think I can say with some level of confidence that C would prefer to be at a remove from certain elements of her family as well.

In fact, certain…events, shall we say, have made this idea all the more attractive.

It’s a matter of being able to controlĀ  your boundries and keeping those that don’t respecty them at bay, sort of like a mote dug to keep zombies away from your fortress.

But it isn’t all about “running away.” Depending on where we moved to, namely California, we’d be moving closer to some family members, those that we’d prefer to be closer to. You know, the ones that don’t seem to feel they have the right to emotionally and psychologically brow beat you simple in service of some delusional construct that they have created in order to help convince themselves that they are descent human beings, when there is so much evidence to the contrary.

But I digress into pettiness. And it isn’t even an election year.

Let’s just say that some family members are so irritating as to induce painful flatulence. And really, who need that. Life is hard enough, and often smelly enough (especially if you live in Gary, Indiana – pee ew; a shout out to the birthplace of MJ), without adding to it.

I wonder, since this is a GenX blog, is this sort of…circumstance common among Genereation X? Certainly familial discord is nothing new. I’m thinking more about in the way one deals with it. I suppose self-righteous boomers might call it running away, except of course when they bolted their mundane midwestern existences to frolick in the streets of Haight Ashbury for the Summer of Love. Wee make love not war — Aaack! And what about Millennials? I suspect that their reason for moving across country from their folks has less to do with putting a buffer between them and their families and more to do with “living life to the fullest” blah blah blah. Not to mention they probably have their helicoptering rents visiting once a month anyway — and actually like it! But perhaps I’m wrong. I’m just guessing here, but I’d bet that a good number of GenXers moved away, or at least would like to move away, from family in large part, though not necessarily entirely, to put some space between them in family, because it’s just easier that way, less of a hassle, you know.

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6 responses to “The Family Factor

  1. This post practically makes me break out in hives. I think your thoughts are all valid. Living near family is stressful. When you break away, you have more freedom to re-invent yourself. Family seems to give the least amount of permission to faulter and change.

    Just between you and me, the worst comments I’ve gotten on my blog are from family. So much more to say about that, but I’ll leave it at that.

    Now that I’ve said that, can you delete this comment. Ha!

    • You’re right about that, Jen.

      It is as if some people have the family equivalent of beer goggles or rose-colored glasses or whatever. They decide early on that you are a certain way and never bother to consider that you might change or more likely that they might have misjudged in the first place.

      Consider the following exchange:

      “You’re a fine young man.”

      “How would you know? We’ve spoken maybe the equivalent of a couple of hours.”

      “I know all I need to know.”

      “Yeah, well. Everything you don’t know about me could fill a book.”

      Cue condescending chuckle.

      Fuming unspoken retort: Jerk!

      But you know what is really irritating? When people buy you gifts not that you would want but that they want you to have, even when what you’d want is pretty damn obvious to anyone who paid any kind of attention at all.

      I don’t want another flannel shirt. Grunge was great but it’s over now. Move on!

  2. Even when they live a 1000 miles away, they can still techno-irriate. Like checking out your blog and then sending you emails instead of commenting. Or how about signing up for Skype then checking every night to see if you are on. Calling when least expected. At least on the phone you can totally ignore the conversation…

    • This is not encouraging news, dmm. sigh. heavy sigh. heavy, heavy sigh.

      I do have a strict rule of not address emails that are in response to my blog. You want to comment on my public forum, then do it publicly, you wussy.

      We have Skype, but I don’t do it…much. Besides, I got no problem ignoring people I don’t want to deal with. Whether on Skype the phone or email.

      Hell is other people, but a very special excruciating kind of hell is other people who happen to be family. Ugh!

      I’m thinking a new blog dedicated to why/how family can be jerks!

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