Love 'em or hate 'em, they're our family.

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Thanksgiving has come and gone. The turkey has been eaten. The chitlins & rice have been eaten. The jokes have been told. The pics have been taken and posted on the media site of our choice. And what’s left? Family.

Dictionary.com defines family as “a basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not”. That needs a re-do! Yes, family is blood relatives, parents, children, etc. But family can also be close friends. I believe that a family is what you make it.

I think we all want to appear picture perfect. We all want to appear normal and happy, like our life is rainbows and roses and shiny smiling faces. And some really are. And then some families are as crazy as a bag of cats. You never know how a family gathering is going to go so you show up literally prepared for anything. Let’s discuss some family members that we all have in common.

We all have that family who steals. His/her fingers will stick to whatever isn’t nailed down. They’re always smiling and laughing and working the room, and looking for a purse sitting on the floor. We don’t call them out though. Our aunties just say “Watch your purse baby. You know his fingers like to stick to stuff.” Or “Lil Joey is gonna be here today so you might wanna leave your handbag in the car.”

Then we have the family member who won’t stop having babies. Every year she has a new bundle of joy. She shows up this year with baby number five. The eyes roll and the teeth suck. And what do we say? “Girl how many is that?” “Who his daddy is?” “Ain’t it about time for you to tie them tubes?” “She got a whole starting lineup right there.” Bless her heart. She catches it at every gathering.

Then we have that family member who lies all the time for no reason. You just sit back and eat your chicken and listen to the lies and you do all you can to not roll your eyes or suck your teeth. You haven’t been able to figure out in 20 years why she won’t stop lying. And since she won’t you just prepare your ears for the barrage of fibs.

We can’t leave out the family member who’s on drugs. Yes…you have one too. They’re clean this year and everyone is thankful. You still keep an eye on your purse and other valuables, but everyone is so happy to see them. You make sure to hug them tight and tell them you love them and you make sure they leave with plenty of plates. That’s what you do when your family member is trying to get it together. Feed them until they get right.

There are many more family members to talk about. The snooty who made it out of the country and now have a little bit of money. The aunt & uncle who fight at every gathering. The super saved, super religious one. The one who instigates all kinds of trouble. The one who wants to bring up all the family dirt. The list goes on.

At the end of the day though, they’re family. You love them. You hate them sometimes. You want to be near them and sometimes you want to be miles away from them. They cause you joy and sometimes sorrow. They aggravate you and they encourage you. They’re cousins. Childhood friend. Coworkers. College roommates. Whatever. They have a place in your heart. And that makes them family.

L. Thompson

L. ThompsonComment