The Good Family.


 

The best of families live.

In denial.

They have memories of storybook clans, or those they knew from afar. In more recent years, many have taken TV sit coms as models. But, whatever the persuasion, families which remain intact enough to celebrate a holiday together know the meaning of turning a blind eye.

They look the other way when the drunkard shows up. Nobody talks openly about the homosexual, particularly if any one of them can’t see the point. The children who wreak havoc and break things are found to entertain their grandparents’ peals of laughter.

The single young adults who arrive late and forget presents are praised for their hairdos and shoes. The sloppy and overweight are given the best easy chairs, the nervous the napkins and silverware to arrange, and the most chatty the smiles and nods of oblivious disregard.

The best food gets all the praise because why bother, otherwise? Everybody flies in to eat, after all, and all those outside of strict Fundamentalism to drink. Any thoughts of hierarchy of importance, i.e. whose children are the smartest, the prettiest, or the strongest are kept quite private, to be discussed later in hotel rooms or upstairs at the homestead.

The best families tell jokes, and with very great finesse. All debate or disagreement is soundly tabled in favor of palate pleasing platitude. Hugs are felt, peculiar smells at close range tastefully ignored, chin hairs noted in stoic silence.

And, somehow, by the time the plates have been filled, the dinner consumed, and the left overs packed in take home carry ons, all are convinced that theirs was the best celebration ever. All are immensely proud of their own comportment,  their positive attitude,  their polite if pretensive compassion, their wit, personality, and enthusiasm for life.  Each one hopes to be thought of by every one present as the friendliest, warmest, most desirable relative in the room.  Each one’s wish is that theirs will be the family which endures to survive another year.

They all know this, each in their own hearts because, without a willingness to carry on, the alternative is unthinkable. They opt, in a world which breeds hatred, violence, loneliness, and isolation to pretend that, at any moment, they might all be saved from it.

Whatever it takes, theirs will be the good family.

And to this they hold on.

For dear life.

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Happy Holidays!

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© 12/15/19    Ruth Ann Scanzillo.    All rights those of the author, whose story it is and whose name appears above this line. Neither copying, in whole or part, nor translation permitted. Thank you for respecting original creative material. You are the better person.

littlebarefeetblog.com

 

 

4 thoughts on “The Good Family.

  1. Beautifully said, Ruth. It’s true that in this mad world, families like you describe choose to stick together regardless of the things that divide the world beyond. That’s an impressive choice. I suspect members of these families, on average, live this way in the world as well…

    Happy Holidays!
    Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Michael. This was not written as an indictment; it appears merely to describe the inherent value in sticking together, and the manner in which many do. I’m glad you did not take it as sardonic. Merry Christmas to you, as well!!

      Like

  2. I learned a long time ago that you don’t love your children or your family because they are the best, brightest, most perfect, or even most loveable. You love them because they are yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The piece is meant rather not as an indictment of the absence of love, but as a descriptor of the wretched, clumsy, and often misdirected ways in which we do love. In the end, being willing to return to make our contributory effort, we help strengthen the seal.

      Like

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