We put the FUN in dysFUNction

funny-celebrity-pictures-dysfunctional-families

Danger Will Robinson…this is an extra long post.  And it’s my second post this week.  What?  Has AGMA lost her mind?  Kind of…

Just think of it as a little extra to chew on because you’ll probably hear crickets from me next week.  I’m pretty sure I’ll need to go back into therapy.  And I’ll be busy trying to dry out, and jump back on the wagon after an anticipated hard fall off this weekend. Let me explain…

AGMA’s going to the beach tomorrow!

Most people would be really psyched for a trip to the beach .  Yeah – not so much.

It’s really my fault.  A few months ago I Sherlocked that my brother & family – kids and grandkids – were going to rent a house in August at a beach location only a five hour drive away from me.  Perfect!  Since it’s normally a semi-expensive flight and a rental car to go visit part of that crew, I seized the opportunity to see them so “close” to home.  So far so good.

But then I got the brilliant idea to invite my kids along.

And that’s when the trouble started…

I invited my son and DIL to join us and bring my adorable, cute, chubby, happy eight month old grandson along so the rest of the family could meet him.  It will probably be the only time they see him other than at his wedding maybe.  Maybe.  Or my funeral.

Yeah – we’re a wedding/funeral family (WFF).

You know – the kind that never gets together unless somebody get’s married.  Or dies.  Hopefully not simultaneously.

Maintaining relationships with my small, long-distance family has always been a priority for me.  I visited them as often as I could in years past.  I traveled to both of my niece’s graduations, weddings, and baby showers.  Saw each of their babies as soon as I could after they were born – there are five of them – and visit yearly.  I’m known to my great niece and great nephews as “crazy Auntie AGMA”!  I like that.

Sadly, this effort hasn’t reciprocated by that side of the family toward my sons.

*sigh*

So I figured if I wanted them to meet and fuss over my totally wonderful grandson, it would be up to me to bring them together.  And they say they can’t wait to meet him.  As long as they don’t have to make much of an effort that is…

Did I just say that out loud?

Don’t get me wrong.  I absolutely adore my nieces and their families.  Really.  They are truly the most “normal” people who share genetic material with me.  I love spending time with them and they act like they enjoy spending time with me.  I don’t get the stink eye from them like I do from my sons and they don’t whisper into their cell phones when I’m in the same room like my DIL.  I honestly think they actually like me.

But a relationship with my family where one actually has to make an effort to connect wasn’t high on the priority list with my brother and SIL, so it just sort of transferred to them through osmosis.

*sigh*

Anyway, in what can only be deemed a miracle, my son (or rather my DIL who pretty much makes all the decisions) gave the thumbs up to joining us at the beach.  The Second Coming has to be close…  Our younger son managed to wrangle some time off of work so he’ll be there too.  And the plot thickens.

So I’ve spent to slew of $$, and invested lots and lots of time coordinating this for my relatively high-maintenance family.  I rented a condo (it’s a very high rent beach area!), bought gently used baby “stuff” for the little guy, and cleaned and disinfected it all.  I’ve also had to deal with my son and DIL, being tightly wound, first time parents, obsessing over every aspect of the trip to make sure the baby’s every need and desire is handled. It’ll be his very first airplane ride so there’s high drama afoot.  And of course there’s the stink eye and whispering to look forward to for the next three days.

This is going to be so much fun.  Like going to the dentist.

Then, the icing on the cake, my sister and my BIL decided they were going to join the party.  Literally.  The last two times (2007 & 2010) my sister has been around my brother and SIL with me present, she has gotten very, very drunk.  And it wasn’t pretty.  ‘Nuff said.

Oh my – the prospects for the weekend just keep getting better and better.

So here’s the skinny on what I’ve got to look forward to (and why I write an anonymous blog…)

My BIL doesn’t like my SIL.  My SIL doesn’t really like anybody in our family.  Or my BIL. My DIL doesn’t care for us very much.  She’d much rather be whispering on her cell.  My older son loves us in his own distant way, but doesn’t really like to spend time with us. My younger son is going through a difficult time and blaming us for part of it, so he’s being distant and judgmental.  My Libertarian brother doesn’t like anybody in my family because we’re all Progressives (although he’s not sure about the baby’s political leanings, so the little guy might get a pass for a few years.)  My nieces have a slightly troubled relationship with my emotionally distant brother – their dad – because he is so incredibly conservative and intolerant that he’s a bit crazy about it.  Their mom, my SIL, just flat out says crazy ass *hit sometimes and has serious control issues.

And my sister lives in a fantasy world where she thinks we’re all one big happy family. Duh.  But remember, she’s usually drinking when we’re all together.

Maybe the drinking thing isn’t such a bad idea and it’s time to fall off the wagon. Starting tomorrow.

OMG – shoot me now.

But as a friend of my said this week, you can “unfriend” friends, but you can’t “unfamily” family.  You only have one family.  There’s wisdom in that…  Somewhere.

So I’m rolling the dice and praying that, in some miraculous way, we might all be brought a little closer this weekend.  That maybe we won’t be a WFF in the future. That the good ju-ju of those of us who do get along and like each other will rub off on the rest.

Call me a crazy and idealistic kid.

But I only have one family.  And I really do kind of love them, warts and all.

Is there a diagnosis for that?

I guess I’ll find out when I get back…

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40 thoughts on “We put the FUN in dysFUNction

    • Yeah – fun like a kick in the teeth… So instead of finishing packing and organizing which I need to do sooner rather than later, I’m putzing around on WP. Just a little bit of procrastination going on here. Like delaying heading out for that root canal or broken tooth repair. But thanks (I think…) for the encouragement.

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  1. This post gave me a GREAT idea! (At least in my own mind.) Two complete strangers die around the same time. (Happens every day right?) It is decided they would have made a good couple. A “Wedding/Funeral” is planned. The deceased pair are laid out in their respective caskets in bride and groom gear (or bride and bride/ groom and groom gear depending on circumstances) The are married, then buried. Could be an awesome new trend.

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  2. You gave a good laugh this morning. For a moment I thought you were describing my family. Only, we’ve never tried the beach thing together. I can only imagine the number of accidental drownings that might occur. Have fun and be safe. Sneak off for long walks, sounds like you might need them. And if that doesn’t work, join your sister in drinking.

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    • Thanks for the advice! I did get away for a walk down the beach one day and did imbibe one night. The walk was great, the imbibing (not really very much) didn’t work out so well. I’m pretty much of a lightweight so I was tired and off my game the next day when I needed to be sharp. Didn’t drink again until my kids left on Tuesday (we stayed a couple extra days) and it was WONDERFUL!

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  3. You are so not alone !!! Your approach is so witty, you need to keep your sense of humor intact through the weekend, or have those few drinks. Sometimes the truth falls out, loudly, and that can be a good thing. WFF…never heard of that one, but trying not to become that in our own family. Wishing you well…glad it’s not me. ☺☺

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    • Thanks! I really tired to keep my sense of humor but my son and DIL are so somber and judgmental so much of the time, it’s best not to look too happy… 🙂 They get suspicious. And the drinks just dulled my senses which wasn’t a good thing. Only drank the first night then climbed back on the wagon – for a few days… 😉 When everybody left, I kind of let loose. I’m back under control now. Ha!

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  4. Family can truly be a disaster. They are the only people, other than the folks in your office, that you feel obligated, but not necessarily willing, to be with. Friends can be chosen carefully, and can be discarded easily, but family is forever. Sounds like lots of fun!!! Funny post.

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    • It was a great idea, but the nervous breakdown ruse didn’t work! Ha!

      I honestly hadn’t realized how tense I was during the weekend until my kids had gone home, and hubby and I checked into our hotel (we left the condo and stayed a couple of extra nights at a nice hotel.) I felt about 100 lbs lighter I was so relieved and almost giddy! AND it was half off bottles of wine night at the restaurant we ate at that night! AND I had dessert and a cookie! I know – I’m a wild woman.

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    • “Content rich enviornment” – I love it! Kinda sounds almost like the stress and awkwardness was an artistic sacrifice for the sake of AGMA. I like that!

      So funny you should say that about my MIL (bless her heart…) My BIL tends to be a bit of a pot stirrer and he also suggested we invite the MIL! Great (and slightly twisted perhaps?) minds think alike don’t they? 🙂

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  5. This was like a good book I couldn’t put down, so good in fact that it merits a follow up. I HAVE to know the outcome of the event. Please enlighten us all. AND btw – family can unfriend family, trust me, my own brother unfriended both myself and my sister – that was over a year ago, and still we’re unfriended. :o) Good luck.

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    • You are so sweet Anne! Thanks much for the “good book” compliment!

      Evidently I will have to write a follow-up post. There seems to be a demand for a post-mortem…

      I bet there is a great story to your brother “unfriending” you and your sister. I have been “unfriended” by two very political and religious conservative male cousins – brothers. I think they were afraid they were going to go to Hell if they continued to voluntarily be exposed to my inflammatory posts about people loving their neighbors, and turning the other cheek when folks do you wrong. I’m just a rabble rouser…

      So you’re right – you can “unfriend” family. But you can’t “unfamily” family. They are still your family no matter what. That’s what my friend meant. We’re stuck with them so we need to figure out how to try to have a relationship with them while still maintaining healthy boundaries. That’s the real trick right?

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  6. Oh wow, I can’t wait to hear the conclusion. Please tell us how it went. 🙂

    You seem like a great family member. I’d love it if my aunt or mom planned a beach vacation and we just had to show up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awww – Sara – that’s so sweet! Thanks for saying that! Trust me – I’d love it too if somebody would do all the work, and I just had to show up and have fun. Or show up and be cranky, as it is with some people (but I’m not naming names…)

      I’m going to try to sit my ADHD self down tomorrow to write the post-vacation post (is that redundant?) Nothing truly awful happened (I’m glad!) but there were plenty of awkward silences and high stress moments that will make for gripping reading I’m sure. ZZZZzzzzz…

      Thank you again for the kind words. They mean more than you know! 🙂

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    • Holy cow – I just realized I never replied to your comment… So sorry! Yes – when given the choice to laugh or cry, I will ALWAYS choose laugh (even though the tears may be flowing…) It was dicey and I say I’m not sure I would do it again, but I think I would probably do it again in a heartbeat! I’m a glutton for punishment. 🙂

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    • Thanks so much! I would have loved to have come from a larger family! And a Greek family – I’d love for my father to have cooked a lamb on a spit in the front yard. Oops – I think I watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding too many times!

      We were all so spread out – each 6 years apart – so I was never close to my siblings (I was the baby.) One of my neighbors when I was younger had like 3 sisters and a brother, and they were all either 1 or 2 years apart. It just seemed like their family was this wonderful blend of imperfect craziness! And despite the drama that sometimes ensued, they all really loved each other. Thanks again!

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