By Shane Flanagan
It is said that when we reach our teenage years that we leave the comfort of our families and seek to enlarge our social circle with others. This trend has been with us since caveman times apparently, although doubtless, it depends on the comfort of the family in question. The truth is that some of us are more comfortable with our families than others are, I’m in the latter category. Which is why it’s strange that I’ve had a slight familial renaissance throughout my twenties, the catch being that this has not been with my actual family but with another one, an adopted family, My Adopted Family to be exact.
No, it’s not that I have been adopted of course, I am very much the last mutt in the pound in that sense, but that I have instead adopted them, not that they are aware of this perhaps troubling fact of course, yes I know what you’re thinking, My God those poor, poor helpless people. And some may state that vicarious familial pleasure is no substitute for the real thing, but such comparisons are no doubt made by those who have not experienced such pleasures. This presumably makes up for something which I feel I must not have had in childhood. But I’m not majoring in psychology for good reason. I know it is kind of wrong to cheat on my own family, but am I the only one? I hadn’t really thought about it too consciously until recently but now my close friend is moving away, and although this is sad by itself I must admit dear reader that my heart got quite a pang when I realised that I would no longer be able to see my (read his) family again, and such is the way the heart can attach itself like the stray dog that it is, and my realisation has stung sore since.
What to do now? My own family surely won’t do now of course after I have now shopped around. These are normal, good people that get on with each other giving support when needed and feeling mutual admiration within the presence each other’s company, they do not feel the need to argue over the parentage of the television remote control or whatever seven thousand and twenty-two other things which can inspire fervent debate and argument in my household. These are just nice, normal people, as strange as that sounds of course. I know nobody is perfect, as this is the truth that I myself so bitterly embody, but they were damn close, certainly good enough for me anyhow. But alas I feel it’s the end of family life for me, how can I really settle for less now? I guess it’s time I grew up and moved out anyway, at least emotionally speaking that is, as the rental market is far too expensive to do otherwise.
But it was nice while it lasted, I remember one evening when the family were all gathered around the TV watching game shows with me in tow, trying to guess the answer in a kindly competitive way, with the glow of television illuminating so brightly upon us, and then playing family board games afterwards. It took me right back to when I was very young living with my Grandparents, the safety and security of a familial womb, yes, saccharine as it sounds it was still very sweet and not in one way contributing to my possibility of future diabetes. But now it shall be no more, I really will miss my Adopted Family.
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