Monday, August 18, 2008


I have just spent the weekend at a family reunion. Talk about human theater...this was 72 hours of entertaining observation. Some of it was revealing; some was annoying; some produced tears; but most of it required a sense of humor.

We all have families. We are born into them. We can't choose them--they choose us. And then there are the ones we marry into--those we subject ourselves to because we love the person that is attached to them. In time, we grow to accept them on some level. And we realize that every family has specific character types. Mine is no exception:

The comedian
This person makes a joke about everything. Say something serious, he can make a joke about it. He also has a plethora of jokes stored in his pea sized brain that he can call up at any given moment (most of them objectionable and none of them funny)

The wise ass
This person makes wise cracks, mostly negative, and always inappropriate when anyone speaks their mind or tries to offer an opinion.

The drunk
There are two kinds of these: angry and silly. Our family happens to have both of them. The silly drunk embarrasses herself by standing on tables and doing pole dances for the entire family. The angry drunk throws objects across the table and pushes and shoves other family members when he gets irritated.

The crazy aunt
This is the one who opens her mouth and the craziest things seem to venture out. (i.e. she had children so they could wait on her and so she could teach them how to prepare and mix the proper martini).

The braggart
This person brags about his job, his retirement, his salary, his car, his wife, his kids, his golf handicap, his house, and anything and everything that is better (or so he thinks) than everyone else.

The center of attention
This person talks incessantly about anything and everything. They love commanding attention and expect everyone to jump when they enter the room. If they aren't in the room, they fully expect everyone to miss them until they return.

The quiet observer
Of all the family archetypes, this person is the least recognized and the most overlooked. They quietly sit while everyone else is commanding attention. They rarely speak and DO NOT want their picture taken under any circumstances.

The peacemaker
Peacemakers step in when all the other characters clash--because they will clash. They make comments like, "we are all family here...let's try and get along"...and...."can't we just enjoy the time we have together without everyone fighting?" The other characters rarely listen and the peacemaker is forced to join the quiet observer while the others duke it out.

I think these character types are why our family has only had one reunion in the last 20 years. And what's scary about it--they are already talking about next year. (I'm already making plans to have other plans!)

Texas Fan


you begin again.... said...

OH yeah, that's my inlaws. Dunno about the drunk part. We'll find out in November when we drive up for Thanksgiving. I might have my own version of this so we can compare notes.
That trip is the reason why I get to go to LV in October - so I'll have (1) some afterglow to rely on and (2) some compensation for what I'm going to endure for 4 days.
Glad you're home safe and sound. I'll bet it's 5 o'clock somewhere. ;-)

Survivor said...

I could never spend a full 72 hours with my husband's family!!! Overnight is just about enough. I try and avoid the bigger get togethers, in small doses I can manage.
My own family are much easier to manage but because we live in different countries we see each other only now and again. But my brothers and I are not so dysfunctional as my husband's family, boy the stories I could tell!!!!!!!!

Delese said...

Families are all the same. The titles, I have one or more of each (especially the drunk), but I have another drunk category. The Sleeper, drinks too much and falls asleep and don't you dare wake him up or try to take his glass or you will get cursed up one side or down the other. Relatives, you can't give them away.


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