If your family is a little dysfunctional, keep on reading. If not, you may be delusional, so admit you’re wrong and still keep on reading. When you get right down to it, whose family isn’t somewhat dysfunctional in some way? It really makes the holidays more interesting, in my opinion.
My all time favorite dysfunctional TV family is the Bluths from Arrested Development. If you’ve never seen the show (which was canceled far too early for reasons beyond my understanding), watch the first three seasons and the new episodes airing in 2013, all on Netflix, before the movie comes out. The writing is some of the best out there, as was the series, and I’ve snorted a drink through my nose more than once while watching it. Good times.
As for movies, the Griswolds from any of the Vacation movies, but primarily Christmas Vacation, are my favorite. Watching Christmas Vacation is a family tradition at my house. For Mother’s Day this year, my oldest son gave me a card where he even worked in a reference to “Shi**er’s full!” Now that’s talent, in my opinion. The family from Little Miss Sunshine comes in a close second. Say what you will about dysfunctional families, but when they all get up on stage to dance with the little girl at the end, that’s just good old-fashioned love and support – mixed in with a little bit of crazy.
Two books featuring dysfunctional families are on my list to read – The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson, in which the performance artist parents use their children – child A and child B – in their performances, and Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs, a true story about a mother who gives her son away to be raised by her unorthodox psychiatrist, who bears a striking resemblance to Santa Claus. I’ve heard good things about both and they look to be some entertaining reading.
I think everyone’s family is a little screwed up in some way – it’s just measured by degrees of crazy – so just let your family freak flags fly (dare you to say that fast five times). Julia Sugarbaker of Designing Women said it best:
Julia: I’m saying this is the South. And we’re proud of our crazy people. We don’t hide them up in the attic. We bring ’em right down to the living room and show ’em off. See, Phyllis, no one in the South ever asks if you have crazy people in your family. They just ask what side they’re on.
Phyllis: Oh? And which side are yours on Mrs. Sugarbaker?
Due to the holiday next week, I won’t be posting, so everyone have a Happy Thanksgiving, dysfunctional or not!