Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Starving Dog, a Sharp Stick, and a Thought on Family at Christmas

While I was abusing my stomach and ears this morning with a gingerbread latte and some seasonal music, I caught the tail end of a conversation in the next cubicle:

“…Like my dad always says, ‘it beats a sharp stick in the eye’!”

I can’t help but think that our families have way more to do with who we are than we would like. But this season – while I watch my sexist, alcoholic grandfather hit on waitresses, and tune out my Paraguayan aunt’s lecture on the herbal remedies she sells out of her compound in Pahrump, Nevada – I will be thankful.

I will be thankful for my cousin who was arrested in Columbia with thousands of dollars in her shoes; for my (secret) half uncle who posts science fiction about moon colonies on his blog; for my 6’7” great uncle who robbed an ice cream parlor at gunpoint; for my grandmother that was committed to an institution after she hallucinated that there was a flock of ducks in her living room.

All these people make me who I am. (Which – in the case of my mental health – is probably not a good thing.)

I am also thankful for all the relatively useless advice they have provided over the years. (As my late paternal grandfather used to say, “Never hire an architect who wears a cape.”)

Despite their best efforts to the contrary, my family makes me proud. Their endless antics, absurd secret lives, and collective arrest record are not to be dismissed. Thank you guys for everything.

But, as my dad always says, “Brittany, you need that like a starving dog needs two assholes!”*

Well, merry Christmas and a happy new year!

*Clearly, I win the “as my father always says” contest.


  1. Not bad Brits I laughed my ass off reading this at work.

    Then I had one of those "shes joking and completely serious" kind of thoughts. Its sad and happy.

  2. My family is also insane. Welcome to the club.

  3. My dad says, "Old enough to bleed, old enough to butcher".