"Baby if you need me,
Like I know I need you,
Then there’s just one thing
I’d ask you to do.
Take my hand and lead me
Through that hole in the garden wall
And pull me through.
Pull me through."
Jackson Browne, Your Bright Baby Blues
There’s more to life than gardening. And no, I’m not trying to persuade myself it’s true. I believe it’s true. There’s family, and I’ve got a big one, radiating out from my dead parents and through their 9 progeny: me and my brothers and sisters. We’re grown now, and dispersed, except for a family e-mail network we call Famnet. We can be as closely in touch with each other as we are at the rare reunions.
For most of us, sarcasm is a natural as the day is long. We’re smart, and we’re edumacated. We read, we write, we think, and, my how we argue. I refer, of course, to elevated discourse about the plight of the migrant farm workers, prescription cures for postmodern cultural angst, metaphorical discourse about overthrowing the hegemony of neighborhood bullies near and far.
And, also, we communicate equally articulately, by resorting frequently to hilarious vulgarity, cruel ad hominim attacks (e.g. “You Suck!” “No YOU suck!” ) overwrought metaphors about being adopted, unloved, and fully deserving of pathetic low self esteem. Before our grown children became immunized by frequent doses, they were surprised to discover the sharp edge to some of the things my generation thinks is funny. They all survived about as well as could be expected.
Then, there, the detailed analysis about each others’ personal shortcomings, insane political positions (especially the un-evolved boys). We feel responsible to advise each other of our various and sundry shortcomings, poor personal hygiene, foolish and deluded beliefs from the previous millennium and lack of intelligence, grace, or a sense of humor. We don’t exactly value the diversity of our lifestyles, and those of our expanding network of children and their children.
Except that – we do.
While the inter-family humor can sometimes seem brutal, especially to the pussies among our ranks, we’ve all been thoroughly inoculated with the love of our family members that we can dish it out as well as we can take it. I love unconditionally every member of my family, even the ones I think are morons, and I’m sure they love me, even though they resent when I’m always right.