The Norman Bates Agenda: Close Families, What’s Their Deal?

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Sitting around a dinner table at the end of the day, discussing your day and then watching TV in the same room. This is foreign to me. You couldn’t even get my family to do this at Thanksgiving, let alone every other day of the year. Dining room tables are where you entertain your grandma and play cards, where junk goes, where snacks that can’t fit in the cupboard reside – at least that’s what ours always and still is. So when this topic came up in my head, I was at a loss.

My family would watch the same show in separate rooms, sometimes going to one another during commercials to discuss, and then scurrying back to their own spot to finish up. We love one another, we just love our space a whole lot more. So this topic was a new exploration for me. Family is there when you need them but what about those families that are always there, even when you don’t? You know the kind of families I’m talking about – the ones that still vacation together (and smile about it), the kind who enjoy concerts together (my mom would rather chew rocks) and those who are practically best friends. They even sometimes dress the same and don’t view it as weird. This is what this week’s about. It’s about those adults who are still really, extremely close to their family and what that means. I for one don’t see it as a bad thing, just really fucking weird at times given my upbringing.

Joseph Bird said in To Live as Family, “If there is a common thread running through the fabric of family planning, it is communication.” Oh, I see – yes, my family lacks this because our bloodline has evolved to hate speaking to anyone when not necessary. This is likely why the whole “eating dinner and discussing” your day thing is so important and adults today that grew up with that, likely still have that same connection with their immediate family. They all rely on one another for that end of the day gratification that someone cares what they ate for lunch and what Barbara in accounting said during the meeting that was so stupid, you had to laugh under your breath. In my family that would get an “uh huh” but in those families who love to stay on top of one another, they’d likely ask about Barbara’s life, dive more into what she said and ask for the address of the place you ate.

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This isn’t to say that if your parents didn’t talk to you growing up, you’re likely a hermit now who resents the world. You could very well still be strongly connected to your family because you see them as a safe haven. When you’re in the same place as your parents, nothing can go wrong. R. Kelly (yes, that one – is there any other?) mentioned that mentality in Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me when he simply noted that among the horrors of the projects, “My mother was my comfort zone.”

Safety aside, “shared values and experiences” are also what makes us so close to those who we share genetics. At least that’s what Bird also states our family bond stems from. Those creepy Duggars are so close because how many people think it’s normal to all have the same first initial, for girls to only wear skirts and for their older brother to be a saved pervert? It’s their shared beliefs, between the 23, 235 of them, that keep them together. This goes for all families, whether it’s a love for the same sports team (go sports!), the love of the same foods, or the tax bracket they fall in. So many factors go into what bonds us with our loved ones, but what makes us want to stay with them like they’re the only people in the world who exist, and is that strange?

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Family is supposed to be safe. It’s supposed to be comfortable and not make you feel insecure. Farting at a family function is way more acceptable than letting one go at work, right? So when it all boils down, those who still are really, insanely close to their families either have this great line of communication supported by Verizon (their commercials are very convincing that they’re the best option out there) and/or these adults just feel safe around those they’re genetically linked to and that’s resulted in them spending almost all their time with them.

The Highs and Lows of Being Too Close to Your Family

  1. Back in 2007 the University of Haifa did a study and said they believed that adults who maintain close relationships with their family are more independent.
  2. My survey says that 78% of you believe you aren’t too close to your family. Which is kind of weird because over 50% said your best friend is someone you’re related to.
  3. When it comes to the last person you talked to or texted though, more than 60% said it wasn’t a relative.
  4. As for the biggest high of being close to your family, it’s not having someone to talk to or to hang out with. 67% of you agree it’s having their support.
  5. The lowest part of being too close to your loved ones is feeling guilty when you don’t hang out with them. At least that’s what 63% of you said, while 21% of you said it’s the fact that your friends don’t quite understand how important your family is to you.

Over the next few days we’ll talk to two sisters who do practically everything together, discuss why me and my brothers would end up murdering one another if we tried that tactic, dive into one of the most memorable Saturday Night Live skits as well as one of NBC’s best, and of course get into a top 10.

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