Tuesday, 3 September 2013

My family is just sooo embarrassing!!!

My family is just sooo embarrassing!!!
3 September 2013

When I grew up, I just adored my family.  They were my everything.  My rock.  My stability.  My ever present love.  And I felt this way about them for the very longest time.

Until I grew up a bit, and saw them through teenage eyes.

Jeez, they were embarrassing!!!  Talk about being uncool.  Sooo boring!  Sooo old fashioned!  Sooo strict!

Nah, I’m just kidding about the boring bit.  And the old fashioned bit too.  And the strict rule most certainly applied to me.  But as for them?  Hell, no!

I thought our house was so old fashioned and out dated, with all of these ancient furniture pieces.  Nothing modern ever.  No hip and trendy little mementoes dotted around.  Nothing ever seemed new, current and abreast with the interior decorating trends of the moment.  Not that I knew much about that kind of stuff in any rate.  Instead everything had a story.  And a history too.  “New” things were usually salvaged from building sites, torn down old places, or even the rubbish dump and then lovingly restored.  My Dad famously bought an antique yellowwood table from a hobo at the dump for 11c and five cigarettes, which is all that he had on him at the time.  He stripped it from its layers and layers of paint, and renovated it to its ere gone glory.

My folks were younger than the folks of any of my friends.  They drank beer and to be fair, a fair amount of it too.  They smoked.  They swore like troopers.  They loved a good party and always entertained.  They played loud music until the wee morning hours.  They seemed to live on coffee too, drinking a never ending supply.

They laughed too loud.  They said weird things.  They went against the political and social grain.  I thought my mom’s clothes were so yesteryear.  My Dad’s moustache really way too big. 

But perhaps even most embarrassing of all, they engaged with my friends.  And really spoke to them.  I would’ve preferred them melting into the background whenever I “entertained”.  And the most horrendous cardinal sin of all, they came to all the PTA’s and made friends with my music teacher, even inviting her over to our very uncool home.  Super lame deluxe!

My mom cut our hair and made new duvets or patchwork covers for our beds.  She made dresses for dances and blinds for the lounge.  Instead of paid-for entertainment like the movies, rented DVD’s, shows, eating out at restaurants or constant excursions, they insisted on more home-grown alternatives.  Like reading, playing an instrument, puzzles or board games.  Museums were “fun” outings.  As well as get-together’s with the larger extended family.  In fact, with them family always came first.  And was placed as all important.  A solid grounding and sort source for home-grown friends and entertainment, all rolled into one.  So cheap!

Let’s face it – they were decidedly odd.  And different.  They didn't really fit the traditional parent mould.  They were wacky.  And strange.  Weird too.

But as time passed, and I thankfully outgrew my teenage horridness, I saw the value of all that they did actually give me.  My friends amazingly thought they were cool.  They loved our unique and interesting house.  My young parents.  Their love of live music.  And young, hip music too.  Their acceptance of others.  Their embracing of teenagers.  And because of that, our home, was the home to be at.  Somehow or other, I found myself being in the enviable position of being envied for my different upbringing.  My relaxed folks, who allowed me to grow.  With guidance, yet a certain sense of freedom.  Who didn’t restrict me too much.  Who said, smoke if you want to, but do it at home.  Who said go to church if you want to, but it’s not really our bag.  Who would buy me low-grade alcohol  (the odd Esprit - I thought I was waaayyy cool) and allowed me to drink it, under their supervision.  Who weren’t judgemental of anyone I brought into our home.  Who didn’t enforce their own view onto others.  Who listened to young people and gave them a voice.

I have also realised, that money was always tight and that they had to look for alternatives and we had to simply make do.  Yet we never really lacked for anything, and somehow had ample enough at home. 

And now I find myself in the position, where I’m holding thumbs with all of my might, that I embarrass the living daylights out of my kids too.  Because I suspect, only then, do you know that you’re doing it right.

And if Luke’s reaction is anything to go by, I think we’re on the right track…

Because everyone can have "normal" parents.  Only a fortunate few of us, are lucky enough to have the wack jobs.

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Clearly you must see that I have a point here?  This was a supposed dress-up party and my folks went as The Lady and The Tramp.  Far too convincing for my liking...

My ever-knowing, slightly superior and annoyed teenage face says it all

Still thought they were seriously cool here

A few more clan members - just my Mom, with my brother, sister and I, our partners and kids

More La Familia!  I seriously dig these embarrassing people!


  1. Yip - they keepers! So NOT perfect, and yet perfect at the same time! Thank goodness being a teenager is temporarily inflicted on us ( as teenagers and parents! ).