So the time has come for me to leave the family home, fly my wings and flutter away to that city that has grown dearest to my heart, Bristol. Having settled back in and grown accustomed to having my meals cooked, laundry done and mess cleared up after me, my life got turned upside down when a job offer in Bristol came through. And as majorly excited as I am to have my independence back and join the wide world of young working professionals in my university home town, I am very much going to miss the craziest people that I know; my family.
It has often been mentioned that my family would probably make a hilarious sitcom or reality show simply because of how ridiculous we are. It’s hard to explain why, but put us all in a room together for any occasion and the crazy will definitely come out. My dad is kind of a running joke in our family; my sister and I will generally end up laughing at him for simply being him. Its all in good jest, Daddy can take the banter. The thing about father is he’s usually off in a little world of his own which we like to assume means he’s not paying attention to a word we’re saying. But then he comes in with a nice little out-of-context comment that gives our whole conversation a new hilarious light.
My favourite of these comments: during a conversation on the Oedipus complex, “I like to be normal”; whilst during a conversation about some of the dirtier aspects of 50 shades of grey, “Great Balls of Fire!”. I will say he is the most generous person you will ever come across, exemplified by his willingness to drive all my friends anywhere we want and buy us vodka leaving only a text saying “Back with vodka. Love Dad”. A word of warning on meeting my dad: he will offer you a job, he will stress to you the importance of Microsoft Outlook (its like his Bible), he will have a rant about university/politics/enter-subject-here, and he will invite you for a trip on the boat or a weekend stay in the summer house at the bottom of our garden.
Meanwhile my mum is just a hippie stuck in the wrong era. I think she would be happiest on a spiritual retreat in the 70s; but the great thing about her is that she brings those aspects to our home and is (for the most part) positive about absolutely everything. You only have to see her clothes to know she’s a hippie [refer to above picture], there is never a shade of brown or grey in sight. A perfect demonstration of my mother are her books; “Inner Wellies”, “Where the Birds Sing”, and “A Leaf between my Toes” [Jane Upchurch]. These are full of poems about nature and life, my favourite of which commands you every time you pass a flower to breathe it in, kiss it, and say thank you. Put the mother and father together and you get “WHAT” moments like mother dressing as a slut for a murder mystery and father making inappropriate comments like “Biiiiiig boobies”. Scarred. Scarred, I tell you.
My sister is the best friend a girl could ask for, and now she’s all grown up and gone to university I feel unbelievably old! The truth is though she is definitely the mature one in our relationship. Given that I’m a bit of a mess at the best of times it’s more often than not her that ends up looking after me. However when we’re together we both act like 5 year olds, constantly doing handshakes and routines and talking in a way that no one understands but leads to us laughing for what can feel like forever.
As mad as our family must seem from the outside, on the inside it’s actually just like finding everything in life hilarious and going with it. At our last family dinner my parents presented me with a card that read “You’ve Escaped!”. And whilst this may be true in terms of finding my independence I don’t feel like I’ve escaped at all, in fact my family feels like an escape from the reality of busy working life. I played a game called Therapy with my friends the other night where we had to vote who we thought had the best childhood, and they all voted me. It wasn’t until then that I really reflected on it but I honestly believe I have had the most chilled, happy (if slightly hippie) childhood. And now at age 22 it’s time to leave that behind and be a real person, knowing that whenever I’m craving some craziness it’ll be waiting for me.