Thursday, November 16, 2006

Random Thoughts on Family

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I have of late developed this horrible habit of falling asleep mid-evening, and then waking up around midnight or later and staying awake for a couple of hours, then heading back to bed. I suppose that I am getting my requisite 5-6 hours of sleep, but I can’t help but think that it might be better if I got it all in a bunch. C’est la vie…

I had an odd thought whilst brushing my teeth this evening. I was thinking about family, and I was thinking about television and the sitcoms I watched while I had cable. Since about the mid 90s, maybe before, I noticed the rise of non-nuclear families. Sitcoms like Friends, Will and Grace, most of what I can recall since the fall of the 80s Cosby boom (and its bastard child Rosanne) seems to try to relate to and validate the idea that non-nuclear families can constitute a structure that is okay, acceptable, and all too frequently wacky and fun. But of course that’s not real life. However, when a series comes to a graceful conclusion, when its plot arc is allowed to conclude to the players of production being sick of the animal (as opposed to cancellation due to sucking), people inevitably tie up the loose ends of the show by pairing off the characters into little nuclear units.

Is this a reification of mores? Is this the ‘way its meant to be’? Is that why the Brykczynski bros are now thoroughly on the way to suburbia? Some of us are restless, some of us are fucked up, but some of us seem to have a relatively good handle on what it takes to build and be in a family. According to my Dad that sort of knowledge comes from an upbringing in a comparatively solid family to begin with, having a template ingrained. Any success is a consequence of that.

I actually had a conversation with him a couple of weeks ago, in which he told me that after his divorce, and the sorting out of his own shit, he was determined to instill in me the structure, attitudes and aptitudes necessary to be a successful family man. So far these skills have not come to light. I’m still lost, irresponsible and self-indulgent, as well as hideously bad at finding companionship. But at the very least I have a desire to understand. I think it’s more likely that I always have, as opposed to some post 30-something panic of dying alone.

Of course, bear in mind that I know lots of people that have parents that have stayed together (mostly Catholics), and are still single, or at the very least have difficulty being assured that they have found the ‘one’. But asking "do your parents really love each other?" is not the sort of question that has many opportunities to be asked; so I guess I really don’t have that much perspective on their situations.

In general I search myself and I realize that I have no fucking clue about most things. I just know that I feel tired and insecure most of the time. I guess what I really want is to feel inspired again.

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