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Why we need family

February 7, 2013

When I was about ten thirteen, my parents told my brothers and I that if anything should happen to them, we’d be in the care of our aunt and uncle, and this fact was incredibly disheartening to me and my brothers. We all had the family we wanted to go live with should this tragedy occur. I spent an unbelievable amount of time and energy wondering what would happen if I had to go live in Connecticut and why, oh, why, why, why, couldn’t we just go around the corner and live with my best friend, her younger sister and their parents (who were friends with my parents, better friends, in fact, or so I thought, than my aunt and uncle whom we saw only on holidays anyway). My brothers, naturally, wanted to live with their friends parents, and none of us really seemed to let the reality of this make-believe situation land: our parents would be dead. The moment that I realized that side of the argument, things became different. “Well, maybe you should take separate cars to the movie tonight,” I’d plead with them, newly obsessed with preventing their untimely deaths.

It occurred to me this morning, as I was attempting to sip vegetable juice, but mostly just leaking it from the scrubbed jar of Indian curry that I stored it in because I despise using my juicer more than once a week, onto the book I was reading in front of my kitchen window in an attempt to finally exert my supreme superiority over the city of Los Angeles (up before 9 am! reading a novel about something other than the entertainment industry! having curly hair!), that I will never have to go live with another family. I know this is an absolutely absurd realization to have as a person in her late twenties (mid? can I still say mid or am I over the line?), but it was equal parts reassuring and depressing. On the one hand, I, and my two younger brothers, have survived our childhoods and adolescences, but on the other hand, we don’t have the option of replacement parents anymore. Do not misconstrue my meaning, I would never want to replace my parents. But someday, hopefully one million and one years from now, my parents won’t be around anymore. And some day, hopefully one million and one years from now (or, if you’re the nurse who asked me last week, somewhere between three and five seven years from now), I will have children of my own and I will have to designate someone to be their parent should my imaginary husband and I go out for fro-yo and a poetry slam downtown and get sidelined by a drunk bus driver swerving into the bike lane. Yes, in my fantasy I’m bike riding downtown. Whatever, it’s not your fantasy, you can have an Escalade and hit up a gallery opening. It should be known that I’m already reevaluating my decision to show up at a poetry slam carrying a bike helmet, in fact, I’m regretting my decision to make it a poetry slam, altogether. Let’s say, a wine and cheese party with a live bluegrass band. That I can live with. Although, I’m dying in this fantasy so it might as well be a poetry slam because I’d be less upset that I never made it. Now that I think of it, it might be better to be a bluegrass band with wine and cheese because I’d probably be more careful in the bike lane and I might actually survive. Although, let’s be honest, I’d be running late so I’d be in a cab anyway. Additionally, I would like to point out that this fantasy obviously does not occur in LA, and therefore, in this mysterious, futuristic, bike-riding, bluegrass band, child-having fantasy, I would never be biking downtown, but across town, or into town. Because the likelihood of me moving back to NYC and living UPtown and not either DOWNtown or in Brooklyn is nearly impossible.

What were we talking about? OH, right. I’d probably want my brother to be the emergency guardian to my imaginary children. Mostly because he already has a 401k, but also because that what family do. Right? If my friends were like, “oh, yo, so if I get sidelined by a bus on the way to a Jay-Z concert will you watch my [imaginary] kids forever?” I’d be like, “ummm, I have this bluegrass concert downtown. sorry”, but if my brother asked, I’d be like, “Yeah.” Because you HAVE TO.

Family: Obligatory love since forever.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 8, 2013 9:36 AM

    a) I would absolutely help raise your future children if you die before I do,
    b) stop teasing me with these maybe-possibly-one-day-moving-to-brooklyn references, and
    c) you can definitely still say mid.

  2. February 8, 2013 9:44 AM

    a) thanks. Want to sign up to adopt them early? I feel like they’d be better off with you from the get-go
    b) But…I…maybe-possibly-someday-soon will. maye
    c) Woohoo! What about after June?

  3. John Baran permalink
    February 14, 2013 6:31 PM

    Adria, I have enjoyed reading your blog for some time, but I must also remind you that you and your brother will probably have to be the caretakers of your parents as they get older and more frail…(This in addition to taking care of any children you have). My brother and I had to face this reality during the past two years as we were dealing with my father in Atlanta. We eventually got him assisted living in Florida, where he spent his final days in relative peace….

    Mr. B

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