Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Meet The Family

My family is a big part of my life, so if you want to get a handle on who I am, then you need to know about them. They're a rather interesting bunch, so I'll take my time describing them.

Mom and dad: I really, really love these guys. I'm probably alone among teenagers when I say my parents have never embarrassed me, and to tell the truth most of my friends think they're cooler than I am, which is pretty close to the truth. They're a lot older than most of my friend's parents. Dad's in his late fifties and mom's in her early sixties. Not that you’d be able to tell, though. Both of them look years younger than they are and they definitely don’t act like senior citizens, but I'm getting ahead of myself here.

My parents are both artists. Mom's a painter and dad's a potter. They met in college in the sixties, where they were both art majors. Now you do the math. Art major + 1960's = hippie. Yep, they had the long hair, the cool threads, and were involved in social activism. Mom did peace marches and heard Martin Luther King give his "I Have A Dream" speech in person. Dad, well, he was in a band. Dad's kept at his craft ever since he graduated. His pots are pretty well-known in our community and he's been featured in several craft shows up and down the east coast. Mom put painting on hiatus for a while to become an elementary school art teacher. She retired just this year, and she's already gotten back into the swing of things. I tell you, the way that woman can turn a blank canvas into a beautiful landscape amazes me.

Our house is a testament to my parent's work. Paintings line the wall, pots are on every surface, and there are exotic knickknacks everywhere. The house itself was designed by mom, so it's really modern-looking. It's also a mile off the road, and there's a three-acre pond right in front of it. Needless to say it's been an awesome place to grow up.

Mom and dad are very devout Christians and they've raised their three kids (of which I’m the youngest) to be the same. Granted, they're a little different from the standard churchgoers. Mom loves to wear shawls, bangles, and dangling earrings and dad's ridden his custom chopper (black with red flames) to Wednesday night Bible study more than once. They've taught me and my siblings to think for ourselves, and we've all been encouraged in our individual endeavors. Whoever said that people who struggle with SSA have a broken relationship with their parents were not talking about me. That's for sure. I've yet to tell them about it, but I'm sure that when I do they'll be accepting. It's just hard to pluck up the courage to do it, but I’m in no hurry at the moment.

Rusty: My brother. He's in his early thirties, has a wife and a daughter, and is currently living the American dream. He was an English teacher for a while before becoming the assistant principal at my high school, which was interesting seeing as everyone there knew he was my brother, which led to some very interesting experiences. Rusty's been great to me. I can talk to him about anything, and I have. I came out to him early this summer. To be honest he was a little more accepting than I'd hoped he'd be. He thinks that homosexuality is reconcilable with Christianity (basically, he doesn't think it’s a sin,) and thinks that my choice to not act on my SSA comes from self-loathing or a desire to conform to society's norms. He should know me better than that, but I think he really just wants to make sure I'm happy. I have to admit that acting on my SSA would be an easier path, and it may make me happier for a while, but it's simply not for me. Rusty knows I think this way and he's respectful of it. I know I can count on him to be there for anything, so I have to be grateful for that.

Libby: My sister. Mid-twenties, blond hair, green eyes. She's got legs and, as the song goes, she knows how to use them. Yeah, Libby definitely got the looks of the bunch, and the brains. She graduated from college with a marketing degree and a hefty background in biomedical engineering. Not that she's done much with it, as she's currently a bartender in an elite Raleigh restaurant. Not that I blame her for that, since she's making more money than mom did while she was teaching. She's served people like Michael Jordan, LeAnn Rimes, and Tammy Faye Bakker (she said the last was an... Odd experience.) She's also interning for some big real estate lawyer, so she's rubbing shoulders with some Raleigh elitists. She's been a nanny for a wealthy Italian family in Florence, spent some time in Puerto Rico, and basically is enjoying all that life has to offer. Mom and dad worry that she's too materialistic, isn't taking the time to expand her faith, and isn't going to settle down, but I'm not too worried about her. She's finding her own way in the world and, as the song goes, she's going to make it after all. She's rarely home, so I don't get to talk to her too much, but we have a pretty good relationship.

Thelma: Last but not least, my dog. She's a seven-year-old German shepherd mix that still acts like a puppy. I'm really going to miss her when I go off to school, so mom and dad better take good care of her.

Well, that's my family. I couldn't have asked for a better one.

P.S. I finally put a picture of me in my profile. I hope I did it right. Can everyone see it?


grace said...

Wow! I wanna be you! haha!


Jay said...

Really? Why? I honestly don't see too much in my life that's worth of envy. There are lots of things in my life that I'd give up just to be rid of my SSA, but that's pretty unhealthy thinking.

I think it's important to be satisfied with what God gives us, and use it to do His will.

em said...

Oh my... I literally laughed out loud when I read your family description. I love it! I think I want to be you, too. My family's not nearly as interesting, but we put the "fun" in dysfunctional. Oh yeah.

Jay said...

Oh, trust me Em, we can be pretty dysfunctional too! Get too many smart people in a room together, and they will definitely clash. I have to admit that the arguments are interesting though. :)

Beast said...

You've got a loving family Jay! God is good!