Webster's dictionary defines a Family as "a group of persons of common ancestry or clan; a people or group of peoples regarded as deriving from a common stock"
The words that stand out to me in that definition are "common ancestry" and "common stock". How opposite are those two descriptions? Ancestry relating to bloodline is an understandable explanation of the traditional idea of family, however being of common stock to me implies actually being similar, having the same views, ideas and passions. Personally, this is more a description of friends than it is of family. I can only speak for myself, but there are definitely some members of my family who I am constantly perplexed about how I have any relation to at all.
There's the old saying "you can't choose your family, but you can choose your friends." I'd imagine Audrey and Russ Griswold felt exactly this way during their many "fun, filled family vacations" to Walley World or quests to cut down the perfect Christmas tree in National Lampoons.
I'm a firm believer that your friends can actually be your real family. You can count on them, they have the courage and dignity to tell you how they feel rather than going behind your back, you share similar views (and even if you don't, they are interested to discuss it!), they are a positive influence in your life and, most of all, they love you for the right reasons.
I don't mean to be Debbie Downer on families- there are absolutely people in my family who I would do anything for and who are the most precious things in my life. It just confuses me occasionally about how there are some people I'm meant to consider "family"- but would I really want to be friends with them if I had the choice?
All that said, I guess that no matter how crazy, depressing or just plain weird some family members may be, they are still family and we have to accept them for just that. Focus on those you love - be it family or friends- and laugh at the rest.
In the wise words of Clark Griswold:
"I think you're all f*@ked in the head. We're ten hours from the f*@king fun park and you want to bail out. Well I'll tell you something. This is no longer a vacation. It's a quest. It's a quest for fun. I'm gonna have fun and you're gonna have fun. We're all gonna have so much f*@king fun we'll need plastic surgeory to remove our godamn smiles."
Till next time x