Many of you have just spent your Memorial Day with your family. Many more of you have just spent your Memorial Day drinking on your buddy's Dad's boat. You should be ashamed of yourself" Memorial day is not about drinking" It's about being with the ones you love (and drinking with them). And the ones you love are your family. Just like China, families are made up of many individuals who all kind of look alike. With this in mind, I present Your Family.
The Gay Cousin- Every family has one" some just don't know it yet. Most likely named Trevor or Tyler, the gay cousin will enliven any family get together with his funny Cher impressions and his sarcastic comments on your Mom's throw covers. While his father sits by himself drinking till he can forget, your gay cousin will tell you about all the exciting art events happening in San Francisco and about what a "super-awesome, mega-blast" it was to march in the Pride Parade last Fall. Of course, you can't let Grandma and Grandpa know the truth about cousin Marcus" they think he's just artistic.
The Grizzled Vet- This is the family member who will always start a sentence with, "yep, those were some crazy days out there in the jungle. Hell, I was no older than you by the time I killed 20 men" " The grizzled vet will regale your younger relatives with war stories as he shows off his "knife scar" that he got in "Nam." (translation: The injury was acquired during a fishing trip in 1983) The Grizzled vet will constantly remind you how lucky you are to be in college and not "sloppin' through rice patties halfway around the world looking for an enemy we couldn't find." Be kind to this man, for Memorial Day is his day" and he can kill you nine different ways with his bare hands.
The Drunkel- Chances are the gay cousin's father is the drunkel. He can usually be spotted asking your little sister to "grab (him) another brewski" from the cooler or wobbling his way to the driveway insisting that he's "fuckin' fine to drive" Jesus, I've been driving for fuckin' 30 years!" Your Aunt will always try to explain the he has "had a rough week at work" or that the "courts said he can't see his oldest son anymore," but everyone knows that when Uncle Chester hits the bottle, the bottle doesn't get back up. Chances are that if you are over the age of 35, reading this, and trying to think about who the Drunkel is in your family; it's probably you.
The Ancient One- At ever family gathering, tucked away on a lawn chair by herself with a glass of lemonade in her shakey hand and a confused look on her weathered face, is the Ancient One. You don't really know who she is or what your relation to her is, but she is there nonetheless. Her wrinkled face and thick, back shoes give away the fact that she is certainly older than Jesus, but her nature eludes you. "Who did she come with?", "Does she know who I am?", "Have I ever met her before?", "Why is she talking to the dog?" These questions are to be asked when confronted with the Ancient One. For further inspection of her identity, look at photos from your birth. She will be there holding you when she was a much younger 89-years-old.
The Free Spirit (also known as the Vegan)- Everyone knows that you had better stock the family BBQ with boca burgers and tofu casserole if cousin Enya is coming over. This family member marches to the beat of her own drummer; so long as the drum is made of recycled laminate and the drum head is not made from stretched animal skin. The Free Spirit will try to explain to you the wonders of either A. Yoga B. The Kabala C. Veganism or D. Spiritual self awareness. Your Mother will humor her to a certain degree but your grandfather, the saintly soul that he is, will tell her to "shave her Goddamned legs and find a man because a woman can only get so far in this world on her own."
The Hometown Hero- The cousin you love to hate, but can't really see, to. Like the Chinese kid in math class, the Hometown Hero ruins the family curve by doing everything right. He got straight A's in high school and college. Has a great internship. Helps out at the local soup kitchen. Has a great girlfriend that your whole family "absolutely adores." Was financially independent from his parents at 17. Plays four sports and overcame some crippling adversity" like polio or rickets. If you're reading this, don't worry, you are not him. The Hometown Hero doesn't need the internet because he reads every book on the planet and will talk to your mother about The Da Vinci Code for hours. Don't fear though, he'll die young in a tragic accident, like saving a bunch of kids from a fire, so you won't have to deal with him that much longer.
Three things to check out
- Chaster's new article called "What my mom has to deal with when we're home for summer"
- This shirt (perhaps the coolest of the summer).
- These hotlinks