Sometimes, Familiarity Breeds Content

Don't be like this guy in the picture. It's not good for your health. Really.

I’ve been in comfy cozy mode for a while now, and my viewing choices have reflected my mood. Last night I watched Rick Steve’s European Christmas, which, as the title suggests, shows how different countries in Europe celebrate … well, obviously.

A particularly charming custom to my mind came from Italy. In the small towns and neighborhoods, children bring a holiday cake called Panettone to widows without any nearby family. I thought it was a wonderful tradition: the widows got a breath of fresh, young air and the kids got a healthy dose of wisdom. How beautiful.

Then I told Double Post about it, and she said, “That could never happen in America. Some thugs would show up to the old ladies’ doors pretending to be kids, and then robbing them. Then some old people would abuse the kids.”

Thank you, Double Post.

But she has a point. How many towns and neighborhoods have residents who know each other well enough to trust? Do you talk to your neighbors? Do you even talk to your families? We are sorely lacking in cohesion, because cohesion has its bad side, too.

When people are tightly knit, they know one another’s business. They annoy, judge and bother each other. But by turning our back on those negatives, we have given up some very vital positives.

We don’t care for each other, play with each other, or protect each other. We don’t understand each other, help each other, or make time for each other. Much.

And why do we roll our eyes at spending time with our families? Not fakey "phot-op", pretend togetherness, but time when you truly talk and listen and interact fully. Family is a basic building block of humanity. How many of us neglect it?

Granted, some people have truly poisonous situations in their lives – alcoholism, abuse, and violence, for example. Yet how many of us avoid family togetherness because people are fussy, bossy or intrusive. They get on our nerves. They know all the buttons and how to push them.

I’m not discounting how quickly some of those habits can become painful. But if your family is so debilitating, you need to replace it with something real and meaningful. If you’re putting on a “mask”, it’s not real. You have to put your real self out there, vulnerabilities and all, and allow people to both love and irritate you.

I wish I still had my great aunt and grandma around to complain that the coffee’s not hot enough this Christmas, or insist on a full Polish meal instead of the funky hors d’ouevres I plan on serving. It wouldn’t bother me nearly as much now.
Name: Übermilf
Location: Chicago Area

If being easily irritated, impatient and rebellious is sexy, then call me MILF -- Übermilf.

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