Blood is thicker than water. I mean really, in scientific terms, blood is in fact thicker than water.
As far as the saying goes, well, sayings are about quips and concise wit. This one in particular, is exactly that for me—just a saying.
In typing the last two entries (Cycling and Negative Instructions, one specific word continued to stand my hairs on end as I typed it—biological. I use the qualifier at length because that’s how I feel about said connection (read: “not a relationship”). Biological…father, mother, brother, sister, sibling, what have you.
Internationally speaking, family is something that has been cherished for centuries. Wars have been waged and vendettas have been vowed. Tribes, villages, colonies, empires, the list goes on, and because of this innate cultural gravity, I feel like what I’m about to say in this blog is as blasphemous as any God-fearing soul can imagine.
I respect my elders. I acknowledge the past, and I learn as much as I can moving forward. I know it’s a privilege to drink clean water and have a warm bed under a roof. I get that any self-respecting parent would want the best for their child.
But what I refuse to hand over is an entitlement of blind respect, unquestioning submission, and an attitude to bend over and bow down to selfish cowards.
I do not have to respect someone that blames, blackmails, lies, and alienates. I do not have to love someone who manipulates trust and uses immature tactics. And I definitely do not have to deal with someone who does not listen.
It’s a rough moment when you realize that someone you thought was strong, rational, mature, and above all else, a friend, turns out to be a conniving coward who can’t answer simple, straight-forward questions or communicate without feeding a chemical dependency first.
I don’t feel bad them, nor do I pity them. I don’t waste my time trying to reach out or do anything else for them. I focus on my safety and health and realize that I now know the true meaning of disappointment.
I feel bad for my friend who has never met his father, for my friend who doesn’t know she’s adopted, for my friend who’s afraid to get married because they don’t know how a marriage is supposed to work. I feel bad that I can harbor these types of feelings for a figure that someone I care about only wants to have in their life.
But that’s just it. These biologicals? They’re figures. These genetic roommates? They just happen to have the same set of sperm and egg donors as you do. That doesn’t make you an emotional family. It makes you a statistic, and it gives you a template that you can decide to follow or not.
You can’t choose your family, but you can choose your
So choose your family to be your friends,
or choose your
friends to become your family.
The latter is the choice I’ve made, and it’s a decision that’s often difficult to defend because so many people choose the former and feel it’s the only way.
NOTHING IS EVER THE ONLY WAY.
My biological older brother got married a few years ago, and because I acknowledged we were never that close, I did not assume (nor ask to be) in his wedding. My mother already assumed I would be, and I came to find out he thought the same. If he wanted to, sure, but I just wanted him to ask me like any grown man would ask anyone he would want in his wedding. By the way it was handled, you’d think George McFly was asking Biff to borrow his truck.
When I got engaged a couple years later, my mother assumed both my biological siblings (there is a younger sister as well) would be in the wedding, and she was disappointed to hear that I requested neither of them.
However, I did have my brothers and sisters in the wedding, and those that weren’t standing up there with me were probably in the seats and hung around for the whole reception.
Yeah, my side of the wedding party looked more mixed up than Peter Klaven’s in I Love You, Man, but dammit, my family was in my wedding.
My kids will have cool uncles, aunts, and cousins, and that’s because all the parents will get along too. Not because we’re supposed to because of some invisible-to-the-naked-eye double-helix structure, but because we want to.
Blood may be thicker than water, but water’s in beer and what does blood make, pudding? I’ll take beer over pudding most days.