Posts Tagged: family

Welcome Home

You're back! Isn't it great? Isn't it great to be back in your old room? Or in the room next to your old room, because your old room is now your stepdad's office and the place where he's allowed to TiVo sports? Isn't it great?!

You made it out of Brooklyn without a stick-and-poke tattoo, which is something only a select few can say, so give yourself a little pat on the back. A little pat on the back where that stick-and-poke would have gone. You thought about it. About getting your best friend's initials, or an outline of Brooklyn, or an outline of that Brooklyn coffee [...]


Interview With a Person Who Thought She Was Reincarnated

Savannah is a 26-year-old woman who grew up believing that she was the reincarnation of her dead aunt Laura.

Hi Savannah! What are you doing right at this moment?

Hi! I'm lying in a hammock with my beagle.

What?? I am … very jealous. Let’s just get right into it. Do you remember ever not believing that you were your aunt Laura? Did anyone have to convince you, or did you always think it was true?

I always believed it. It was always, always a thing. It started when I was a newborn and my parents brought me to meet the family. When they handed me to my great-grandmother [...]


Family Archaeology

"Reading my father's love letters to my mother was so confusing, because they felt like they were written by a different man. Now I know that they were. They were written by a man I could never know, a man who was possibly murdered. It probably sounds insane, but that's something that I'm really only beginning to think about now, because for so long I was relieved that he was gone, and didn't let myself care about the how or why." —We're a little late to this, but in case you missed Anya Yurchyshyn's essay on learning about her dead parents through their old letters, it's a lovely and [...]


New Romance: A Practicum for the Living

If you're looking to suss a fling from a partner, a fantastic early date is hitting up a cemetery to visit your dead mother. Because it’s not like they’re meeting at Thanksgiving, and it moves along a subconscious effort to both sabotage a new romantic relationship and forcibly resolve an old family one. That's my outlook on intimacy, anyway.

It was three months after my mother died of complications from a 20-year struggle with multiple sclerosis. She hadn't walked, or spoken coherently, in years. It ended badly in May. Come August, I found myself in — among the frayed nerves, fear of death, unresolved grief and anger — a relationship. And somewhere [...]


Interview with a Person Whose Mom Came Out of the Closet

Rebecca is a 24-year-old web designer who lives in New York City.

So, let’s talk about your mom! What was her story growing up?

She was born in 1960 and she grew up in a Catholic family in New York, not super religious but culturally so. She told me that she thought maybe she was bisexual, and she also definitely wanted a family, and at that point the way to have a family was to get married to a man. So that’s what she did.

How did your parents get together?

She met my dad in college—he’s nine years older than she is—and they got married a few years after that. She was the one to propose, which is [...]


Life, Love, Lower Learning

The other day my 15-year-old daughter and I were discussing her top choices for colleges, and she breezily mentioned that she didn't want to make the mistake of ending up like her poor uneducated parents.

Wait, what?

This comment thrown out so casually shook me. And, mind you, spoken from our hilltop home with the vast ocean view. Rented, yes, but we do live here, thank you very much.

But let me start at the beginning. I wasn't university material. My teachers told me I'd do great if I just applied myself, but I didn't have the patience or drive to seriously consider college. The vague marketing and business majors [...]


Writing About Dead Family Members

"I walked in and he gave me one of his looks, dropping his jaw and crossing his eyes as he rolled them back in their sockets. It was a look he assumed in all kinds of situations but that always meant the same thing: can you believe this?" —The Guardian excerpts a section from John Jeremiah Sullivan's 'Blood Horses: Notes of a Sportswriter's Son' (out March 14 … in the UK, and — updated to include — out about eight years ago here in America. Sorry about that. Still a good read!).


My Long-Lost Cousin the Vampire: A Not-So-Philosophical Search for Ezra Koenig

“Richard McKeon (April 26, 1900 – March 31, 1985) was an American philosopher.”

What I know of my grandfather, born at the unimaginable turn of the 20th century and gone two years before I was born, was primarily from family lore. Almost everything else, I learned from his Wikipedia page

“He taught Aristotle throughout his career, insisted that his was a Greek Aristotle, not one seen through the eyes of later philosophers writing in Latin. McKeon's interests later shifted from the doctrines of individuals to the dialectic of systems.”

His ceremonious turkey-carving, during which all Thanksgiving guests would await their drumstick or breast in stiff tension as pieces [...]


My Brother, My Mother, and a Call Girl

My brother Danny lost his virginity at age 25. To a call girl named Monique. Hired by our mother.

My mother didn’t bother asking Danny for his permission before engaging Monique’s services. She didn’t ask my father to condone the transaction. Nor was she troubled by social mores or laws against solicitation. She deserves a Mother of the Year Award.

There was a reason for my mother's taboo-busting parenting. Danny was born with a rare, incurable genetic disease that affects the development and function of the nervous system. The typical lifespan for children born with Familial Dysautonomia was then about five years. My mother rolled up her sleeves, strapped [...]


Photo Etiquette and the Modern Family

1. I need some honest, impartial advice here. From you, from other Hairpinners, from anyone really.

My boyfriend and I have been together for five and a half years. That is a pretty long time, especially considering we're both 23. We love each other very much, have very similar goals, values, senses of humor, etc. We are in the same work field but with different focuses, so we help each other creatively and work together well. Basically, it's all good. Marriage is forecasted at some point, but right now we are very new to the "real world" and thus have no money and no real clue where our lives are [...]