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And I don’t mean with Richard Dawson kissing all the women, either.

I have this friend (no really, I do!) who is sort of stuck in the middle of her family and their fighting. I’ve listened, I’ve clucked, and I’m basically out of ideas for her. Which has me thinking, which is the basis for this post.

My friend is in a bit of a tight spot with her family. She’s the “second generation” in this family-system, but the “first generation” seems to want to continue feuding and fighting, and somehow, she’s stuck in between everyone. Well, I should correct that~part of the “first generation” wants to continue fighting and being mad over things that (apparently) happened many decades ago, and the other part would rather let bygones be bygones.

But my friend is stuck because her immediate family is part of that “first generation,” and her extended family is the other part. From my perspective, it would appear that nothing my friend’s immediate family would or could ever do will be good enough or not meet up with incredible amounts of disdain and criticism from the other side of the family, and yet she walks a tightrope between the two~genuinely loving both and seeing (as much as she can) both sides of whatever it is that happened all those many years ago to set things off.

It’s not exactly like the storied Hatfields and McCoys, but it’s close. One side engages their grown children (the “second generation”) in their fights and arguments and stirs up trouble, which befuddles me. Is there not enough trouble in the world that people have to borrow it from others? That they have to take on offense that isn’t theirs, instead of saying, “Ya know…maybe you should just let history be history and move on…”? *That part* I do not understand.

But I do try to support my friend and I do try to listen and encourage her as she walks that fine line. The question is how to make adults (after all, the “first generation” is well in to their sixties by now) act like…well, adults. If they were all still 9 and in the third grade, I could understand and appreciate a little more some of the “pissing matches” that take place. But they’re not. And while I can appreciate (although I try not to do this) carrying a good grudge a solid 30 years running, what’s the point? Doesn’t that just eat up time, mental energy, and joy that could be yours? What about the value of family harmony? It’s almost as if this “first generation” loves to stir things up and sit back and watch each other in meltdown mode.

It just makes me sit back and scratch my head. I guess I value my time, mental energy, and joy (not to mention peace) more than they do. Or maybe I’m the anomaly and the weird one in how I manage my frustrations and conflicts. Maybe all families do this? I just know that if mine ever pulls this crap, I’m going to sit them down and talk to them, possibly knocking their heads together ala Moe, Larry, & Curly. The idea that my children and their children might fall in to this trap scares the poo out of me. Life is simply too short and people are too valuable to pull this junk. I also hope I never see this with any of my cousins or their families, either. This sort of behaviour pattern really takes the “fun” out of “dysfunctional,” I’ll tell ya.

I really don’t have any answers for my friend~at least, none that she can actively use. I do think they might benefit, however, from a good head-clunking.

Maybe I can find a Moe look-alike to do an impersonation and refer him to my friend.

It can’t hurt the situation, right?.

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Category: life musings
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