Family Differences

How are we all so different?

I love my family, don’t get me wrong. I consider them to be one of the most important things in my life—maybe even the most important thing! My family has carried me through everything—my depression, my living situation, and even the times I’ve come out as gay. They have supported me through everything, BUT it does strike me how different everyone is in my family.

There are always slight similarities, like how my mum looks like my twin but older, or our hobbies are alike—our football mad weekends or our love for certain music! However, there are major differences. How?

Let's just give you a brief introduction to myself. I am an old age of 21, living in the heart of London. A quarter Italian and allergic to cheese and tomato, I was not blessed with the Italian pallet. I’m 5'2" and skinny, with short brown hair and zero boobs, so I am often mistaken for a schoolboy (maybe that is why my girlfriend loves me so much). I work hard, working 50-hour weeks and having no social life apart from my little blog, my girl, and my cat. I draw, write, and design. I fall into imaginary worlds of literature and dream of faraway places. I’m pretty well-rounded but I speak my mind—much to my manager’s disgust. I am ambitious and to me progress is key, learning and growing. I have a few but powerful obsessions: tattoos, Game of Thrones, and monster munch crisps (but they MUST be pickled onion flavoured). And you will normally find me in a stitch onesie in my natural habitat—MY BED!

My girlfriend of three years (yes, I have held a serious relationship), Shannon is my polar opposite—if the phrase “my better half” wasn’t invented, Shannon would be holding the copy right. Shannon and me are best friends, carrying nicknames of “little chub” and “little pudge.” She is my gorgeous girl of 20 but looks more mature, around 25? She is an artist with make-up and hair, an absolute wizard. She can even make me look good! She's a social butterfly with countless friends, partying, and living life. Her looks match how smart she is, a training chemist and fluent in unknown languages. Her sarcasm and humour blow my mind. The times I have found her singing at the top of her lungs and dancing around my room in a towel are COUNTLESS! But like I said, there are similarities. We both read and recommend, we both like our snacks and chocolate, and we both like cuddles and a movie (I believe I have just described everyone’s first date). 

Her family in comparison to my family is huge. My family consists of my mum, dad, and my fat cat called Poo. Hers, well, where do I begin? Mum, dad, two siblings; six aunts and uncles, two sets of grandparents and ten cousins! Trust me, Christmas is a pain and it feels like the Olympics. But I love her family as much as my own. There is one catch with my family: you have to pass the weirdness test!

That leads us to my mother, a 50-year-old, half Italian, 4'8" of a woman who reminds me of a little ball. A complete shopaholic who makes it a challenge to“see how many new shoes, bags and clothes I can sneak in to the house without anyone noticing.” And she gets gold every time until it reaches the wash and dad asks that all-important question: “When did you get this. I haven’t washed this before?” 

Now imagine that sentence coming out of a 7' bald man with one hand on an iron and the other on his beer belly. Dad is simple but cute, like a character out of a novel. He paints cars, is a die hard West Ham supporter, and cannot read so he flicks through the newspaper, looking at the photos. But he loves Mum, Mum loves him. He is, as she likes to call him, “my TOYBOY,” at the ever much younger age of 48!

My parents barely see each other. Monday to Friday, they are on different times—almost as if they were in separate countries. Dad starts work at 4 AM and falls asleep on the sofa after 8 PM with his mouth wide open and a waterfall of drool landing on his shoulder. Then Mum gets home around 9 PM and leaves at 9 AM the next morning. Weekends are when they are magnetised to each other’s hip. It’s very sweet. Perfect if anything was to be perfect!

Now Shannon’s parents are not as weird as my own. Shannon’s step dad works from home, managing three businesses—this man is my walking dream. He is quiet but proud, golf crazy, and every weekend is spent on the range. He refuses to get a new car even though his first edition Mazda no longer leaves the driveway.

Shannon’s mother is maybe a little bit weird—only because after three years, I have never seen her without a full face of make-up and dressed ready for a ball. This woman never gets seen in pyjamas or jeans! Stress doesn’t exist in this lady's vocabulary.

Now Shannon’s parents don’t get any “alone time” because they have another two beautiful children, 8- and 5-years-old so there's a huge age gap between them and Shannon. Their kids are breath taking, both blond, blue eyed, and have the cutest smiles that can get them out of any trouble. 

Let's start off with my best friend, Georgey (No, he was not named after the child from Stephen King's IT), my favourite 8-year-old who believes so strongly one day he will be a football playing Spider-Man. This little boy is like my own—every time I am over, I hear the same thing! “Megan, are you here for long?” or “Megan, are you going to have enough time to tell me a bedtime story?” Story time with him is the best thing in the world, imagining dragons and ghosts, fighting handsome knights and rescuing countless people that need saving. We have this in common. We both like to escape and travel to new worlds that you never know one day might turn out to be real. Well, this is what Georgey hopes will happen, becoming Spider-Man to save the poor defenceless Gnome Town from the evil Dr. Mad, the 20' gorilla.

Then there is my little diva, maybe a true descendant from Queen B herself. The most dramatic 5-year-old, let me introduce, Ava. She holds the record for the longest tantrum, the loudest scream, and the world record for times she has beaten Georgey at wrestling. Absolutely crazy is an understatement for this child. Paw Patrol-obsessed, she runs around the house being “Chase” and then jumps to a new scene where “Peppa Pig” is involved. Sarcastic like her sister, the things she comes out with are unimaginable and cannot be made up. I remember one morning around 6 AM, being woken up by Ava screaming from the bottom of the garden, arguing with her mother about going to church and if I remember rightly the phrase was “I don’t want to go to church, I don’t believe in God. He is just a hairy man in a white towel.” At this point, I didn’t mind being woken up because the laughter after was well worth it. 

Extended family I won't go into much but memories of Vodka, a kitchen counter, and a trip to A & E come to mind when I think of Shannon’s aunty Kezza. Memories of long queues outside the bathroom when all the cousins come to stay. And the odd slip and fall on dog poo when the new puppy arrives. All of these come to mind and will never leave of be forgotten.

See, now family is so important even though we are all so different. Every family has its ups and downs but at the end of the day, they are the only ones you have and you don’t know how long they are going to be around for. Don’t take those silly moments for granted—they don’t always carry on. Treasure your family and don’t forget to share your love.

I wrote this for my nana that pasted nearly two years ago and will never be forgotten. Her smile, her eyes, and her laugh all were beautiful and printed forever on my brain. Love you ,Nana.