Family questions

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks
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Toby
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Family questions

Postby Toby » 01 Jan 2018, 19:26

What does "Family" constitute to you? Is it just your immediate family i.e parents, siblings, children or is it much wider than that?

How complex is your family life? Are there people you don't see or haven't talked to in years?

How far can you trace your family background?

What's the knottiest issue in your family? Any black sheep?

What are your family's rhythms like? Do you all meet often? Do you have any family celebrations or traditions?

If you are married or have step-relations, what's the "other" side of the family like?


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yomptepi
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Re: Family questions

Postby yomptepi » 01 Jan 2018, 20:50

What does "Family" constitute to you? Is it just your immediate family i.e parents, siblings, children or is it much wider than that?

Just the four of us 99% of the time. I have seven brothers and sisters, and avoid them all studiously. I get on with my mum, but i think being raised in such a large family finished any need I have to see any of them ever again. The nuclear family get on very well. Just me Stan Robbi and Mrs Bear. We are very self contained, and there are few drama's .

How complex is your family life? Are there people you don't see or haven't talked to in years?

I didn't see my parents in law for over 15 years due a dispute with my father in law, which he refused to heal. I did not continue this feud on his death bed, as there were more important things to sort out. I have been at war with my brother in law for all of the thirty two years I have been married to his sister. he is a useless tosser. I used to get on with my older brother, but he utterly betrayed me, and will not accept any responsibility for his appalling behaviour. So fuck him too.

How far can you trace your family background?
A long way. My Mums side back as far as the fifteenth century. Quite easy as they were Catholics in Norfolk, and didn't move around much. My Dad's family were from west London, but he never really spoke of them. My grandfather on his side and his father, were engineers.

What's the knottiest issue in your family? Any black sheep? None really. ( looks sideways)

What are your family's rhythms like? Do you all meet often? Do you have any family celebrations or traditions?
I avoid all family occasions, and have not been to a family get together for so long that they do not even bother to ask me anymore. Same with any event involving the useless BIL

If you are married or have step-relations, what's the "other" side of the family like?
I get on very well with my MIL's sister and her husband. He was in industry, and we see the world through a very similar lens. We both despise the Brother in law with equal vigour.
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Re: Family questions

Postby jimboo » 01 Jan 2018, 20:52

Any particular reason you need to know such things? I often wonder why so many BCB contributors ask the questions they do.
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Re: Family questions

Postby Positive Passion » 01 Jan 2018, 22:17

There are four of us - i have two sisters and a brother. My brother has been married for over 30 years and has five children, one of whom has recently changed gender. I have been married for over 10 years and have one child. My eldest sister has been married, divorced, had a 10 year plus lesbian relationship (with someone fairly famous, actually) then since that ended has adopted a 7 year old - now nearly 15. My second sister married a man who had two duaghters by a previous marriage, and one of those had a daughter when she was 19.
My son thinks nothing of the steps or in-laws or adopted extras - other than being curious to precisely idenitfy his relationship to the various family members.
And we are a very functional family. Most of us were together on Christmas day, and again yesterday (joined by an Australian cousin of ours and her family).

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Toby
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Re: Family questions

Postby Toby » 01 Jan 2018, 22:27

jimboo wrote:Any particular reason you need to know such things? I often wonder why so many BCB contributors ask the questions they do.


Curiosity mostly. I'm not interested in music discussion much more; I'd rather talk about significant things and after a period of enforced family time I'm always interested in what sort of dynamic or rhythm other people's families have.

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Re: Family questions

Postby sloopjohnc » 01 Jan 2018, 23:13

What does "Family" constitute to you? Is it just your immediate family i.e parents, siblings, children or is it much wider than that?

To me, family means immediate family, cousins, grandparents, children. Not friends, although some of my closest friends I've had since six or seven.

How complex is your family life? Are there people you don't see or haven't talked to in years?

One of my cousins lives in San Francisco, but I haven't seen him in years. He's tended to stay away since my mom died 20 years ago. My other cousin, and I have three, lives in New Jersey. She hasn't been out since before my dad died. I'll probably never see her again unless one of us makes the effort. My oldest cousin lives close, but he's a raging alcoholic, and I don't want to have much to do with him anymore. Sad thing is I used to look up to him when I was younger.

How far can you trace your family background?

My mom's dad and mom are from Sweden and that's it. I have some cousins there and I keep in touch once in awhile. That's it. I could probably ask them.

My dad's family on his father's side were missionaries in Maui. That's all I know. My dad's mom family were pioneers who settled in Sebastopol, north of San Francisco. That's all I know.

What's the knottiest issue in your family? Any black sheep?

My alcoholic cousin. My girl cousin, her oldest brother, said the next time she comes out will be for his funeral. My brother's wife hates me, but he doesn't know it. He's kinda oblivious. We meet for lunch every month or so. After my dad died, I told my brother I had kinda decided I wasn't going to have anything to do with him and it kinda woke him up. We were good friends up to his mid 20s until he met his wife.

What are your family's rhythms like? Do you all meet often? Do you have any family celebrations or traditions?

With my parents dead, not much. My brother made a faint gesture Xmas eve afternoon, but I think I'll pass next year. He invited us to a summer BBQ a year ago and my son said, "I don't want to go to their place again." They live in a very affluent neighborhood and are very much into status. I don't blame them. It kinda comes with the territory.

I decided a long time ago not to complicate my life with family besides my ex and my kids. I'm adopted, and have never felt like an outsider, but it helps me now that my folks are dead and I don't really have any blood relations with anyone.
Last edited by sloopjohnc on 04 Jan 2018, 18:58, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Family questions

Postby Darkness_Fish » 02 Jan 2018, 08:49

What does "Family" constitute to you? Is it just your immediate family i.e parents, siblings, children or is it much wider than that?
Mum, dad, wife, son, brother. I guess that's it. I have a pretty large family on my mum's side, but I haven't seen most of them for years, I'm just not really interested in keeping in touch with people because we share a grandparent or something. My dad's side, I have two cousins, who I've seen at funerals, and one seems to work occasionally at the local book swap. We chat, but there's no deep bond there.

How complex is your family life? Are there people you don't see or haven't talked to in years?
Not really complex, there's no deep animosity, just a reluctance to put any effort into meeting family.

How far can you trace your family background?
18 miles.

What's the knottiest issue in your family? Any black sheep?
I have an uncle somewhere on my mum's side that probably murdered his wife. I can't quite remember the details. I think he was later jailed for GBH. Eddie, I think. Not talked of that often, but he's a very distant relative.

What are your family's rhythms like? Do you all meet often? Do you have any family celebrations or traditions?
I don't see my brother often, because he lives 4 or 5 hours drive away in South Wales. We don't really speak via telephone, email, anything, but get on really well whenever he's up here, or we might meet up for a random night out somewhere. I see my mum and dad fairly regularly, especially as they look after Tom once a week after school. No weird traditions I can think of.

If you are married or have step-relations, what's the "other" side of the family like?
They're ok, my wife seems to be making more of an effort to keep in touch recently, we keep going to all these family barbecues at a posh branch of the family, where they have a manicured garden that goes on for miles with a stream running through it. We've got to go to a wedding in Germany this year because of it, which should be an interesting trip out, at least.
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Re: Family questions

Postby Jumper K » 02 Jan 2018, 14:37

Apart from Mrs JKB, Friends are more important as I have chosen them and invest in staying in touch. I don’t need many though, good thing really as I’m an obnoxious misanthrope 99% of the time.

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Re: Family questions

Postby Jimbo » 02 Jan 2018, 14:44

jimboo wrote:Any particular reason you need to know such things? I often wonder why so many BCB contributors ask the questions they do.


It's one topic we can all talk about. It's invaluable as a topic for my ESL classes. Unfortunately, too, though I've had some pretty good conversations about family with students, my boss has asked me to tone it down the personal questions.
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Re: Family questions

Postby K » 02 Jan 2018, 14:58

Jumper K wrote: I’m an obnoxious misanthrope 99% of the time.


I wouldn't have you any other way.
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Re: Family questions

Postby hippopotamus » 02 Jan 2018, 23:03

What does "Family" constitute to you? Is it just your immediate family i.e parents, siblings, children or is it much wider than that?

Family is ALL kinds of things.
I come from a very close immediate family, and a closeish VERY large extended family.
Both my parents are middle children and I blame that for them wanting to always have lots of people around. For as far back as I can remember we always had friends and strangers just living at our house for extended periods of time.

This Christmas I realised I have friends that are like family.


How complex is your family life? Are there people you don't see or haven't talked to in years?

My dad's family is always feuding. And we were the black sheep of my mother's family... My siblings and I grew up determined not to be like that.
It may yet happen.

How far can you trace your family background?

The story from my Dad's side, is that his grandfather on his father's was the son of some industrialist magnate of the North of England. He once saw a man get crushed by the gates of the ?factory and was the staunchest of socialists from that point-- he married a German girl who was some sort of aristocrat who wanted to leave that life, and they moved to South Africa together. Apparently there is a Fairhurst hall not too far from where I live now.

I know very little about his mother's side, except her father was a Colonel from the Southwest of England, and her mother had OCD.

On my mother's side even less. Her father moved to South Africa during the war, from Austria. He was in an internement camp for a few years. His wife was killed... and then he married my grandmother who came from Munich after her mother died and everyone was starving. She tells incredible stories.
Recently she told me she had wanted to be a teacher but her mother had said it would be over her dead body teaching Hitler youths. So she decided medicine. She found a programme that offered nursing training that would let you study part time to become a doctor in South Africa. So thats why she moved to South Africa.

So essentially I know little about my family before they moved to South Africa.

What's the knottiest issue in your family? Any black sheep?

We're the black sheep of my mother's family because she married an English protestant.
Then more than half of them joined a christian cult... and we didn't even fit in then.

My dad's family ALL pride themselves on being a family of Black sheep. It sort of works for them.

What are your family's rhythms like? Do you all meet often? Do you have any family celebrations or traditions?
We meet a LOT.
We try. I grew up often in a different country or continent to one of both of my parents, and then my siblings. So we've always made it very important to do mad things to meet up for even the shortest time.
We try and do Christmas and New Year. We go to Vienna in March and try to go to South Africa.
We get along best when there are lots of other people around and not just us. Though I get along really well with my brother and sister in law and they have amazingly just fit in with our family's eccentricities.
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Re: Family questions

Postby Jimbo » 03 Jan 2018, 04:46

hippopotamus wrote: I have friends that are like family.


This.
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Re: Family questions

Postby Muskrat » 03 Jan 2018, 05:24

What does "Family" constitute to you? Is it just your immediate family i.e parents, siblings, children or is it much wider than that?
My sister and I are the only members of our immediate family left. We're both adopted, but consider our adoptive parents as our parents.
Can't speak for her (and she exits the conversation here), but we, our parents, and their parents are my "family," though both our grandfathers had died before we were around, and I was quite young when my father's mother died -- though we had met.

How complex is your family life? Are there people you don't see or haven't talked to in years?
See above. My sister lives about 30 miles away. We aren't estranged; just have nothing in common. We get together for dinner on major holidays, and for other special occasions as they may arise. We're there for each other, but only in a pinch. And we're both fine with that.

How far can you trace your family background?
Blood doesn't count in our situation, so I've never made any attempt to trace my parents' lineage beyond their parents.

What's the knottiest issue in your family? Any black sheep?
There was my uncle Jack -- my mother's brother -- who I liked a lot. But he lived in Louisiana while we lived in California (neither being our original residences), and he only came out a few things. He was a "black sheep" (only in his mind) culturally, I guess: he was a working man and my father was a physician, and Jack had been married a couple times, where that was unusual in our family. Any reluctance to get together was, as far as I knew, entirely his choosing.

What are your family's rhythms like? Do you all meet often? Do you have any family celebrations or traditions?
See above. When both my parents were alive (my mother survived my father by a decade or so), I lived 60 miles away and didn't come home much. But again, there was no problem other than convenience. And when I did come home, we'd be good for a couple hours before running out of things to say, and we never did anything as a group once I left for school.

If you are married or have step-relations, what's the "other" side of the family like?
Not applicable.

Thanks, Doc. That was the most I've ever talked about my family in years.
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Re: Family questions

Postby Dr Markus » 03 Jan 2018, 13:39

What does "Family" constitute to you? Is it just your immediate family i.e parents, siblings, children or is it much wider than that?
Family up to the 2nd cousins, they need ANYTHING, you're there for them simple as that.

How complex is your family life? Are there people you don't see or haven't talked to in years?
Yeah a few minor ones. When me da found out he had parkinsons he didn't tell one of his sisters. When she found out from me ma, she blamed her. There was frosty reception between them for ages. I don't really talk to one of my brothers unless he comes up to visit me ma. After me ma passes i'd be shocked if we see each other more than once a year. We're just chalk and cheese.

How far can you trace your family background?
Me ma did a family background back to the 17th century. So we have a wee book that lets you know whatever you want about their family. On me Da's side not much. It's pretty much all committed to memory so you'd have to ask.

What's the knottiest issue in your family? Any black sheep?
Da found out he had a cousin that was put up for adoption because she was born out of wedlock. Da was from one of the most rural parts of Ireland and it would have been in the 50's when this kinda thing as seen as very shameful. Thankfully her ma didn't have to go through the whole Magdalene sister hell, and did end up marrying the dude she has the illegitimate kid with. I've meet Da's cousin and she's great craic.

What are your family's rhythms like? Do you all meet often? Do you have any family celebrations or traditions?
Meet up for big birthdays and anniversaries like a 50th wedding or something like that. More so on my mothers side, out of 7 sisters they are close and visit each other when possible. Only one sister left on my da's side so we try and get her up from Galway as much as possible.

If you are married or have step-relations, what's the "other" side of the family like?

Nope.
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Re: Family questions

Postby Harvey K-Tel » 03 Jan 2018, 14:45

What does "Family" constitute to you? Is it just your immediate family i.e parents, siblings, children or is it much wider than that?

Myself, B, and the dog. My family includes my mother, my sister and her partner John, and her 4 kids from a previous marriage.

How complex is your family life? Are there people you don't see or haven't talked to in years?

I haven't seen or spoken to my dad's sister and her family since he passed away in 2014. I think they were a bit peeved that we never even had a memorial service for him, but my mom has told me that they are making overtures toward connecting again.

How far can you trace your family background?

Pretty far back on my dad's side. My aunt made an ancestral record several years back, and traced our lineage back to the Scottish highlands and the Isle of Islay. We Macdonalds emigrated to Canada in 1775. That's about it, though. There's not much of a record of my mom's family, who are from Poland. I think my mom is 3rd generation Canadian. My dad's mom's family have been in Canada for a long time as well, and have a long history in Canada's political scene. My great uncle Roland Michener was a Governor General in the late 60's-early 70's, and I'm distantly related to the novelist James A. Michener.

What's the knottiest issue in your family? Any black sheep?

No one, really. My sister was married twice before meeting her current partner. No one in my extended family had ever been divorced before that, but that's not such a big deal, and she's finally, truly happy which is all that matters. I have a lesbian aunt (my mom's sister) who lives on Galiano Island off the coast of BC, who sends me the occasional email, but I haven't seen her since I was 13.

What are your family's rhythms like? Do you all meet often? Do you have any family celebrations or traditions?

We get together on major holidays, and I try to visit my mom every few months (we live about 200kms apart) now that she's on her own. My sister lives closer to my mom and helps with her shopping and whatnot. My mom is eventually going to be moving in with my sister on her farm, hopefully later this year, and we're slowly getting ready to sell the family home.

If you are married or have step-relations, what's the "other" side of the family like?

B's parent's are in their 90's, and live in a nearby suburb. B is currently on an extended 'elder-care' leave-of-absence from her job at the post office and spends 3 days a week at their place, doing errands, shopping, running them to various doctors appointments, etc. It's really tough on her because her mom has an undiagnosed narcissistic personality disorder and just drives B nuts. Her dad is quite depressed because he used to be a big, strong guy, who built houses and could make anything out of wood, and now his body has almost completely failed him. He's talked about suicide, but since his english is so limited no one knows if he's serious or not, especially when he talks about throwing himself out of a ground-floor window.
B's three older brothers are pretty useless at helping, but they've all got their own issues to deal with, which I'm not going to get into here.
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Re: Family questions

Postby Nikki Gradual » 03 Jan 2018, 15:39

What does "Family" constitute to you? Is it just your immediate family i.e parents, siblings, children or is it much wider than that?
Very much immediate. My wife and kids, my parents and my brother and his family. My wife’s family are all abroad so that is a bit different. Next in the pecking order would be the families of the myriad kids I am godparent to, a small group of friends I have known for 40-plus years and my BCB family. Even though I don’t see that much of the latter nowadays and it doesn’t really show, the people that I spent so much time with 10 to 15 years ago still matter hugely to me. Not Yomp, obviously, but the rest.
I couldn’t even tell you for sure if my first cousins were alive.

How complex is your family life? Are there people you don't see or haven't talked to in years?
Not very, it’s very simple: the few that I see and the rest. My mum’s brother died quite young and we didn’t stay in touch with his family much after that, my dad’s sister emigrated to the States in her 20s, then massively fell out with everyone 25 years ago and then died. She has two kids who I haven’t seen for a long time. They were total nightmares anyway.
It’s a bit sad really because my grandmother on my dad’s side was proper into family and knew and stayed in touch with everyone even vaguely related, a massive loose circle of people that didn’t live in each other’s pockets but gathered regularly and looked out for one another. That sort of closeness has just been lost.

How far can you trace your family background?
There’s a book and family tree going back quite a long way on my dad’s side, but there are no Danny Dyer revelations: you only have to go back a few generations and it is all paupers and dishonourable discharges and worse.

What's the knottiest issue in your family? Any black sheep?
Nothing insurmountable. The core is so small that there are no big secrets or taboos. We all know and accept each other’s foibles and moods.

What are your family's rhythms like? Do you all meet often? Do you have any family celebrations or traditions?
I bump into my brother pretty much every week because we live only walking distance from each other, but spend some quality time with him probably once a month. I tend to see my parents every other months.

If you are married or have step-relations, what's the "other" side of the family like?
Massive and in eachother’s faces. All the time. Everyone knows everyone up to their 15th cousin 32 times removed and most of them see eachother all the time. I mean every day. Seriously. It’s very charming when we visit, but I couldn’t live like that.
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Re: Family questions

Postby sloopjohnc » 03 Jan 2018, 16:38

Muskrat wrote:How far can you trace your family background?
Blood doesn't count in our situation, so I've never made any attempt to trace my parents' lineage beyond their parents.


I've mentioned this on here before, but I have a good friend who was adopted from the same agency as I was. In his mid to late '20s, his birth mother contacted him and wanted to meet. He asked me my opinion.

I told him, "One family is enough for me."

I was adopted very young and have no interest in finding out who my mom and dad were besides health reasons. Now that I'm in my mid '50s and have high blood pressure, there's not much wrong. I figure that's genetic or a symptom of age anyway. Nothing else is wrong - no high cholesterol or anything and the rest is up to me, exercise, diet, drinking and smoking. I quit smoking and have quit drinking before for extended periods. Thinking about doing it again.

When my dad died, I did find my birth certificate. My last name had been changed but found out my original Christian name was Paul and not John. Maybe that's why i like the Beatles so much.

Anyway, it really hurt my friend's adoptive parents when he met his birth mother. Like me, she was young and unmarried when we were put up for adoption.
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Re: Family questions

Postby Muskrat » 03 Jan 2018, 18:09

sloopjohnc wrote:I've mentioned this on here before, but I have a good friend who was adopted from the same agency as I was. In his mid to late '20s, his birth mother contacted him and wanted to meet. He asked me my opinion.


A friend of mine was adamant about finding the daughter she'd given up for adoption. I told her I thought it was a bad idea.

She continued, to the point of hiring a private detective -- which couldn't have been easy, as she didn't have much money.

She found the daughter several states away, and (long story short) caused a serious disruption in the daughter's family. Not that my friend cared that much. I think she finally backed off, but don't know -- we lost track of one another and neither spent much time to find the other.

A few years later, another friend introduced me to her birth parents. I don't know who found whom, but the birth and adoptive parents seemed to get along well (all were there at the time). Still, I wouldn't recommend it.

Vaguely related, another friend of mine -- much closer than the first two, though not romantic -- turned out (as I discovered after knowing her for several years) to have been adopted (which I didn't know)...through the same midwestern agency that I and my sister had been. We didn't take any blood tests; some things are better left unknown.
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Re: Family questions

Postby Dr Markus » 03 Jan 2018, 18:13

Obviously not in that position but if I was adopted, I need to fucking know or i'd go crazy.
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Re: Family questions

Postby sloopjohnc » 03 Jan 2018, 18:59

The Great Defector wrote:Obviously not in that position but if I was adopted, I need to fucking know or i'd go crazy.


I'm here, I'm queer. Get over it!
OCT wrote:Roger Waters is a cunt and his music is fucking shit.