I wrote a little yesterday about our family’s similarity to the Barones on Everybody Loves Raymond, but I’m not sure you folks get just how MUCH we are like that bunch. The resemblance is uncanny…or scary…depending on your perspective. We watched that show religiously because it was if the writers spied on us and wrote about the daily happenings in our dysfunctional lives. The Hula-gens put the “fun” in “dysfunction”. We were sad when the show ended production because it was like saying goodbye to ourselves, but the Barones live on in syndication, so we still get a good chuckle at ourselves on a regular basis. And when TBS gets tired of running Ray and his gang, we have several of the seasons on DVD. If you are a regular reader here or a new reader and are trying to imagine what I and my family are like, just flip on Raymond and you’ll get a pretty good idea. Let me run down a few of the similarities for you.
Marie-My mother in law, Mama J., is just like Marie, right down to the hairdo, the long painted nails, the flower print jackets and the backhanded compliments. She has control issues and often says and does improper things…all out of intense love for her children and grandchildren. For years, she made remarks about my housekeeping and laundry skills that drove me insane. She’s pretty much over that now. She is so much like Marie that a coworker of mine accidentally asked me recently how “Marie” was doing instead of using Mama J.’s real name. Funny thing…I didn’t even catch it until later in the conversation and neither did she. Mama J. even talks like Marie. Remember the episode where they’re having the family photo taken and Mama J. isn’t getting her way so she plops her pocket book on her lap and whispers, “Go ahead without me. I’m not feeling very well?” Mama J. has actually pulled that one before…more than once.
Frank-Papa T. used to be nothing like Frank…until his dementia kicked in. Since his mind has started to slip, Papa T. focuses a LOT on his meals. He eats with gusto and relishes a good dessert and loves him some snacks. He also has a couple of pairs of stretchy pants that he likes to wear around the house after big meals. Like Frank, he tends to ignore a lot of what his wife has to say and watches a lot of TV. He is also prone to making politically incorrect remarks…again courtesy of the dementia.
Raymond-Hubby is the golden boy in his mother’s eyes. She lavishes him with attention and thinks he can do no wrong. He is often caught in the middle of the control battles his mother and I have. However, he is much better at defending me in front of his mother than Raymond is with his family…even when I’m wrong. He’s protective of his little turd and I love him for that.
Deborah-Well, first of all I’m…um…assertive...yeah, that’s it. I’m brunette, and I hate to be manipulated. Like Deborah, I will take so much, blow up and then have to backtrack because I got carried away. I put my foot in my mouth…a lot, and I often feel like I’m the ringmaster of a three ring circus…that doesn’t know it’s a circus. Remember the episode where the whole family goes to a counseling session regarding one of Ray and Deborah’s sons, and Deborah starts spilling her guts and kind of scares the counselor? I had a similar incident when Teen Angel was little. Right after my nephew died we consulted a counselor to see if we were handling his death okay. Somehow during the first session we got onto the subject of Hubby’s parents, and I couldn’t shut up. Ten years of built up stuff came spilling out, and the therapist’s eyes got very wide. When we left the building, I said, “Whew! I don’t know about you people but I feel much better.” Hubby and Teen Angel looked at each other and rolled their eyes.
Robert-As if all of the above were not enough, I have a brother who is a police officer..who recently married for the second time….and his new wife’s name is Amy. Now, Super Cop doesn’t have any sort of hang ups about his siblings (that I know of), and he has way more self confidence than Robert, but the whole cop thing just gives us one more similarity to the Barones.
Now, here’s the best similarity of all…despite all of the whacky, dysfunctional, personality quirks that we have and all of the fussing and carrying on….we are always motivated by love. We care for each other deeply and can’t stand it if someone else picks on one of our own. We may be a three ring circus, but we’re comfortable with our circus..even if it is heavy on the clowns.
*Photo courtesy: CBS.com
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