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Beyond the Books is a weekly feature hosted right here at KBK. Beyond the Books is a weekly writing prompt where I throw out a topic (mostly non-bookish), and you guys blog about it. Come back here and share the link to your blog post, and we all have fun learning about each other. For more information and future topics click here.

 

I always KNEW my family was weird. I mean we are all a little strange, but compared to other families we were really off. Now that I am grown, I realize just how far from normal we were.

We had no less than five animals at any time while I was growing up. We had a golden retriever, a tabby cat, and orange cat, five or so fish, an iguana, a snake, a bunny, and hamsters. I grew up in a fucking petting zoo! I realize now there was probably a smell associated with our home that I wasn’t aware of. Also, that’s a lot of extra work. There were already three kids, what the hell is wrong with my mom?!!!

We never used our dining room table. I know a lot of people had a table they set for company but rarely use, but our table literally never got used. I can clearly remember that it was used as a catch all and usually had at least one laundry basket taking up residence on it. We sat on the couches for meals or stood in the kitchen. I know it was all normal for us, but all my friends thought that was weird.

At Thanksgiving my mother always worked. My mom worked at a grocery store so money was tight and she got double time on Thanksgiving. We spent every Thanksgiving of my childhood with my aunt or grandparents. We would celebrate our Thanksgiving at home on Friday or Saturday, from the couch.

My mother always told me to NOT be like everyone else. So when my friends were playing with dolls, I sought out the complete opposite and started playing basketball. Also, my childhood had no real curfew. I can remember being like eight years old and being allowed to stay out til the basketball lights went out…at eleven. My friends were always so jealous I could stay out later. Now I can see that is hella late for and eight year old girl!

My sister spent a whole summer wearing her bathing suit. What! Yea, a whole summer she wore that thing everyday and never wore anything else. I mean, it was south Florida hot, but still why was she allowed to run around like that? My older brother was allowed to fix bicycles in his bedroom. His carpet was permanently stained with grease and gook from chains and ball bearings. It was pretty gross.

We drank cool-aide and soda exclusively when I was a kid. Milk was only for cereal and we never bought juice. No one in my family drank water, that shit was for cooking only! It is amazing that we don’t all have diabetes today. Us kids made the cool-aide, so you know it was FULL of sugar. Also, we made something called cinnamon bread which consists of cinnamon sugar over buttered toast. Sugar was the main staple of my childhood. My friends loved to come over my house and eat, we always had junk food and there was never a limit to how much we could have in one sitting.

My biggest woe as a child was sharing a room with my sister. By the time I was seven (my sister was five), my mother stopped helping me clean our room. Our room had no floor, just piles of clothes and toys. I tried everything to keep that room clean, even drawing a line designating my side from hers, but it was almost always a mess. My mother worked a lot and I assume this was a battle she just gave up. I think back and shutter at the state of that room.

One of the strangest things about my family, and I know most of you will agree that this is odd, is that we grew up with a ghost. I am not kidding. Throughout my whole childhood, every house we lived in, we had a meek poltergeist. I know how that sounds, but believe me it is true. Things were always turning on and shutting off for no reason. Things got moved right before our eyes. We had cold spots and heard voices. There were rooms where you felt like you were being watched and rooms that you lost time in. It got so bad in one house that friends wouldn’t come in.

When I was six my father died, so we always thought the ghost was him. It didn’t seem menacing, but it was a bit freaky at times. My whole family just accepted it, we never questioned it as being strange. When I was sixteen the poltergeist stopped for no reason. Living with it was pretty normal and so when it was gone I think we all missed it.

As an adult, I see that there was plenty weird about my family. We never ate at the table, our house was a petting zoo, the rooms were a mess, sugar was a main staple, and we had a ghost. I don’t know what else to say. My family was really weird.

What weird about your family?

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