Compatible Damage

Compatible Damage


I prefer my food gluten-free and my life drama-free.

This goes for family as well, and THAT can be a tall order, just like getting gluten-free anything outside of urban areas.

Wanna go to New York for the weekend in October? My cousin is having her first US art exhibition. She and her sister are going to be there for the opening, with their adult kids,” husband asked this spring.

I share the love that he has for these women; AND I will go to New York for the opening of an envelope.

Uh, letmethinkaboutthatYES,yesIwould!” I said all in one looooong exclamation.

It was so dear and also enlightening to sit back and watch and listen as they got caught up. It’s been over ten years since we’ve seen them.

Let’s be clear, my understanding of French, especially spoken fast and with enthusiasm, is similar to my grasp of Mandarin – nonexistent.
But I understand giggles and guffaws and misty eyes and hugs.

Hours of stories and memories shared.
Seems the old guard are almost all gone, everyone is allowed to exhale. This old French family is passing into very capable, progressive, and dare I say less dysfunctional hands.

Every family has their “stuff” and his family is no different; except their drama and family neurosis has style.
A certain je ne sais quoi. It wears better clothes, and is dripping in that sardonic French wit.

It’s the Coco Chanel of families.

A mistake a lot of us make is that we look at other people’s families who seem to have it all together; very beautiful and glamorous lives, all the trappings of success and we think: I wish they were MY family. I’d be SO together if he/she were MY parent.
I call bullshit.

It’s all the same in every language, in every country. It’s Universal. Family shit runs deep.

You think your family’s cornered the market on crazy? Think again.
The eccentric, wild-eyed, cousin who never wears shoes, the snarky, judgmental, bitchy family member – they’re the same worldwide. The only difference is they may wear a sari, a Metallica t-shirt, or couture, and have a funny accent.

Seems it’s just a part of the human condition.

Walking around this weekend, it was all becoming clear.
New York is such a culturally diverse city; there were families, parents and children of various ages and ethnicities everywhere we visited. I was a witness to global love and global dysfunction; as they do go hand in hand.
And you know what?

You can’t make it to adulthood unscathed.

Family bestows on us its greatest traits (his family has an inordinate amount of successful, gifted artists) and its darkest, stickiest, secrets.
It damages us all to varying degrees.

Whether it’s through therapy, hypnosis, running away, or just the grace of God, it is my belief that we end up with the people with whom we share compatible damage. Funny is a bonus.

That’s all it is.
I did a very exhaustive, comprehensive weekend study – it really is THAT simple.

Love you my compatible people,


My version of life. My stories. Told in my own words.

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