What Is a "Normal" Family, Anyway?
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What Is a "Normal" Family, Anyway?

Putting the "fun" in Dysfunction

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What Is a "Normal" Family, Anyway?

Did you grow up in a family with a few (okay, maybe more than just a few) maladaptive ways of dealing with the everyday nuances of life? Well, you're not alone. Here are some clues that your family is at least a few standard deviations away from "normal."

1. When someone asks you about your kinfolk, and your first thought is "Little Miss Sunshine."

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F08%2F31%2F636082049186257601153012714_little_miss_sunshine_olive_trunk_car.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=698&h=9858bf4699e53d76a974cf6867f1d22a9b5c90524a3a0bc623398c8fc4684c52&size=980x&c=2429694073 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F08%252F31%252F636082049186257601153012714_little_miss_sunshine_olive_trunk_car.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D698%26h%3D9858bf4699e53d76a974cf6867f1d22a9b5c90524a3a0bc623398c8fc4684c52%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2429694073%22%7D" expand=1]

Red flag.

2. Everyone in the family is a "character" according to your mom.

Thanks to whiskey delivered via an eye dropper, my great-grandmother was able to survive being born prematurely -- yeah, I'm sure DCFS would think she was a real character, too...

3. The world was the family dog's oyster -- and apparently his toilet, too.

They say that there are no bad dogs, only bad owners. It is true that you can tell a lot about the kind of boundaries a family has (or doesn't have) from the way their dog behaves. I'll use my dog, Nook, as an example. Just about every parenting flaw was made evident by our poorly disciplined Shih Tzu, who pretty much did whatever the hell he wanted as long as it didn't somehow inconvenience my parents.

4. You've got a couple intimacy/trust issues.

... Just a few.

5. Road-trips were a nightmare.

Put a middle-aged consultant with a kid from hell, and you can be sure that someone's cup of Sprite from McDonald's is getting chucked out the window.

6. Your Christmas tree was 13 feet tall because it wasn't for sale.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F08%2F31%2F636082109978664082-2082651219_falling%2520xmas%2520.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=533&h=c70c16ce43102b1afb949d04f24fdb51cdde9d4d99aff9733438f8e76a6709e4&size=980x&c=671438498 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F08%252F31%252F636082109978664082-2082651219_falling%252520xmas%252520.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D533%26h%3Dc70c16ce43102b1afb949d04f24fdb51cdde9d4d99aff9733438f8e76a6709e4%26size%3D980x%26c%3D671438498%22%7D" expand=1]

"If a tree falls and no one is there to hear it, did it actually happen?" -- yes, because it was chopped down from some dude's lawn.

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