Sunday, June 24, 2007

They treat me like family!

I saw an ad on the side of the bus last week for a local casino. It said, "THE QCC CASINO TREATS ME LIKE FAMILY." I started laughing when I thought about it. I know the copywriter meant it as a good thing. But it is kind of a loaded statement.

My family isn't close. I see my middle brother and his family once a year at Thanksgiving. I see my mother then, too. I call her ever couple of months. I rarely see my oldest brother. I maintain contact with his son, my nephew, through my blog.

It isn't that I don't care about my family. But for some reason we weren't raised with a sense of family. My father was adopted and was raised as an only child. My mother came from a family of 13 children. The opposite extremes left both of them without any real idea of what a family was.

Like everyone else raised in the 60s and 70s, I watched ideal families on television that enjoyed spending time together and went out of their way to help each other. There was Father Knows Best, My Three Sons, The Brady Bunch and Ozzie and Harriet. Father's advised, mother's nurtured and siblings talked. Ironically, today's behind the scenes nostalgia shows debunk any myths that may have been behind all of those shows.

I assume there are traditional families out there. But I think the way I was raised was pretty typical. Everyone did there own thing. My parents struggled just to pay bills. Their roles as providers didn't leave much time for being counselors and mentors. No one really talked. I was much older before I really sat down and had a conversation with my brothers. But we still didn't really talk. My father died before I could ask him who he really was. And now my mother is in her 80s and her main topic of conversation is what she had for lunch.

So ironically when I see an ad where they say a business treats you like family, I think they are inadvertently being honest. It means they treat you politely but you are still a stranger with a credit card.

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