A Not So Silent Night

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The plan to post the Buffer Zone Survey responses every day or three has turned into every month or three. What are you gonna do? Real life happens.

Anyway, Sherri Matthews, who blogs at www.sherrimatthewsblog.com, the loveliest blogger you could ever meet, leads our return. Not that I have actually met her in person, I just feel as if I have through her honest, yet heartwarming, inspiring posts. A View From My Summerhouse contains posts ranging from the knocks she has encountered in her life to delightful pictures of the English countryside.

The Buffer Zone Survey Question: Without naming names, who is the relative in your family that causes all the drama? And what incident best illustrates their craziness, “personality” or friction they bring to your family?

Sherri’s response: “By the time I was married and given birth to my first child (31 years ago!) my dad’s drinking had rendered him homeless, living in and out of shelters and getting into trouble. Christmas was approaching and I found out out that he was going to be alone in a shelter not too far from us so we agreed as a family to have him over for Christmas Day at my mother’s house where we could all gather and keep an eye on him.
I was young and dumb enough to still believe that my Dad would ‘recover’ from his alcoholism and besides, he had convinced us that he was on a ‘special programme’ whereby he could drink, but just a couple of beers a day. Right!! Well, of course it went completely pear-shaped. Even though we hid all the booze he found a decanter of my mother’s sherry first thing in the morning while he pretended to help with the dishes and by noon he was plastered.
Nobody knew though because he hid it so well (alcoholics do this) but I knew. He got shirty with me about something and I answered him back and that was it. He ended up getting in a punch up with my brother and we had to call the police. Dad disappeared into the night refusing all help and that was that. Sad to say, we never invited my Dad for Christmas again but then we didn’t need to worry because prison took care of that. Families eh? (Dad is 81 now and has been in and out of prison ever since this Christmas episode).”

Families. What are you gonna do? Days like that either break us or endow us, like Sherri, with resilience, grace, and optimism that we can do better. Thank you for sharing a private and personal day, and reminding us, that real life, sometimes funny but often not, happens.

Game On!

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Here we go all of you wonderful followers, and all of you wonderful stop-by-to-read oncers! A little sneak peak of answer number 6 from our first entry to our The Buffer Zone dysfunctional family member contest, sent to us by the lovely Luanna, http://www.sothislife.com.

6. Without naming names, who is the relative in your family that causes all the drama? And what incident best illustrates their craziness, “personality” or friction they bring to your family? Was it the time your great aunt slurped up the spaghetti she spilled down her blouse at your engagement party? When your grandfather got arrested after the family reunion for writing “The McMurty’s Rule!” in black spray paint on the rented hall, and then punching our the security guard? Or the holiday your cousin showed up drunk, did a semi-strip tease interpretive dance, and then slept with your husband?

“Drama award goes to my Aunt….gossipy bitch that she is, but it’s either made up or half true (I just talked to her today for an hour), and my Mom came in second. One of us most likely did all the other things or something quite close or worse, they used red spray paint but we thought they were funny, (I painted The Desiderata on my bedroom wall in oil paint, that got a lot of talk). No punching out except a family member or close friend. But my Daddy and Grandfather were ladies men. Come to think of it all the men are ladies men, and all the ladies flirt but no one got involved with a family members spouse (we have morals) besides we knew too much about them to want to do such a thing (gross). Just ask my Aunt or one of her 3 daughters (it’s inherited). My 3 nieces named themselves “Johnson Girls Rule” (whatever they want). We truly function quite well in our own dysfunctional way.”

So Luanna has thrown it down. Now it’s your turn to explain, excuse, rat out, or vent about your dysfunctional family member. The question above (#6.) is the one we are all waiting to read, so you can send in the answer to only that question, along with a link to your blog, etc. if you wish, or answer all the questions in our survey http://wp.me/p3lORd-42 by e-mailing responses to thebufferzonesurvey@yahoo.com.

The contest ends at 11:59 EST on March 15, 2014. The rules are as follows: …uh, wait, there are no rules. We don’t care about grammar, punctuation, or even if it’s completely 100% true. Amuse us.

“Wait Up All Night To Get Lucky”

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We are taking a break from reading the first-rate Buffer Zone Contest entries that are starting to come in by catching some of the Sochi Winter Olympics.

I have always found Olympic spirit, dedication and talent of the athletes awe-inspiring, so this performance of “Get Lucky” by the Russian Police choir at the opening ceremony seems kind of out of place.

Out of place and hilarious. First, the song choice is questionable at best. Second, could the choir members, other than a few singers, look more uncomfortable?

Watch the NBC video in all of it’s fantasticalness here:

http://shar.es/QJsAo

You are welcome.

Don’t miss out on our dysfunctional relative contest! wp.me/p3IORd-4f

I’ll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours

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This past September, I was one of 120 people worldwide that participated in a Harsh Reality (http://www.aopinionatedman.comsurvey on the right to have an opinion. It was interesting to see the demographics of the bloggers, and how their family and culture affected their views. 

Which led me to consider whether other cultures have the same asinine, dysfunctional family issues we have here in the United States, and who would win the contest of the crazies. I don’t mean the heartbreaking family issues we, unfortunately, hear about all too often, but the ones that make us chuckle and glad we are not you. 

Everyone has one. Whenever the subject of dysfunctional families is brought up in conversation, I never fail to hear “You think that’s bad! Wait until I tell you about my bonehead family!” Then they proceed to tell me, usually using a lot of “descriptive” language, and hand motions.

Here’s your chance to lay out your family dysfunctions, and roll around on them like our dog on a dead frog.  E-mail the survey below to thebufferzonesurvey@yahoo.com either by cutting and pasting the questions, or just send us the numbered answers, and we will publish the best ones.

Tell us about the loony/loonies in your family.  We are all ears eyes.

THE BUFFER ZONE SURVEY

1. “Who Are You, Who, Who, Who, Who?” (I can’t ask that question without singing The Who Song in my head.) Male or female? Approximate age? If desired, you can add your alias, blog link, and/or twitter name here.

2. Please provide your country of origin. Where do you reside currently?

3. Are you from a large or small family? If applicable, what size family do you have now?

4. Do you have a large or small extended family? Did you grow up surrounded by grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins? Are you still surrounded by them or live in close proximity to them?

5. How frequent are your family get-togethers? Do you have a standing invitation to Sunday dinner? Are holidays one big family reunion?

Now the question that has us giddy in anticipation….

6. Without naming names, who is the relative in your family that causes all the drama? And what incident best illustrates their craziness, “personality” or friction they bring to your family? Was it the time your great aunt slurped up the spaghetti she spilled down her blouse at your engagement party? When your grandfather got arrested after the family reunion for writing “The McMurtry’s Rule!” in black spray paint on the rented hall, and then punching the security guard? Or the holiday your cousin showed up drunk, did a semi-strip tease interpretive dance, and then slept with your husband?  

If you have more than one relative in your extended family that makes you flee from family gatherings, you are welcome to send in an entry for each of them, because we feel sorry  for you, and it adds to our amusement.

This contest ends March 15, 2014, and while there is no cash prize, you do have bragging rights as having the most dysfunctional family ever in the history of the world. If any of my lovely blog readers know of someone who might want to vent participate, please share this with them. After all, misery loves company.

That Was One Too Many

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Where do people draw the line? What sets them off? What is the correct amount of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches a person should consume?

According to the Des Moines Register, the Iowa man pictured above, Jerome Davis, believes the answer is three.

His brother allegedly made three peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and ate them in the living room. Less than an hour later, HE MADE THREE MORE!

This led to an argument about laziness and over eating. Davis is now charged with assault domestic abuse with a weapon after he allegedly pulled out one of his two folding knives and held it to his brother’s face because he wouldn’t “shut the (expletive) up and mind his own business.”

This incident brings to mind multiple questions. Foremost, is what to do if you have a knife in the vicinity of your face, but also would five PB & J’s be acceptable to eat in a living room? Would six sandwiches in the kitchen be fine? What if the sandwiches were grilled cheese? Is there an acceptable age, say ten years old, to eat six sandwiches? Since the Davis brothers are both in their 50’s, is 40 years old the age cut off? 

While we ponder these questions, Davis had his Buffer Zone established when he was taken to the Polk County jail.

On The Eleventh Day Of Christmas

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Hope Santa brought to me better selective hearing, no brawls or food fights, a new alias, no surprise house guests, an unlisted number, a superb retort, one moorre stiff drrinnkkk……, no bail-requests, comfort food, drama-free days, and a Buffer Zone DMZ.

They’re Coming! A guest post about family and food from The Buffer Zone

Excited about my first guest blog, and inspired to make a few of the healthy recipes on Small Potatoes as soon as the triple chocolate caramel creme cookies come out of the oven!

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Each month, Small Potatoes will be inviting a guest blogger to share  stories, recipes, and relationships to their food systems. Enjoy this first one from Diane at The Buffer Zone. Would you like a side of dysfunction with that turkey? 

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Diane, of  The Buffer Zone

Buffer  n. 1. Something that lessens or absorbs the shock of an impact.  2. A neutral area between two conflicting powers.

Buffer Zone  n. 1. Where you can hide when you realize the “conflicting powers” are your dysfunctional relatives.

Lately, I’ve been trying to follow a diet I like to call the “Don’t Eat Crap Diet.” You know, no processed foods, no Diet Coke, blah, blah, etc., which is why I check out this blog about eating locally grown, right-from-the-ground type food.  However, Thanksgiving is upon us, and that means relatives breaking our established Buffer Zone to join us for dinner…

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