Because It Is Hard

The Buffer Zone Dysfunctional Family Survey results are in and the goal is to post one every day or so or three. The main question of our survey was: 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?

ec2011.01.16photo courtesy of

“My brother definitely causes friction between my parents and me. I am older by 6 years, have always had a part-time job, got a scholarship to university, and landed an entry-level job in my field after I graduated. I was rewarded with a few promotions after logging countless hours, including nights and weekends. My brother didn’t work during high school because it would have interfered with his garage band practice. He dropped out of university because “It’s hard.” He has quit, or was fired, from a string of dead end jobs that interfered with his goal to become a lead singer in a hard rock band because they “were hard.” He singing ability is marginal, so the chance that he will be discovered is pretty slim. Not to mention, it is pretty hard to be noticed by a talent agent when you are sitting in the basement of my parents’ house (where he now lives) playing video games all day. Applying for jobs, making resumes and knocking on doors “are hard.” If that is what makes him happy, I’d be all for it IF he wasn’t draining my parents retirement fund in the process. And here’s the real kicker-no one can mention my latest promotion, the small house I am in the process of purchasing or any other good thing that has happened in my entire life because “it will make him feel bad.” He turns 39 years old in a few weeks. The amusing incident will occur when I take a box cutter to his controller cords.”

Thank you for your response anonymous achiever. His upcoming birthday would be the perfect time to cut the game console umbilical cords. The Buffer Zone congratulates you on your much deserved success, and we don’t care if that made your brother feel bad.

I’ll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours


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 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.


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.