And Then There’s This

Being a wee bit Irish, we celebrate a quiet St. Patrick’s Day with a close group of friends. There are no big, green plastic sunglasses or oversize leprechaun hats, just a lovely dinner and several toasts to health and happiness. Nevertheless, in true Buffer Zone style, we usually end up whining about a relative of ours, or commenting on someone else’s crazy relative.

Until this inspiring video caught our eye, and we are just going to shut the heck up.

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long healthy lives. According to their website, http://www.stbaldricks.org 175,00 children worldwide are diagnosed with cancer each year. Volunteers collect monetary pledges for carefully selected research grants, then have their head shaved at one of the St.Baldrick’s events.

This video was from the the Space Coast of Florida’s St. Baldrick’s Day event that was held a few days ago. It truly captures the love and support of the children’s families and friends, as well as the whole community, as they stand “proudly bald” beside them.

“2014 was an incredible year for St. Baldrick’s on the Space Coast! In only our Third Year we grew our event to shave just over 400 heads and raised over $300,000 to fund lifesaving Pediatric Cancer Research Grants. We also became the “10th” Largest Event in North America in Total Dollars Raised out of over 1,300 events. This is truly amazing and a true testament to Brevard County’s commitment to finding an end to Childhood Cancer!”

Included in the 400+ shaved heads were children, the youngest just 5 years old, and almost 70 women. Being bald seems wee bit more important than a green beer.

I’ll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours

FotoFlexer_Photo

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.