Last night I went to hear David Sedaris read some stories. If you're unfamiliar with his writing, I highly recommend him (unless you're uncomfortable with swearing, homosexuality, and talking about drugs- being a librarian, I just need to make you aware of what your getting yourself into). But if you're like the several hundred gays, freaks, sinners and liberals who packed the sold out theatre last night, prepare to laugh until you cry- my face hurt after about 45 minutes.
David Sedaris tells funny, but sometimes depressing stories about his family. So when the Q and A period began, an audience member asked a question about his family, and referred to them as "dysfuntional." Before answering the question, Sedaris addressed the use of the word dysfunctional. 'I wouldn't say my family was dysfuntional' he said (and I'm paraphrasing) 'I'd actually say we functioned quite well.' He went on to describe a dinner table where the father would have one eye on the tv in the other room, and the children had to be quiet so he could hear the news- but when he left to go watch tv, the children (I think there are 4 of them) would sit around the table for hours with their mother, laughing and talking. In high school, he said, no one wanted to date or go out with friends because it would mean missing homemade pizza night or other family time.
I loved this, because he didn't speak of fancy vacations, of huge houses, of things- he spoke of time, and laughter, and things easily afforded and enjoyed. Children just want to be with you, to have your attention and love, and that's free to give.
And now I'll go pay attention to mine.