A Family is the Sum of its Parts
I have been reading some very thought provoking posts on religion and ethnicity yet it's hard for me to relate to much of what I read. That's because I am personally such a mongrel (husband's no better) and if my family got together for a photo, you'd think you were at the United Nations.
Name a skin color and we've got it --from white as alabaster to black as ebony and all shades in between.
Religions? We have everything from Buddhism to Paganism to Judaism to UU to "no-thank-you" in our crazy clan.
We've got homosexuals, bisexuals (we think but we're not one hundred percent sure) and asexuals. Heterosexuals too -- but no transgenders as of this writing.
We've got PhD's and GED's. A lot of workaholics an alcoholic or two and at least one lazy bum.
We've got animal lovers and animal haters. BMW buyers and junkyard specials buyers.
Hair color as blond as platinum and so jet-black you see the color blue in the highlights. Die straight to kink. We've got freckles and snub noses and almond shaped eyes and red eye-lashes.
We go from thin to fat, very young to very old -- have our share of toddlers, teens, even a few princesses and queens. (You know the type..the ones who never offer to help at family dinners or bring a single dish or bottle of wine?)
Growing up, most people thought my sister, brother and I were all adopted. We looked so little alike. Brother with an olive skin tone, black curly hair and yellow-brown eyes; sister with hazel eyes and mahogany colored hair and me with my blue eyes and blonde hair. My father had pink skin, green eyes and bright red hair and my mother had gray eyes with brown hair-- how did this all happen? Hope my mother didn't fool around!
Just in my immediate family we have: French, Irish, German, English, Welch, Algonquin Indian, Canadian, Japanese, Indian as in Calcutta, Swedish, Iranian, Puerto-Rican, Unknown father mystery nationality, African American, Italian, Hungarian, Russian and Southern (just a joke
We have folks with thick wrists, big bones and wide shoulders and also fine-boned, long limbed, delicate-featured souls. We go as tall as 6 foot 5 to as small as 4 foot 10 (adult sizing) and the funny part is we all get along. Most of the time that is.
I'm not sure why my family is such a tapestry of people. I think maybe because my great, great, great, grandmother was a "squaw" it might have "tainted" the family line and caused the people who were all one nationality to eschew falling in love with anyone from this impure line where at any point a "redskin" could pop up. (Horrors of horrors -- get out the fainting couch I feel a case of the vapors coming on...)
The African American injection came from a past relative who fought in WWII and took home a German war bride whose daughter then married an Iranian-- whose son married a French/Italian girl.
When we're all together we never talk about religion because each person believes that their god is the best god -- after all who would believe they were worshiping a second class god or say: well my god isn't quite as good as your god but hell, I'm worshiping him/her/it anyhow.
So the "my god can beat up your god" talk isn't allowed at family gatherings. We have an old aunt who tries but we shush her up every time.
I was brought up Catholic and hated every excruciating minute of it and as soon as I could STOP going to church I did and don't go or don't believe in any organized religion but have a strong spiritual side that I do nurture. I do not relate to or pick out one nationality in my muttness with which to identify. Which one would I pick? Most people say I look Swedish which I am not.
My brother and sister are religious -- brother stayed a Catholic and sister went Congregational. Fine with me as long as I don't have to go.
One great thing about my family is the food. When we have a big bash you can't believe the variety of wonderful food we have at our table. I love the different flavors and spices and am hard pressed to pick my favorite cuisine because there is no one cuisine that encompasses such a variety of foods.
One bad thing about our mixed up family is when strangers ask if A is adopted (well yeah she is, want to make something out of it?) or say: You can't be sisters or how could you have a cousin who's black or Indian?
My favorite of all: What is he? Meaning of course, I don't recognize his nationality.
Well, good, and I'm not telling you a 7 generation story of how he came out looking this unique (and by the way this absolutely handsome) -- so if you can't tell what he is, then assume he's American.