A lot of people claim to come from dysfunctional families today but I’m not in agreement with them.  So your parents drank a bit much or maybe even tried pot a time or two.  Or three, but they may not remember that last time.  I watch the public service announcements and laugh.  Talk to your kids.  My folks did that with me.  They took me into the living room one day, my step-father pointed out the window at my step-brother who had passed out under his car, I wasn’t sure if he’d lost his keys or what, and said ‘ See that?  That’s what happens when you smoke pot.  So unless you want to be like him, don’t do it.  Now go get me a beer.’.

Yes, my family is a psychological nightmare.  My dad was a career Navy man.  He did his twenty, retired and then realized my mother is a complete mood swinging psycho.  He was afraid of her.  I still am and she’s kicking seventy in the teeth.  He wanted a divorce and wasn’t sure if it was worth risking his life over, so he did what any thinking man would do.  He went in the bank to cash his paycheck when armed robbers entered the door.  He saw his way out.  He helped them and then turned himself in.That got him a ten years sentence in prison.  My mother, fed up with his absenteeism, promptly divorced him.

It took a couple of years before she met the guy.  The guy was an Amish escapee with a severe drinking problem.  I was in the seventh grade when I realized that I was being raised by a psychotic spoiled rich Southern girl and an alcoholic who’s life philosophies were instilled by horse and buggy religious fanatics.  I’m not saying he was a bad man, he was anything but.  However, when he decided the city was closing in on him and wanted a little place in the country, it came with a barn and a yearly soybean estimate.

When I graduated high school I was determined to escape, to be on my own and put as much distance between the psycho momma and myself as I could get.  I skipped school one day to visit my dad to get his opinion.  The note he passed under the glass said ‘Run.  Join the Navy, the circus or anything, just don’t wind up here.  She’ll find you here and visit you every chance she gets.

I went home that night singing ‘Popeye the Sailor Man’ and grinning.