My mother was telling me about Judith Lucy's new book, "The Lucy Family Alphabet". This book is about the crazy people that make up her family.
Her father, for example, was an alcoholic Irishman who wore makeup. And her mother was a pathological liar. Her family was only allowed a bath once a week. Judith didn't find out until she was a grown adult, at Christmas while everybody was drunk, that she was actually adopted.
Put in this context, Judith's family sounds absolutely insane. But now that I think about it, everybody's family is a bit insane in some way.
For example, I was visiting my parents the other night when my father got a phone call during dinner. His screechy cousin from rural NSW informed him that their elderly aunt had the flu. As a result, the family was currently raiding my aunt's house and putting Post-It notes with their names on it on the stuff they wanted when she carked it.
"The poor woman only has the flu!" replied Dad incredulously.
"We've put your name under that lovely lamp in the loungeroom that you liked," said his cousin.
My aunt might die and my father's family is trying to score furniture. As awful as it sounds, it is so absurd that it's hilarious.
"I wonder how much I could get if I sold that lamp?" pondered Dad.
There's not as much insanity on my mother's side of the family, although she apparently has an aunt who is "mad as a hatter". When I was a baby, this crazy aunt followed my mother around, demanding that she "hold the baby". It got to a point where mum started running, and the crazy aunt's sister was running after her to stop her from abducting me.
Everybody is crazy and weird, when you break it down. Take the crazy women in my uni tutorial group, for instance. I met with one of them to chat about our assignment. There was something a little off about her face, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. She seemed swollen, like my mum looked when she ate a mango once (she's allergic to mangos).
Eventually, she said something like "It's really hard to drink this waterbottle with my new lips."
Indeed, my fellow peer had gotten $2000 collagen surgery. I was absolutely fascinated, horrified and amused at the same time.
"Why did you want to get it done?" I asked.
"Oh... I've had thin lips all of my life," she said. "This is my 21st birthday present. The problem is that they injected more in the top lip than the bottom lip."
I told another girl in my group about the conversation and how bizarre the whole thing was. "What does she look like?" she asked.
"Hmmm, a bit like a duck," I said.
And then there's the other girl in my tutorial who, as well as unable to ever stop talking, lusts over every man in the class. Her face literally fell when my tutor divided us into groups, and she found that there were no boys in our group.
She has a crush on one of the other boys in our class who, quite frankly, looks like he might actually like other men. I'd met this girl a total of three times when she hurriedly whispered to me, "Oh god, he's so hot. Sooo hot. I just love that whole piercings thing, it's sooo hot. And he's so nice too. I've talked to him a few times and he's so nice. I love when guys are hot AND nice. I can't remember his name, but he looks like his name should be Phillip, don't you think?"
She later had a chat to a creepy long-haired boy in my class (who keeps staring at my friend). I caught a snippet of their conversation as I was doing some work: "Have you ever, like, considered the idea of infinity? It's just way too much to comprehend! Or have you ever tried to think about nothing, like you were nothing and you just didn't exist? And how that would feel?"
I'd like to end this post by saying "I'm normal and everybody else is crazy", but it's just not true. What I will say is that if I catch the flu, you can have my stuff.
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