Strangers take a long time to become acquainted, particularly when they are from the same family.
You live on from year’s end to year’s end, surrounded by those whom you love, and chatting together; but it is rare to be thrown alone with any one individual and have [a] really intimate talk with him or her. . . . Unless some effort is made for it, or unless circumstances are unusually favorable, the very members of the same family live, one might say, on parallel lines, without ever touching.
The worst feeling in the world is the homesickness that comes over a man occasionally when he is at home.
Look at the typical American family scene: Man walking around farting. Woman walking around scratching. Kids going around hollering. Hey, man, fuck that.
Nobody has ever before asked the nuclear family to live all by itself in a box the way we do. With no relatives, no support, we’ve put it in an impossible situation.
The memories of my family outings are still a source of strength to me. I remember we’d all pile into the car — I forget what kind it was — and drive and drive. I’m not sure where we’d go, but I think there were some trees there. The smell of something was strong in the air as we played whatever sport we played. I remember a bigger, older guy we called “Dad.” We’d eat some stuff, or not, and then I think we went home. I guess some things never leave you.
There is no such thing as fun for the whole family.
Hey, hey, easy, kids. Everybody in the car. Boat leaves in two minutes . . . or perhaps you don’t want to see the second-largest ball of twine on the face of the earth, which is only four short hours away?
The other night I ate at a real nice family restaurant. Every table had an argument going.
Family quarrels are bitter things. They don’t go according to any rules. They’re not like aches or wounds; they’re more like splits in the skin that won’t heal because there’s not enough material.
Turning the other cheek is all well and good, but Jesus was neither married nor a parent.
My parents . . . decided early on that all of the problems in my family had somehow to do with me. All roads led to Roseyville, a messy, chaotic town where, as parents, they were required to visit, but could never get out of quick enough or find a decent parking place.
Parents forgive their children least readily for the faults they themselves instilled in them.
Personal hatred and family affection are not incompatible; they often flourish and grow strong together.
My father’s not a warm and fuzzy guy. He can’t bring himself to ask about my feelings or emotions. All he ever asks is “How’s the car doing?” Finally I said, “The car is experiencing low self-esteem and financial distress. The car could use a new computer, and probably a new car.”
Nobody, who has not been in the interior of a family, can say what the difficulties of any individual of that family may be.
I . . . have another cup of coffee with my mother. We get along very well, veterans of a guerrilla war we never understood.
You don’t really understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around — and why his parents will always wave back.
Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family.