The Dirty Thirty: I'm Obsessed With My FamilyErin Foster

When is it time to grow out of your family?

As we all know, I AM THIRTY. If you had asked me when I was in second grade what would be happening when I’m thirty, I probably would have said, “Umm… dying? That’s so OLD!” But as far as I know I’m not dying. Not quickly at least. So here I am, thirty, healthy, and still calling my dad when I get a notice in the mail that I don’t understand. The way I justify it is that honestly, he always knows what to do about it. Granted if I had a husband he might know what to do with it too, but as we all also know, I am a very good looking spinster. Now, I don’t really care to hear the feminists right now telling me about how it’s extremely sexist to assume my husband or dad should deal with confusing mail. You’re absolutely right. That being said, I still don’t want to deal with it. And in my experience, women tend to go, “Eww I don’t understand what this says!” And men tend to go, “Just call the DMV and make an appointment to renew your license.” We get overwhelmed. Okay, I’m getting off track here and feel like I’ve dug myself into a bit of a weird misogynistic hole.

Let’s get back to the topic at hand: Family. I’m extremely lucky that most of my family lives here in Los Angeles. When I’m sick my mom can bring me soup, when my dad is going to a dinner alone he can ask me to be his date, when I’m having a hard day I can go cry at my sisters house even if I’m not making sense. There is a constant flow of safety around me. And I find that I would rather be with them than with most anyone else. I don’t think there is room for anyone new to become my family. Think of us like an Italian family where if you skip Sunday dinner everyone starts screaming and throwing pasta and saying you’ve brought shame to the family name. Or even better, think of us like The Kardashians. Like, do you ever see Kourtney going on vacation with Scott’s weird family? No. The only person I could have a real future with is going to have to be an orphan. Also, I would kind of prefer it if he didn’t have his own friends either. Everyone else’s friends are WEIRD. Is there a world where a guy could have friends that I’m not just tolerating, but actually enjoying? It’s a tall order, I know. It’s just that, my family is A LOT. There are eight marriages just between my two parents, and it’s a full time job keeping everyone on speaking terms. And it’s a job I take seriously. Sometimes I feel like I owe it to someone to stick it out in the relationship just because they put in the time to learn everyone’s name.

Also, this is really important: I LOVE my family. And if I complain about them, you are not allowed to agree with me! Isn’t that a secret code that every human being learned at the same time we were learning not to punch people in the face? If we have been together less than ten years, you do not have the right to criticize my family. I mean, you can do it, but I’m always going to choose them. So, actually if you’ve been trying to break up with me for a while and didn’t know quite how to do it, that would be a really easy way. There are many safe ways to respond to me complaining about my family. You could say, “Ah, that sucks.” or “Yeah, I could see how that would be frustrating.” But, “Your dad sounds like a dick” is not one of them.

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  1. Oh. I really liked this post. Super sweet and a little sad, but great. Families are the best and it even gets better if you can find someone who you like enough to merge their family in to yours – my husbands’ family is pretty awesome and now it is like I have two families in one- plus he has two sisters which makes things awesome because I’ve always wanted a little sister to go shopping with, dress up in fun clothes, pick on (jk) and now I have two! Anyways, I loved your post. I just turned 30 and I am loving your dirty thirty series. so thanks! and keep ‘em coming!

  2. Reading this made me cry. I’m sorry you missed dinner.

  3. You don’t have to grow out of your family, other people can grow into instead. At least I hope so, otherwise the whole dating thing is never going to work out for me. And I call my dad about complicated mail all the time. I’m pretty sure that’s normal, and if it’s not, I don’t care. My dad knows everything, and I appreciate it.

  4. I absolutely LOVE this article and can 100% relate to it at this very moment in my life. Thank you! :)

  5. Don’t be sad Erin, cherish your moments with him, they will last forever.

  6. Ur too cute Erin!!! You have a beautiful family and I love to be around them too so I get what you are saying lol!!

  7. This really resonates with me. Especially after last night at cried at my parents all night because my computer died. My mom had to console me with wine and I had to have my dad come to a store with me to help me find a new computer. I literally could not do anything with out my family. They are the bomb-diggity… although I sometimes wonder if they secretly hate me because of out bursts like this.

  8. This post was going along just fine until that last paragraph and now I’m sitting here all sad and feeling awkward and bummed out. GREAT.