Dear reader, one of the lesser enjoyable things that can happen to you is reading anything I scribbled while operating under extreme emotional excess. Chances are it’s devoid of any suggestions of a sense of humor and saturated with the kind of ’emotional journey’ you only find in movies like The English Patient.

And while I love The English Patient, my statement in this context is not meant as a compliment to myself. So allow me to apologize for what you are about to read, but I’m feeling rather emotionally excessive.

I’ve had a hard two days. Sleep is treating me like a leper and I’ve stupidly launched a rebellion against a manager who finds joy in humiliating my colleagues. It also doesn’t help my confidence that my line manager thinks I’m his secretary. My mood is fucked and my morale is low.

I need my mom. She would’ve listened like only a mother can. I need my dad. He would’ve made me laugh. My brother lives six galaxies away from me and my friends…well, I’m sure my friends have their own problems and they certainly have put up with a lot of me over the last few months… (I broke bones and was bedridden. They took care of me like I was a queen of some small kingdom…). And I don’t have other family.

I had the most glorious dream last night and I woke with this inconvenient idea that while I live a happy life, I’m missing something. See, I dreamt that I met someone. But that someone wasn’t what the dream was about. He hardly featured. In fact, thinking back to the dream, I don’t think the poor schmeckel had a face or a name! But he had family. I dreamt he had parents who adored me and six brothers, all married with plenty of kids, who loved me in equal measure. I dreamt we hoarded around a Christmas tree and there was hardly space for me to stand. But we bunched together and exchanged gifts and jokes and stories. I felt loved. I felt part of something greater than me.

When I woke up I felt sad. As an introvert I enjoy my partly-alone Christmases and I hardly ever feel blue about not having family. But sometimes I do. When life’s surface swings uphill, I’d have liked to know a clan was behind me. Like now. I’d have loved to have brothers- and sisters-in-law who said ‘ah, fuck ’em all!‘ when I moaned about my work. Or a dad-in-law who said something remotely comforting and then offered me a plate of chips. Or something equally fantastic like doughnuts or candy or slices of fillet steak.

But I don’t. And let me tell you, it makes a difference. Ask Napoleon. Or William Wallace. Or Joan of Ark. When you have to fight a battle by your lonesome, it’s a bit harder.

So if you have family…even if they are annoying as a bucket of moths…cherish them. They might be assholes, but they’re your assholes.

I’d give anything for a few assholes today.

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