When I was about 12 years old, I had a best friend that I would alternate sleep overs with. I always loved staying at her house best because I thought she had the perfect family. Her family was what I would call the "perfect white family". Growing up Filipino American, I often was embarrassed of my roots and tried to embrace as much of the White American culture as possible. I loved my friend's family because they would take me out to eat and play board games together. I can't remember what her father did but I know her mother was a teacher and they embodied those families that you would see on TV like Keatons in Family Ties.
As a college student, I admired my dorm floor friend (and later roomie) and her family. Her family had this huge pantry stocked with every college student's favorite foods. We spent the night at her house and her mom made this huge breakfast that we didn't eat because we didn't wake up in time. Her mom THREW IT ALL AWAY! I LOVED the ability to throw all that food away without even considering the waste (I was always told to not leave the table until I ate all my food). Her family home also had a beautiful pool that I would only see in homes featured in magazines. Her parents were hilarious, crass and easy to talk to. I also loved how close knit the family was.
Well, years later, I spoke to my friend that I used to have sleepovers with via email. Her perfect family sadly became a divorced family with other quirks and neuroticism. The family that I admired as a college student actually became my family when I married into it (I married my dorm floor friend's brother) and the same things that I used to find enduring about them are now the very things that irritate me.
I have come to realize that even though I often was not enthused about my family, I still love them the best. I like that I can yell at and complain about them without having repercussions. On the other hand, I've come to resent the over bearing, passive aggressive, hypocritical, self serving, and favoritism tendencies of my husband's family. I also realized that the perfect-ness of his family was just a facade. A lot of things got swept under the rug and they are every bit as neurotic (if not more) than the rest of us.
So, to make a long story short. I am annoyed and aggravated. I wished I lived closer to my family. At least my mother actually helps me out and treats her kids/grand kids with some semblance of equality.