Mixed Nuts

February 12th, 2013 posted by Sharon Delso

The 90’s have been a decade of political correctness. For instance, spoiled brats are now termed “oppositionally defiant” and psychopaths are now referred to as “emotionally challenged”. Soaring divorce rates have also spawned an emergence of families that are remarried with children. Known best by the term “stepfamilies”, the new politically correct term appears to be “blended families”, a change which has created a little confusion. Who was the genius behind the term change anyway? No doubt it was a disgruntled stepmother who was tired of the Cinderella story. I looked up the term “blend” in the dictionary and, according to Webster, it means “a harmonious mix”. Well, that certainly is a nice concept, but most stepfamily members consider their homes to reflect anything but a harmonious mix most of the time. Thus began my quest for the perfect term. Certain that I could come up with a more appropriate description, I tossed around several ideas. My husband coined the term “Emulsified Family” but, for us nonscientific folks that requires a little explanation. Like oil and water, you can shake everyone together for a time, but then the properties return to their normal states of separation. Still, I like this term, and I often refer to us as The Emulsified Family.

Stepfamily Problems : How to Solve Them Straightforward, down-to-earth answers about the whos, the whys, and the whens of anger, resentment, and conflicts blended families experience.

Of course, there’s always “Remarried with Children”, but my husband has a strong aversion to even the slightest comparison to Al Bundy. Although, I have to admit that I do share Peg’s domestic goddess attributes and I’ve been known to dye my hair red and wear outrageous outfits at times. My next brainstorm was “Mosaic Family”. I Think of it as God’s artwork. Picking up the broken pieces from two different works of art, the pieces can’t be replaced as they were, so a new masterpiece must be created. I even impressed myself with my profound thoughts on this one, but it sounded too fragile, refined and touchy-feely to describe our rambunctious group. I finally came up with “Mixed Nuts” – roasted, toasted, seasoned or raw — cohabitation with the other nuts in your can without going crazy. Tossed together like nuts in a can of Planter’s Party Mix, we are certainly a diverse variety of different shapes, sizes and personalities. Of course, I couldn’t resist the play on words with regard to mental illness as well. It was unanimous! We are definitely Mixed Nuts. Regardless of the preferred term, one thing is certain, these combined families are definitely dysfunctional by definition (and choice). A little humor certainly helps hold the pieces together and keeps sanity intact!

about the author Sharon Delso and her husband live in Arlington, Texas and head a blended family of Yours, Mine and Ours. Each brought two boys to the marriage and they have since added a boy and a girl.

Sharon Delso (2 Posts)

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