Thursday, June 21, 2012

We Were A Groovy Bunch

Every time I see this show it brings me back to my childhood. A happy time in my life, being the youngest of five, I sometimes caught a similarity to the Brady's life and the one that I was living. I could relate, which is probably why it was one of my favorites. I would be the Cindy in my family, and I can compare almost every Brady to one of our family. They had one more than we did, but we were nonetheless every bit as super goofy and fun as the Brady's.

Dare I say, we were a bit more sinister. 

My older brother and sisters were more daring than Marcia, Greg and Jan. They used to steal mom and dad's cars, have rousting parties when they weren't home and smoke cigarettes and drink beer with their friends in the pool area after dark. The Brady's would never do that. Or the Brady's would never do that on TV. My brothers used to fight till someone drew blood, yet you know that Peter absolutely idolized Greg and would never come to blows with him. 

Yes, my sisters fought over clothes and boys, and I remember the vicious battles over the sweaters, but Jan and Marsha always shared their stuff peacefully. Or so it seemed. In my family those "sharing" issues between sibling still remain today. In the TV world of the Brady's family issues were dealt with in 30 minutes or less. Is there a Brady playbook for handling teenage angst in 30 minutes or less?  It would be no less than literary gold.

So what did we learn from Mike, Carol, Alice and the clan, and why were we so mesmerized by this pseudo TV family? The answer lies in our idealization of the American family. The Brady's epitomize the traditional American family, because they are were not traditional at all. They were a blended family yet never was the word "step" used to describe a Brady. In fact, after the beginning theme song was over, you forgot that "this group must somehow form a family" and you bought into their world. Part of every kid who watched and worshiped them, wanted to be one of them. 

And so, in our own way, we too were like the Brady's. My family posed for a secret anniversary picture for mom and dad, we wrote letters to our favorite football heroes to help out a sibling, we got our noses broke by an errant ball here and there, and we may have used the words, "far out" and "groovy" to describe life. But most of all I think that in the archives of our lives, deep down, the Brady's gave us the validation that family was what mattered. Their tales and antics made ours seem special. That we too, were sort of like them. 

And every time I catch it on TV Land, I have to watch it. It brings me an unexplained peace that I never knew existed. It's a peace that only a child feels when they know they are loved and that they are safe. 


Dr Zibbs said...

I have the same thoughts. And I come from a family of five kids too. I'm in the middle.

Candy's daily Dandy said...

I feel you Zibsy. U and I are children of the same generation

the walking man said...

Uhh Candace let me guess, you grew up Catholic? We had five too and as the fourth there was absolutely no similarity between us Durfee's and the Brady's.

Our idea of idealized life was gratitude that both parents worked and we little heathans were left to our own devices. summers easily saw 30 kids hanging out at our house, playing poker, drinking and old number 4 slinking off to get some peace and quiet with his old hallucinogenic friends.

The only time I ever use the word step for my child is when some dufus asks how is it possible that my twins are three months apart.

My wife's bio son is 3 months older than mine. But I raised 'em as needed. which mostly consisted of me working 18 hour days.

Today if I happen to waste a few minutes on that historical piece of pusillanimous pulchritude it's only to have a smirk over the kind of clothes that would get your ass kicked for wearing them.

Damn I miss blogging...edit must edit...hey if you go to the game with Detroit in July 31 (I think) look for a rather tall heavyset (like 300lbs) lad wearing a Tigers Jersey and introduce yourself to my son. Who now lives in CT.

Cora said...

The Brady Bunch reminds me of summer. It was always on in reruns in the summer and I never missed an episode. :-)