Salute Mi Familia….

Family.

The definition of family by Google and its dictionary says it is a noun  and that the word ‘family’ means ‘a group consisting of two parents and their children living together as a unit’.  This may be the case in some circumstances as the family unit is not one of dysfunction and utter chaos.  And where it’s filled with members that you sometimes wish  would go back into the wood work and stay there.  Say for instance, Uncle George who likes to pick you up a wedding while eyeing your breasts up until you state “hello Uncle George.  It has been a while since I have seen you”. 

Even then, dear old drunk Uncle George doesn’t realise that incest is not something every family wishes to discuss over the family dinner table.  For how the shame would be bestowed upon the family and the future lineage shall be disgraced and so on.   Having said that since I have Italian in me and we believe that if someone looks at us the wrong way, we are cursed with the evil eye for the upending generations to come.  So better start crossing myself, praying to God and attending church every Sunday like a good little girl. 

But like any family I am sure, everyone has an Uncle George in the family or an Aunt Doris.  Ah yes, Aunt Doris who performs strip teases after a single drink to The Andrew Sisters and randomly hooks up with eighty old gentlemen in a bathroom.  All the while stating that she would never do something like that when she is sober and suggests that you better well get your facts straight, Sonny Jim.  As your name is being crossed off the inheritance list because you dared to bare her scandalous and rebellious lifestyle she leads.  All because someone opened their mouth and once told her when she turned 92, the world is downhill from there and death is impending.  Hate to admit this to you Sonny Jim, but her other boyfriend is the crept keeper. 
Those innocent shall be protected.

As to my family, I have an Uncle George and an Aunt Doris.  Which you can clearly see that this may or may not be Aunty Doris from behind.  With that, allow me to get the ice onto that burn because I hear it has fabulous healing powers.  Whoops, it’s the German Deep Heat instead.  My bad. 

Throughout my years of blogging upon my life as a nursing student, one of the main contenders that is always featured or is the main subject is: family.

While most people would agree with the dictionary’s meaning of the subject, my belief is that it doesn’t always works out if the person is blood related.  Even though yes it is nice to know that you have parents and siblings and your last name is the same as theirs.  Or in some cases as the 21st century has accepted the fact that there are single parents and de-facto relationships that children are being produced in, at least the same parent.  Going further, adoptive parents that have brought you up with the factors that you carry yourself with and you feel content, knowing that someone loves you. 

However for me personally, at the end of the day it is not caring about who shares the same blood as me; but rather who I consider to be family that matters the most.

You are all aware now that I have three other siblings that are blood related to me and they are: Kaffy, Frodo and Pablo.  However over many years for as long as I can remember, I have always had friends of the family and friends of my siblings that I have either accepted as friends.  Then grown to love and as a result, openly admitted that they are now my family.
Mr. H & I.

Only recently a few months back, after spending something like 2 years hanging around Pablo and being allowed to step in ourhousehold; I have openly admitted to Mr. H that he is now considered to be part of the family.  

This didn’t happen until the three of us other children communicated silently with stealth looks, shaking and nodding of the head, signals that only us O’Chunky children understand that would no doubt rival the army’s signals.  That we agreed to adopt Mr. H as our brother.  This is of course after Lois and Red sat there and called him ‘Son’ to his face but even then, it took me a few month’s to openly call him Brother.

While most people consider this to be a meaning of words that sound nice coming out of someone’s mouth; in my family, it is a matter of life or death.  

With life comes the honor of being known as an extended family member with the additional perks of being invited to Christmas, Birthdays and anniversaries.  Not to mention the occasional piss up held in Lois and Red’s backyard, complete with fairy lights and the delicious hugs that greet us at the doorstep and when we depart.  The wide bounty of cooking that is put on for us that would make my great grandmothers impressed.  And would make the ‘parties’ my grandfather hosted and the lessons learnt, be put into effect.

The saying goes, Lois is the hostess with the mostest.

As for death, you would never wish for it to enter upon your body nor your soul.

For once you are dead to us, you are permanently dead.  And would described if you are lucky as the microbial cells within the cells that are within the bacteria, that mass produce to form an infection.  As a result, you are worse than pine scum and shall not be mentioned nor thought of.  Because you no longer exist and well, have special spots in my blogs where you shall be mentioned and yet not named.

In fact, it is worse than living in Siberia which is a place that Lois and I visit frequently due to Cruella De Ville and her side kick, Clayton.   If you don’t know who Clayton is, I suggest sitting down and finding Disney’s Tarzen.  And while grooving to Phil Collins, you will discover who Clayton is.  Now as for Lois and I living and developing our families in Siberia, this only occurs after we battle against communism.  Resulting in us being ex-communicated, not that I cry myself to sleep over the loss of Cruella and Clayton, as we haven openly refused to bow down the superior minority of super Villians.  Who on more than one occasion have tried and successfully lost in the battle of trying to overtake and brain wash us.  We often more than not stand side by side and take on the roles of Robin Hood and Harry Potter.  And go to battle against King Richard and Voldermort.  

Where at the end of the day, we win.  Because what story allows evil to defeat good and for as long as I am live, good is always going to win against evil.

This is where the dynamic of who is really family and who accidentally happens to be related to me comes into play.  Kind of like a chess piece that you don’t know which way to move so you decide to go with it and move it forward.  But since I am not a chess player myself and I prefer cards in my hand, I am going to with the metaphor of not knowing when to check or fold.

The term ‘For We Are The O’Chunky’s’ has been thrown around some of the blogs for a while now.  So much so that every now and then, I get asked: “Scarlett, what does For We Are The O’Chunky’s mean?”.  And still to this day, I cannot give a defined and straight answer because there is no bloody straight answer at all. But I can answer how it was created and why it was created.

With that, pull up a chair and get comfortable because I believe this is going to take a while.  Depending on how fast/slow you are at reading and understanding what I mean for those who don’t speak English as a first language.  And this is how the motto was created, why it was created and who is an O’Chunky.  Finally, can you get onto the VIP list and officially call yourself an O’Chunky.

Back in 2001 when yours truly was still a girly girl, Barbie ruled her life defending those who were innocently convicted of crimes against humanity.  Or Barbie performed what would be now known as CPR and the introduction of Led Zeppelin was introduced.  A soon to be well known, famous and well loved Franchise had just released a movie.

It had adrenaline packed action, that had people jump in their cars and zoom down the highway, men sit there and get hard at the image of some chick bending over the bonnet of car, wearing a G-string.  It made petrol head want to go down to the nearest race track and breathe in the smell of burnt tyres.  Not to mention the sight of Vin Diesel topless and Michelle Rodriguez straddling him, made nearly every woman want to reach into the screen and yank her off him.  The Fast and The Furious was a movie that would awaken my desire to once again ignite the flame of car racing.  The lingerie smell of burnt tyres of burn outs at Speed Way and the need for what I wanted.

It would be only until I was an adult who had moved out of home, I would realise what I had been desiring as a child.

As the years continued, Barbie was now replaced with wanting to be William from Almost Famous and Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and The City.  I had started collecting heels as a form of empowerment of the woman I wanted to be and those who I saw strutting through Queen Street.  

Apart from my love of anything with four and two wheels with a petrol tank between my legs was stilled fuelled.  No pun intended.  My love for Moto GP had slowly made its way from being an occasional  thing when I was a child to getting ready on a Sunday afternoon in the lounge room, waiting for the light to turn from red to green.  Then the race, my adrenaline levels and desire of all things that went hard and fast was a go.

Over the next 10 years, the Fast and Furious Franchise had morphed from a single movie that left petrol heads, like myself, wanting to know what would happen next.  Counting down when the next installment to our gear shifting craze would continue and our lives would be complete.  Of course our petrol fueled high was fulfilled for the next 2 and a half hours.  Only for it to then finish as the credits started to roll across our screen.  While the franchise was growing, so was I. 

I was no longer the vegetarian, hippy child who went around suggesting world peace, love not war and strumming an air guitar to Stairway To Heaven or yelling out the lyrics to Whole Lotta Love.  It was only when I was 13, I discovered what Robert was singing about when he said he wanted to be your backdoor man.  It was in that moment as my mouth hit the deck and I stared at my stereo, that I knew my opinion of him wanting visit was changed for life.  As the 13 year old went from arse kicking netball player, anorexia fuelled self chats about how horrible I looked and wondering if the boy I liked, liked me back.
The God of Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll.

I morphed into the quiet, ultra slim wallflower of a 16 year old who was told ‘no one likes a heifer in their wedding photo darling!’.  Prompting major discussions between Lois and I about how I didn’t need to lose any more weight and if my boobs were in my dress for the wedding, as I stared at my reflection.  And saw a size 2 figure trying to wrap herself in a size 6 dress.  

Who still loved and worshipped her Gods of music while secretly scribbling away notes of stories she wanted to write, songs she was penning.  All the while, listening to the golden God who had ruled her world for as long as she could remember, as the track skipped across the vinyl to ‘Kashmir’.

To the rebellious, loud and somewhat questionable adult who decided to think one day, ‘fuck what society thinks’.  I decided to stop being a scarily thin twig and had put on some weight, partied like it was 1999 with Prince, smoke and drank cosmopolitans/martinis like they were going out of style.  When I blew my candle out on my 21st birthday, spent watching both of my grandparents decide on who was going to have a stroke/heart attack, I picked myself up by my boot straps.  And decided if no one was going to save me, I would have to save myself. 

Now I am not saying that Lois didn’t try to pull me out my funk by telling me to grow the fuck up and stop being a child; but you know how it goes.  What the hell do your parents know as they cannot possibly understand where you are coming from because they have been adults for all of their lives.  But it simply resulted in me being a stubborn arse bitch that wouldn’t listen to the wisdom coming from those lips that would have made me realise this shit when I was 18 and the world had crashed down around my feet, by one silly little mistake.

My love as a 21 year old was still therefore Playschool (from the 90’s, thank

you) and Sesame Street along with my new found fascination of watching International News on SBS. 


However, my love for fast cars and motorbikes had become a big thing.  Where I was going around and silently comparing people’s cars.  If you had a shit box that consisted of two cylinders when the other four weren’t working or you drive like a dick, than I wasn’t interested in getting to know you nor dating you.  My love for Fast and Furious had not only wrapped its way around me and into my heart, but it had also impacted its self upon my relationship with my family.

I no longer saw my parents as two authority figures, who had the force of an iron fist.  And if Mum said no, she meant fucking no.  No ifs, buts or even contemplating a maybe.  She meant no.  Which was fantastic when I wanted to go out as a kid and would go to Dad first to see if I could get his vote, only to be told: “What did you Mother say?”.  Um, didn’t need to ask because I already knew what it would be and that would be a ‘I don’t fucking this so’ answer.  As a result, I would pivot on the ball of my foot, walk off to my room and contemplate another angle of which to take the situation into hand.  Usually this meant bringing in the artillery of my siblings and persuading them to ask both parents (on behalf of me) so they believed they were getting something out of it.

#winning!

As a teenager, I saw them as the crept keepers to my social life and it became even more worse when we left Brisbane.  When the clock struck on my 21st birthday, my relationship with my parents became one of acceptance, understanding.  And even though they still hold the majority of power over me, they and I no longer see each other as enemy.  Rather, we have stuck up a white flag, placed our weapons on the ground and extended an olive branch to one another.  When planting the olive branch that had a tiny bud on it, a small olive tree has been produced as a result of our peace fire.
Kaffy, Scarlett & Frodo.

With my siblings, when I brought them as artillery and persuaded them to ask both parents as to what I wanted them to ask, they soon clicked.  And started thinking outside the box as to what was really being said between the lines.  As the Twins and Pablo got older, our relationships changed.  They no longer became the cute little accessories that I could and would bring to show and tell, tie up to chairs or make them sit in the naughty corner with me.  Because back then, it was all for one and one for all when it came to extreme naughtiness and mischief.  And while we were sitting in the naughty corners, I would tell them stories and keep them entertained.  Even though the naughty corner is for naughty children, who were to sit there in silence.

Safe to say, I didn’t understand what silence means as a child and in some cases, still don’t as an adult.
Little Pablo..

Instead they became annoying, smelly and frustrating people or rather, individuals, that not only invaded my space but stole my clothes.  For Kaffy, it was my shirts, pants, socks and the occasional underwear that Dad would kindly put in the wrong pile of clothes.  So much so even now as adults, when I come to visit, we go through our piles of clothes and give each other the correct underwear or shirts.  A few times I have received my brothers underwear or a shirt and Lois receiving a pair of my underwear in return.  

For Frodo and Pablo, when I downright fucked them off, they would go and nicely hang my bras and panties for the world to see.  Safe to say, I stopped buying nicely bright and fluro undergarments as the little bastards used to deliberately wait until it was a busy day before hanging them.

As I grew up, I went from being a member of a family to an individual living with five other individuals under the same roof.  Finally we became actual family members in a family that was no longer petty, jealous, self driven, fuelled in punishing others or hiding from children, as work was our mistress.  

We were no longer the family that portrayed the Walton’s persona of ‘everything is alright mate’ but behind closed doors, where society didn’t breach the cold comfort of home and no one looked passed the facade, it was utter fucking chaos.  Instead, we became the family that would make others sit there and stare at their own like ‘how the fuck do I get there and where did we fuck up?’. 

We became the powerful force behind one another that motivated, drove, pushed, shoved and screamed at the others because we knew that they weren’t making themselves work to achieve their goals.  For We Are The O’Chunkys’.  My family and I are a family that loves one another that has ceased firing ammo at one another and shelling the shit out of our bubbles.  And we have delivered each other olive branches that have now mass produced little olive trees that grow on a daily basis as our love for one another continues to grow.

In a funny way when I reflect back upon my life, I would say that at one point my family was like the cast of The Fast and The Furious. 

TBC. 

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