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My Fake Family

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Growing up, I was the only child of a single parent. I was creative with a very good imagination. So naturally, I always imagined having a large family. The earliest imaginary family I can remember, I had six sisters (Brady Bunch influence?) and one brother named Hellmann (Yup, like the mayonnaise). All the girls lived in the attic together (Boy, would that be totally NOT fun in real life!). Hellmann would come up and run through the room very fast and we would all spin around and our belongings would fly every which way (Yes, just like in a cartoon) and we would all yell “Hellmann!”

There were various other imaginary families after that. But once Punky Brewster debuted on NBC, it was important that I somehow work her into all my imaginary adventures. (In case it isn’t clear, I viewed myself to be Punky:) So, here is the Brewster family I created. There were so many kids with so many names, I had to make a cheat sheet family photo. Then, because I lived to draw, I made many, many family photos. I think part of it may have been to see if I could draw the same people over and over to look the same each time, like Charles Schulz did with his characters. All these pictures have just been sitting in my file cabinet for like 28 years (Yes, I save everything). In the real world, my mom is a hermit and not big on keeping in touch with family. That means, at a point in time, I knew more about these imaginary people than I have ever known about some relatively close member of my own real family.

Family Photo with names and ages.

House Floor Plan. Wow, 4 bathrooms! Must be David & Sheri got married if they started sharing a bedroom!


So, here are some pictures of my fake family. I drew them when I was young. Yes, some of the names are badly misspelled. The fashions are very 80’s. You probably can’t tell from the scan, but from the info on their T-shirts, the family seems to live in Greenville. Greenville: where families have a mom and a dad, older brothers have a nice, pretty girlfriend, younger brothers are always covered in mud, people have look-alike cousins, newborn babies eat cookies, ponytails are sideways, both grandma and grandpa are alive, and houses have four bathrooms. The burning question that remains in my mind, looking back on these pictures so many years later—why the fuck didn’t this family have a dog?!!

Oldest brother David’s girlfriend Sheri. Notice how she signed AND kissed the picture;)


Newborn picture of youngest sister “Mealisa”. I even did this picture on an index card, so that it would look smaller, like a real picture. Notice she is holding a rattle AND a cookie.


Petrisa “Punky” (me), look-alike Cousin Ann (equals twice the fun), and friend Prisilla


Older sister Julie going to a dance. Awesome 80’s fashion. Truly outrageous.


With Grandparents


Dad macking on the oldest son’s girlfriend. More awesome fashion.


Family at the hospital for birth of Mealisa.


One more. This picture is incomplete, but I felt it necessary to show that imaginary Mom could get dressed up and look damn good:)


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Why do we have to Share?

I am an only child. IT WAS GREAT! I highly recommend it. All the toys were mine! All the holiday candy was mine! Sure, I did get bored quite often, which felt like suffering at the time. But I also believe that boredom helped me to personally develop the three areas I am most proud of: my imagination, my creativity, and entertainment trivia knowledge.

This brings me to my question: Why do we have to share? Think about how little kids play. As soon as Kid A picks up a toy, Kid B wants to play with it. Should Kid A have to give it up? I say, Kid B should have to wait till Kid A is done with it.

What if the situation were such that Kid B was visiting Kid A’s house. I believe Kid A should have the right to say which toys Kid B is allowed to play with. Kid A has been taught to respect and take care of his or her toys because they will not be replaced. What if Kid B doesn’t view the world like that?

And “You should share” gets misused all the time. I have a perfect example. I was an elementary school kid on the playground. I had brought my new toy to school. A certain boy wanted to play with it, so he said “You have to share.” I looked at him and laughingly said, “No I don’t!” He was the kind of boy that would have run off with my possession and I never would have seen it again. He was a vile creature, who I still hate to this day, and I am very glad he grew up to be a giant loser. So there, sucker!

As grownups, we don’t have to share. We don’t share our homes (that is squatting), our cars (that is joy riding), or our flat screen TVs (that’s stealing). I guess we need to “share on our own terms.” We should share our wealth with charitable organizations. We should share our good wishes with those in need. We should share our love with others.

My final thought on this subject: Sharing is good, but you are the only person who can look out for you. Don’t let people take advantage of you.

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