Opinion: Pet Peeves

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Home Not Alone

By Mark Crantz

Lagunans are special. For the last 40 years, residents have not lived alone.  Let me explain. In most parts of the country, there is the nuclear family.  Mom, dad and kids are the characters who make up the generally accepted definition. Then there are the acceptable extras. Sometimes, grandma and grandpa live in. Together, the group is described as the nuclear family and everyone pitches in to make things work. This arrangement is not always smooth running. Grandma may have strong opinions different from mom’s ideas on how to raise the kids. Grandpas don’t help because they still act like kids. “Mom, grandpa stole my skateboard, again.”

But in Laguna Beach, the nuclear family is different.  There’s is an additional family member, Dee-sign. Dee-sign is reviewed as just one of the regular bunch. The nuclear family has made room, with Dee-sign’s approval, of course. It hasn’t been easy with another mouth to feed to find room. Dee-sign is a type A personality. “No I can’t live in the garage. That’s unacceptable. And no, you can’t add on another bedroom to this 1920 cottage. Just move over a bit. I will sleep between mom and dad to keep to Laguna’s quaint historical image.”

Dee-sign has been a pain in the *@#.  That’s ATM. You want to love Dee-sign like one of your own, but it’s difficult because Dee-sign wants to run the show and she comes with a brood of her own. There are consultants, architects, contractors and taxmen in her wake. You see one and you know all the others are close by. They take over. They’re all over the house that you want to make better. They won’t leave. You’re not home alone. You dream longingly for an empty nest. Years pass and the orange flags flutter with your new heart palpitations acquired from the stress. You’re living a nightmare.

Good news, Lagunans. Your nightmare is over. Wake up. Wake up. The involuntary historical property inventory list is over. Taking in Dee-sign is voluntary now. Her mandatory participation in the nuclear family has been decommissioned. You can give up those heart pills. The stress of home improvement will last only months instead of decades. 

In fact, I’d say it’s better than good news. It’s great news because the nuclear family will not have outgrown the house by the time you finish it with Dee-sign hanging around. And you now have the money for the staggering college tuition you’ll pay to make believe the kids are on campus, when they’re really schooling online from the now finished basement.  “Now grandpa, give him back his skateboard.”

Mark Crantz tells the Indy that he believes strongly in the nuclear family.  He’s lost a lot of hair over the years due to the nuclear radiation.    

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