Friday, January 15, 2016

Functionally Avuncular

It is my firmly held opinion that the word "avuncular" is not used nearly enough.

This blog, however, is not about real uncles, who have the greatest claim to the word.  It is rather about those "virtual uncles" with whom some of us have been blessed.

Maybe you had one.  He was probably a friend of  your parents, and almost certainly not married.  Possibly, he was a little quirky, or had an unusual hobby.  He probably did not have family of his own in town, but he liked a family setting.  So, he came over to your parents' house some evenings and hung out with them and with you.

It was a win-win kind of thing.  He got some home-cooked meals, without the burden of responsibility that comes with actually being related to people.  You got some relief from the repetitive tedium of your nuclear family.  He was a virtual fun factory.

I remember our "Uncle Gene."  He used to come over and bang out "Winchester Cathedral" on our piano while we sang along.  He drove a gold, boat-tailed Buick Riviera (a.k.a., coolest car on the planet that year).

Let us all give thanks for the men in our lives who were functionally avuncular.