When people talk about shidduchim the term “normal family” is bandied about. However, normal means something different to everyone. To me, growing up, a normal family was one that had a mother AND a father in the same house. Didn’t matter if they fought like cats and dogs. However in this context, I do wonder what it means. Normal – as in no skeletons? Find me ONE family that has no skeletons in their closet. Normal as in Shomrei Mitzvot – keeping the commandments?

So what does “normal family” mean to you?

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  1. RubyV says:

    Normal is a setting on a dryer.

    We are wonderfully complicated, with our individual kinks, quirks, and insanities. Some families are loud, in your face, and blunt. Some are quietly intense. One is not more or less normal than the other.

    The term “normal” really is useless. We strive so hard for this elusive, hard to define goal. Amusingly, those who take pride in their normalcy usually have the most interesting hidden issues.

  2. Ruth says:

    I agree with RubyV.

    Normality is a social construct created by just a sliver of the population to control the masses. :)

    There is no “normal.” Families come in all kinds of flavors, comprised of one parent, two parents, biological or adoptive, grandparents, foster parents, interracial, same-sex, step-families, blended families… There are so many differing formulas of what a family is that “normal” has become an antiquated term.

    Also, yes, I think every family has a skeleton in their closet. I know my family has a few of their own! Nothing major or interesting, though. Just stuff we don’t air to the general public.

    After pondering the question of normality, I think nowadays I would shift from using the term “normal” to “loving.” It’s not so important for a family to fit in the paradigm of what a certain percent of the population deems acceptable; it’s about a family providing a stable, loving, supportive environment for each member of the family to grow and live. Skeletons and all.

  3. Mark says:

    To me, “normal” means a family that doesn’t do shidduchim.

  4. chana says:

    :) i like that Mark.
    this reminds me of discussions we had in high school and the normal discussion came up fairly often. we concluded that normal means something else to every person, usually someone exactly like themselves, and therefore is an impossible word.

  5. Z! says:

    Thinking back to the Torah and some of the first families, from the 3 fathers and 4 mothers down to the Kings of Israel, we can see that from the get go they were pretty dysfunctional. And NONE of the holiest people come from “normal” families.

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