Gary Chapman will tell you that there are five love languages: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.
In my family, we favored Ritualized Sarcasm. Especially in collage-form.
I was 13 or 14 the first time I went away to camp for one whole week. Knowing I would get homesick, I prodded my older sister and two younger brothers to write me while I was away.
A couple of days into my stay at camp, my name was announced during mail call. I had mail! I was so excited (and yes, a little homesick) and couldn’t wait to open the large manila envelope addressed in my sister’s handwriting.
But it wasn’t a letter.
I remember being a little upset at the time. I’d asked for a letter and gotten…this???
Now that I’ve grown into my sense of humor, I find the collage hilarious. I’m also glad I continued to receive new versions for years afterward, including two summers of college when I lived in Florida. My sister was married and away by that time, but my brothers assumed the mantle of abuse and kept up the tradition. I now have a whole file over which to reminisce.
I hope my twisted sense of humor is starting to sound more reasonable to you.
Some families just hug.
How much they miss.