Family Recipe

This time of year people are really enjoying the traditional family recipe: 1 husband, 1 wife, 1–4 kids, mix and serve in one house for 18+ years, add pets, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins as needed. It’s an excellent recipe, rich, satisfying, easily customized to your personal tastes. However, not everyone has the time, ability, or inclination to make the commitment to the traditional family. Luckily there are lots of ways to mix up a less time consuming recipe that still hit all the warm, fuzzy, supportive spots. Feel free to make one up this holiday season to use instead or in addition to the traditional dish. Here’s my favorite alternative:

You will need:

5–10 adults of legal drinking age

1 terrible workplace

At least 1 watering hole that serves cheap beer and fried food

1–2 forms of fast, collaborative, slightly annoying communication (I prefer group texts and Facebook invites)


Take chosen number of adults and combine in terrible workplace (note: adults can be folded in simultaneously or individually. Use your judgment.) Marinate until each adult has done one or more of the following:

  • Cry
  • Bitched about a horrible boss*
  • Covered each other’s asses
  • Inadvertently sworn in front of a client

Use communication forms to rally all adults together for semi-regular trips to the watering hole (bonus if it has pool tables and/or a jukebox). Groups can have any combination of the original adults. Continue until inside jokes have developed. Mix in various occasions according to taste. Suggestions: celebrate each other’s birthdays, give each other’s new boy/girlfriends a hard time, spend holidays together, take road trips. Season with hugs, advice, love, and plenty of wine. Takes 1+ years to fully settle. Add in new members as needed.

Chef’s Note: This type of family can be stored across multiple physical boundaries, including various cities, states, and even countries. Add planes, trains, and automobiles as needed.

*Many long-time readers have written in asking why the horrible boss isn’t listed in the ingredients. Not to worry dear friends, they come standard with the terrible workplace. Premium terrible workplaces come with multiples.