The Improv Family

This past semester in my counseling class we somehow got on the subject of families and the like and what defines family.  My professor was making a point that not all families look the same or are constructed the same way so she had us all draw A family.  Not our family, but A family.  So this is what I drew.


Here is the thought process:  I drew a Dad and a Mom and two kids.  Then I thought that they looked lonely so I drew a dog.  Then I realized that I could draw my family, so I added another sister.  Straight linear thinking, no motive involved (this is important later).

We then turned in our pictures and they were set out and we all looked at each other’s pictures.  Some had large families, some had small families, but most were just 2 parents and 2 kids.  However, my picture drew some attention because of the setup of it.  My friend Jerran asked out loud why the dog was closer to the family than one sister.  At this point, I was tired and did not want to be analyzed or talk about it and I knew that my linear thinking answer would not fly.  So when our professor made him the counselor and opened the floor for a session I kept my mouth shut.

But my friend Jacob did not.  He jumped right in, claiming my picture as his own and creating a wonderful story to go with it.  The dialogue was fascinating as Jacob (using this experience to practice his improv skills) wove a tale about how this was his family when he was 12 and his brother (with long hair) was 13 and their older sister was in high school.  She always took the car and never hung out with them and they were closer to Rover the dog because he always played with them and his sister was never around except when their parents made her stay for dinner.  And that he drew their family at that age because that was the last time he felt like they were a family.

Everyone ate it up, hook, line, and sinker.  I kept my mouth shut and at one point looked at Jacob (whose name means deceiver or liar…) who winked at me.  Everyone seemed satisfied with his response and the issue was dropped…until the end of class when Jacob told on himself and everyone freaked out.  But I still never told…until now.


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