They’re a little bit country, and I’m well, I don’t know


Photo taken at the Cannon house.

It’s Christmas morning on Winchester Drive, and I’ve woken to the smell of biscuits and gravy. Downstairs, George Strait’s “Christmas Cookies” is playing on the radio. The tree has fallen over into the corner because the duct tape on the tree stand has torn. The taxidermic grizzly bear in the living room is proudly sporting a Santa hat and a wreath around his neck.

For the past three years, I’ve lived with my dad and his family on Thursdays and every other weekend. Everyone has fully adjusted to a new family and a new lifestyle. That is, everyone except me. And for obvious reasons, I don’t fit in.

First, there comes the conflict of interests: musical taste, intellectual pursuits and what we choose to occupy our time. Country music is the usual soundtrack for our house. I wake up to my stepsister’s favorite Florida-Georgia Line and Dierks Bentley; my dad listens to Carrie Underwood and George Strait while he works in the garage; my stepmother plays Miranda Lambert and Garth Brooks while she makes dinner or works around the house.

While everyone in my family is very smart, there is little emphasis on academics. Everyone eats, sleeps and breathes sports. On top of that, my dad is an avid hunter and gun collector; our garage could function as the military base for the zombie apocalypse.

Then there’s me and my outlandish ideas of fun pastimes. When it comes to the battle for the radio, I take a back seat. I despise country music with a passion, and I can’t play a game of basketball (or any sport) to save my life. I’ve never liked shooting a gun– I’m terrified of them. And the one time I went hunting, I wound up chasing after a panicking turkey with a gun that wouldn’t shoot properly.

On a deeper level, there is the conflict of ideology and philosophy. While conflicts between viewpoints aren’t necessarily country vs. non-country wrestling matches, they are solid reminders that I will never be the same as the rest of my family. When a new idea is introduced, I tend to have an open mindset; the remainder of the Cannon clan is much more opinionated. They don’t pay much mind to who they could offend– when viewpoints are expressed, the idea of a “filter” is thrown out the window.

While the differences between us are as numerous as the taxidermic animals on our walls, I’ve found ways to fit in. Adjusting to life in a new home was difficult at first, but I managed.  And though I will never learn to love everything they love, I love my family and all of our quirks.