Not all of our relations can be fine, upstanding folks.
Families are a very loose way to define similarities. We may be related by blood, but how else? Are we alike in any other way?
Often the answer is no, especially when you compare peoples' real lives and trajectories.
Here were some of those answers.
The Most Awful Fake
I have an aunt that faked having cancer for 10 years so she could use her fundraising money for drugs. She's now in prison for credit card fraud and possession
I also have an aunt who faked this weird "illness" last year and started a go fund me account and raised like 15K. It was so bizarre. My family distanced ourselves from her years prior. I saw on social media that she was raising money and even had this whole long video made about it. Now she has this weird life coaching "business" and sales a bunch of garbage. Her bio on all her social media etc. has these really gross over exaggerations and flat out lies about her life and experiences as a "business" woman. Her kids who are in their 20s believe it all and actively help her.
Lives Of Crime
Shadiest, my grandfather. His entire career was him bribing public officials for the company he worked for. He ran moonshine during prohibition. Had a secret family for 30 years. I always remember him smiling but it is sad to hear his kids say they have no good memories of him.
Ah yes.. My cousin we nicknamed "Five Finger Frank"
See, no matter what the circumstance or setting, if ol' five fingers is around, he will try to sell you something he "gots from a friend" yes, the "s" in gots is there on purpose. he speaks this way. "I gots a great phone for sale.. whatcha gots in cash?"
Wedding of his sister? he tried to sell me speakers for my car.
Funeral of our grandmother? he had something in his trunk he just KNEW I would want to buy...
And he not only tries to sell to me or my brothers, he will sell to ANYONE. Aunts, other cousins, friends, pretty much anyone with a pulse.
And everything he tries to sell is obviously stolen. A toolbox with the name "Jason" engraved in it. Loose jewelry, car stereos, generators, tv's, etc.
It has almost become a game with us... what will ol' five fingers try to sell us today?
Last time, I said "tools", my brothers claimed "a watch, a car, and a ring."
What he did try to sell us was a john boat with the numbers removed and no tag on the trailer.
I am sure he will be in jail soon.
It Me Fam
An ancestor of mine was an outlaw because he killed a cop. I think it was in the late 1800s in Gästrikland in Sweden but i'm not sure.
Apart from that dude it definitely is me, my cousin comes in a distant second.
If You've Been To The Moon, She's Been There Twice
My 50 something year old cousin who thinks she's better than everyone else. Good God, I've never met a more insecure person. Got a new apartment? She'll tell you about her new house. Got a new relationship? Shell tell you they're cheating on you. Got health problems? She'll tell you you're weak for getting treatment.
I cut contact five years ago, but she's so far up her own bedazzled behind, I don't think she noticed.
Zero To Nero
Some great uncle who was a baker, whose bakeries had the unfortunate habit of catching fire. After the fourth one burned to the ground someone started suspecting it was an insurance scam. In the village he was known as Nero for this.
Life Without Perole
I have a great uncle who's been in prison since I was born (1985) and I still don't know what crime he committed or why our family's elders still don't discuss it.
The Town (2010)
There's been several with the title but my mom's second cousin was the "band-aid bandit" in Ontario back in the 80s/90s or something.
She used to tell the story when I was a teen and haven't really asked since but it was always kind of cool.
He put band aids on his fingers and robbed banks. He was in jail and got out in the late 90s if I recall correctly.
I should ask her again for more information
Knobs For Heads
Uncle Knobhead, as he is now known to us.
Going back about 17 years now, my aunt and uncle put my parents' names down as guarantors for their mortgage, without asking first.* There was an argument when my parents found out (as you might expect), which resulted in Uncle Knobhead deciding that my aunt (my mum's sister) and their son (Obvs my cousin) were no longer allowed any contact with any of our family.
A couple of years later, my grandma died, and my mum and aunt went along to the care home where she'd spent the last few months of her life to sort through her belongings and do whatever paperwork was required. My dad stepped outside and knocked on the window of Uncle Knobhead's car, saying "If we've got a problem, don't you think we should sort it out?" Uncle Knobhead simply wound the window back up, and we haven't seen any of them since Grandma's funeral.
*I believe this could be considered fraud, not 100% sure
I have an uncle on my father's side of the family who abused my grandfather and stole money out of his safe and tried to run off with it. He wanted to live in his house, but never took care of him or took him to any medical examination. He even tried to rewrite my grandfather's will in his favor and hired a lawyer to accomplish that. My father told me that he used to spend his money on drugs, hookers, beer, cigarettes, and gambling. The Department for Human Services were wanting to go after him, but declined after a month. We managed to get our grandfather into a retirement home and managed to retrieve the money from the safe back from him, and now he is living with his friend.