An Invalid’s Guide to Alienating His/Her Entire Family

In one week, or less! Results guaranteed.

Step 1: The injury. It must be severe enough to render you useless in most ways, but not so severe as to make others fear for your life. Fearing for your life might cause family members to become sympathetic or worried, and will not result in adequate alienation. Examples that will not work: Sprains of any kind, broken wrist, etc. They do not render you completely useless, and thus, you will not appear to be an invalid. More examples that do not work: dangerous car wrecks, compound fractures, head injuries, comas, etc. If you go this far, your family may never become alienated. See above under ‘fear for life’. The injury should be severe enough to land you in the hospital, but not cause an overnight stay.

A broken ankle works well.

Very well.

Step 2: Recuperation. In order to alienate your family, recuperation must happen at a family member’s home. Appropriate excuses include: having a two story home, living alone, etc. If you are married, then you may only be able to alienate your spouse. This can work, but since the goal is to alientate your entire family, it is best to inconvenience as many members as possible.

Step 3: Do not be physically fit at the time of injury. If you are in top physical condition, you will be able to effectively use tools to compensate for your injury. If you are not physically fit, such tools will simply cause frustration and confusion. See definition: crutches. If you are especially non-fit, use of tools such as crutches may even result in additional small injuries, such as scrapes, bruises, and really ugly rugburns from falling. Be careful, however, not to become severly injured by use of tools, or sympathy from family members may result, which will put your alienation significantly behind schedule.

Step 4: Require help. Lots of it. Again, a broken ankle works well. If you are unable to shower or dress yourself, and family members need to assist you, you will be able to frustrate them extremely quickly. Especially if you…

Step 5: Fail to ask for help until absolutely necessary. Do not request a shower until you begin to get smelly. Do not ask to be fed until you are nearly ready to pass out. Only ask for beverages as all family members are leaving the house. Trust me, they will find reasons to do so often. They will also find reasons to stay out much longer than necessary. This is an indication that you are on the right track. Essentially, failing to ask for help may be seen as by the invalid in question as a way of not becoming annoying. To your family members, it will be seen as a belief that they should read your mind. This is, in fact, quite annoying to all parties involved.

Step 6: Occasionally have meltdowns. If these can be done publicly, they will be more effective. Try the follow up orthopaedic appointment, or your first public outing. The embarrassment of the setting needs to be enough to counteract the potentially sympathy-inducing effects of the meltdown itself. Cry loudly enough that people in the waiting room can hear you. They will give your family members weird looks on the way out. This can be exponentially helpful to your cause.

The greatest part of the entire list is that, with proper planning, it is excessively simple to do. Many items can be done accidentally, without thinking, or even while trying NOT to alienate your loved ones.

You will know you have succeeded in alienating your family when they leave you alone for hours and hours with a barking dog, locked doors, and no conceivable way to reach your crutches, house phone, or cell phone.

At that point, you should publicly blog all frustrations just so you have an excuse for them never forgiving you. The posting won’t really be the cause, however.

They don’t read your blog anyway.

p.s. This list is not intended for use by anyone at all.

p.p.s. If you do happen to be my mom or sister, try to laugh this off. Remember when I fell off the crutches because I got the giggles at something Desi did. That’ll help.

p.p.s. Better yet, pretend it’s because it’s April Fools Day. Yeah. That’ll work.

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