You know the saying: “There’s one in every family.” Our parents and siblings are our main behavioral influences as we grow up, but our uncles’ roles in preparing us for the general public is underrated. Our uncles span all types of people, and the lessons we learn from their behavior are priceless.
The Questionably Married Uncle
He’s good looking, young for his age, old-man athletic, and, of course, married–but the questionably married uncle always seems to be surrounded by women. His marriage doesn’t seem to be doing well, but he’s been married to your aunt ever since you can remember. He has attractive, young women working for him and whenever you grab a drink with him, he flashes smiles at girls from your age to 35. Watching him taught you that age is only a state of mind, and also that getting a prenup is probably a good idea.
The Committed Bachelor Uncle
This uncle has thrown in the towel on getting married for the Clooney lifestyle. His home looks like a bachelor pad and you always see him with a different girl. Your mom and aunts always gossip about him and his dates, but he just doesn’t give a fuck. He’ll have candid conversations about women with you during poker and cigars. By watching him, you learned that bachelor life is a viable alternative to lowering your standards and marrying someone for the sake of getting married.
The Patriotic Military Uncle
One of your cooler uncles, the patriotic military uncle enlisted when he was 18 and has traveled the world as a career military man. He’s a hardcore libertarian who believes that the Democrats are intentionally trying to destroy America and that the Republicans are big-government, religious rights morons. He offered to build you an AK-47 from a kit he’s kept for you in his gun safe since you were a kid, saying every good patriot needs a rifle. He tells the best stories about his years in the military, getting drunk all around the world, and seeing shit we sheltered, American civilians will likely never see in our lives. Although the patriotic military uncle may be a bit over the top, he taught you to have a healthy distrust in the government, as well as every gun law in America and the tenets of responsible gun ownership. God bless America.
The Gay Uncle
The gay uncle, also known as the “guncle,” had always seemed a little different to you, even before you found out he was gay. He seemed a little effeminate and always brought his “friend” to family gatherings, but as a kid, you never thought much of it. It wasn’t until someone at a family gathering accidentally said something–you found out he was gay, and when you realized what being gay meant, everything about him made total sense. Thanks to your gay uncle, you realized that gay people exist, and you also learned to treat them no differently from straight people.
The Drunk Uncle
The drunk uncle, or as I like to call him, “drunkle,” always seems to have a drink in front of him. He’s an expert on beer and whiskey and knows drink recipes the way Bubba from Forrest Gump knows shrimp recipes. He gets sauced at family gatherings and orders at least one drink at every meal. This is the same uncle who snuck you booze when you were 16 and covered for you so your parents wouldn’t find out. He taught you that drinking is not a sprint, it’s a marathon, and he also taught you how to make a mean old-fashioned.
The Show-Off, Rich Uncle
The show-off, rich uncle, usually a middle child, worked his ass off to earn what he and his family have, and he loves to flaunt it. He only drinks expensive wine at family gatherings and he orders overpriced entrees regularly. He outdoes everyone with his over-the-top gifts and always offers to give you a ride in his suped-up speedboat or in his midlife crisis Mercedes convertible. His antics are obnoxious to the rest of the family and it occasionally creates tension at family reunions, but he taught you that extravagance is underrated when you can afford it.
The Broke Uncle
The broke uncle is always looking for a free lunch. He’s broke because of his own fuck ups and laziness, but he still feels entitled to shit because he was spoiled rotten as a kid. He always looks for ways to pass his responsibilities onto someone else, even going so far as to pay someone else to do them for him. This is why he’s in debt up to his eyeballs. He doesn’t explicitly ask for handouts, but he subtly implies he’s not opposed to them. He’s completely shameless about his self-pity, and he looks and appears pathetic enough to motivate you to never let yourself be so desperate that you need to be a mooch.
The Hardcore Liberal Uncle
The polar opposite of the patriotic military uncle, the hardcore liberal uncle is a poster boy for the Democratic party. He always rants about how the rich hoard all the money and that wages need to be increased. He thinks every oil company gives zero fucks about safety and the environment, although he has no idea how oil drilling and fracking actually work. At family gatherings, he’ll almost immediately start ranting about how almost every social “injustice” needs to be legislated out of existence and that more privately owned guns mean more crime. He taught you two valuable lessons: don’t talk politics at family reunions and don’t put him in a room with your patriotic military uncle.
Ridiculously Normal Uncle
This uncle does not have any distinguishing characteristics at all. His family is as normal as a nuclear family in 1950s America. He has a decent, corporate job, a loving wife, kids, and a humble temperament. He enjoys typical male things like sports, cars, and beer, but he doesn’t overindulge. Deafeningly unspectacular, he taught you that being normal is boring and overrated.