Friday, May 7, 2021

Familial Variability: Secret Subject Swap


Secret Subject Swap, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics


Welcome a Secret Subject Swap. This month 5 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously   divulging our topics and submitting our posts. Read through mine and at the bottom you’ll find links to all of today’s other Secret Subject participants.



My subject is: An alien has shown up at your house to document human life for their social scientists at home. How would you explain your family and family dynamic to them?
It was submitted by Jenniy of Climaxed.


I check my spam email file frequently. How else would I know how many millions of dollars I might be able to claim in foreign banks for the low, low price of providing all of my personal information?
But the email I found on Tuesday was quite unique:

Family Fact Finding Mission, Secret Subject Swap | Graphic designed by and property of | #MyGraphics #humor

Oh yeah, right, alien beings who use email? And saying they're coming to my house? That's just beyond creepy. Whoever thought this one up had to be high. Like for days.

I had wiped it from my memory banks (so to speak) when a few days later, the one we call Friday, my doorbell rang. When I answered, my eyes bulged and my jaw hit my chest. The person at my door was wearing quite an elaborate costume. And had to be on stilts. Into my mind popped these words "I have been sent by Remmaps of Macs, requesting information."

OK, I'll play.

"Walk around the house to the back deck, I'll meet you there," I said not just because the ceilings in my house are only 10 feet high, but because, joke or not, I wasn't letting him in my house. 

On my way to the back deck I stopped in the kitchen and grabbed a tray. On it I placed a few cups of coffee and some of my freshly baked Pineapple Yam Bread. No reason not to be polite, after all.
Pineapple Yam Bread, yam makes this quick bread moist, pineapple adds flavor and pecans add a crunch. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #bread

Pineapple Yam Bread
Pineapple Yam Bread, yam makes this quick bread moist, pineapple adds flavor and pecans add a crunch. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #bread

Of course as soon as a request for my social security number or credit card came up, all semblance of courtesy would be revoked. Most likely with a well known earthly finger gesture to add a bit of drama to the point.
"Help yourself," I said as I placed the food on the table, sat down, looked up at him and realized he had no mouth (or the costume didn't). Oh well, his loss.
As much as I hate to admit it (since I haven't been able to come up with a logical reason), questions started popping into my head. About our family. Guardedly, I answered them. Names I gave, but I refused to give ages or birth dates, just age ranges. So far, he wasn't pushing, I was able to answer in generalities and no credit card request had been made. He's slick, this guy. Not sure that the amount of time and effort put into this . . . whatever this is . . . provides the best profitability ratio, but that's not my problem.
But I've got places to go (yay, I'm 2 weeks past my last vaccination) and yummies to bake, time to cut to the chase. "What exactly is it that you're looking for?" I asked him.
"Information about the nuclear units earthlings create and maintain. Who leads, who follows, how this works for all in your grouping," is what popped into my head. 

"The dynamic you question is ever changing, but this is how it works for us. I'm the mom and I run the entire family unit. The other adult does what he's told. It didn't start out that way, it's a process, but eventually he realized that food and clean clothes (and pretty much everything else) depends on it. The younger members of the group do all the exact same kinds of things the adults used to do but now deny they ever did. It's true they provide stress, not exactly what you'd expect from a productive member of the unit, but they also provide entertainment and comic relief. No matter the situation, however, the mom has the last word. And everyone knows it."
He started to rise, but I continued. "Times have changed though, and continue to do so. To understand our society and family relationships now, take everything I just said and put it in a blender. Families are more diverse, roles are fluid, frequently not defined. I personally have had and will always love 2 stepmothers, a stepfather, 3 stepbrothers and a stepsister."

"If your system is archaic," he questioned silently, "why maintain it?"

"Because," I told him. "We continue to grow, to evolve, and being open to that makes us more efficient, more comfortable in the roles open to us, and happier. But ultimately we need each other. And that will never change."

He continued to rise. I didn't bother telling him he'd forgotten to get my social security and credit card  numbers, just watched him leave the deck.

"You know," I added, as he walked away, slowly vaporizing, particle by particle, "your time management efficiency would rise astronomically if you had just let me answer that email."
Yup, even with aliens, the mom gets the last word.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Wandering Web Designer 


Part-time Working Hockey Mom

What TF Sarah 

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Pineapple Yam Bread        

Printable Recipe

1 can (15 oz) yams in syrup
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapples in juice
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon 
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped pecans

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 X 5 loaf pan.
*Drain and mash the yams. Beat with the eggs, sugar, and brown sugar. Beat in the oil, then mix in the crushed pineapples with their juice.
*In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Mix into the yam mixture just until incorporated, then mix in the chopped pecans.
*Pour the batter evenly into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for about an hour, or until the center springs back to the touch.
*Allow to cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes before running a knife around the edges and removing to cool completely.


  1. Aliens. Pfff. They could learn so much from us Moms!

  2. I am not allowing an alien in or around my house.However if a questionnaire is submitted, I will carefully decide whether to respond.
    My family is blended. In fact a local newspaper sent a representative out to interview us., that I guess may have been our alien. I will always have four children, two I gave birth to and two by another Mother.
    I have been transformed now and I am the Nana, I serve cookies to no one but grand babies, the rest are on their own.

    1. Perfect. We all build our families based on love and commitment.

  3. Best fed aliens in this world or out of it!!!! If I land my spaceship to I get coffee Pineapple yam bread?

  4. No body parts or fluids required, well that's reassuring.
    If the character didn't have a mouth they didn't need to wear a face mask, right? Convenient.
    They must have been so impressed by that visit. I mean, the beuatiful garden, the yummy cake, the valuable intel on human nature.
    Well done!
    Happy Friday!

    1. I don't know about impressed, that was the first and last visit (that I know of).

  5. Now that you've disclosed the existence of aliens to Earthlings, I must now admit that I originate from a planet that has been in friendly competition with the Mac Empire for several eons. Now that people know, how am I ever going to get my questionnaire work done? Myself, I don't use email to set up meetings, but instead, a blog called "Ramblin with AM". I've gotten some good information from the various commenters. I do wish my Empire's leaders provided us with better cameras, however, but please don't tell them? Ah well. I have a few years to go before I finish my surveys, and I wish the Macs didn't come to peoples' houses. It has made my job harder. Alana

  6. That sounds like the friendliest alien ever! I hope your answers ticked off all of it's boxes.

    1. No return visits so one way or another, they're done with me.

  7. They need to figure out that every culture is different, and ours is fluid. My favorite rule is, "Happy spouse, happy house."

  8. Love the sarcasm in this piece and its very easy to picture. Happy Mother's Day!

  9. Replies
    1. Thank you, Jenniy, I'm so glad you like how I answered your prompt.


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