Minerva's Breakdown: Fam Damnily 

"If only families could be more like a wholesome sitcom."

Dear Minerva,

I have never had a close family. My parents didn't get along well with their families and because of that, I was pretty much isolated from my extended family from a young age. I have five siblings, two of which are dead. I have always tried to keep in touch and remember birthdays, etc. However, this same effort has never been reciprocated. This year, it reached a new low. My father and all of my living siblings neglected to wish me a happy birthday. I am trying to process this, but I can't help but feel of no importance to my family. Should I bring it up?

—Sincerely, Jan Brady

Dear Jan,

If only families could be more like a wholesome sitcom. Unfortunately, reality rears its ugly head and we are faced with the cold hard truth that even those who are supposed to always be there for us are humans full of imperfections and apathy. Rather than bring it up, I suggest letting your actions speak louder than your words. Stop making the effort where it is neither appreciated nor desired. I've mentioned before that blood ties do not guarantee entrance past the red velvet ropes of one's heart and I mean it. Cherish those who make an effort in your life and try not to mourn the disintegration of the family unit. Perfect families don't exist, but chosen families come closest to that perfection. Mantra: "You've got to learn to leave the table when love's no longer being served." -Nina Simone.

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