Kyle Richards (left) and Kim Richards (right) (Source: http://www.BravoTV.com)

Can I please have a trophy? I have spent the last 72 hours dealing with family and I am EXHAUSTED. I am so physically and emotionally drained that I am actually grateful that tomorrow is Monday…and I HATE Mondays! After the stress of a family funeral Thursday, a family wedding Friday and then all of the subsequent get togethers that followed I at least deserve a trophy, a T shirt, or at the very minimum a Xanax!

There was a time when I may have reflected on all the crazy that comes with family events with dismay. Growing up in the eighties and nineties with all of those picture perfect TV families was enough to make anyone feel abnormal. Perhaps John Hughes‘ cult classic Sixteen Candles was my favorite movie because it dove deepest into family dysfunction…even though it ditched being realistic when Samantha got the hot guy in the end…which never seemed to happen when I was sixteen.

However, today, through slightly gritted teeth, I am laughing at all that has transpired in the last few days because despite all the drama drama drama that occurs when my family converges in one area, I know that this is the norm for most people, and I ,you, we all have Reality Television to thank for that. Need proof? How many of you couldn’t sit through all the screaming during I Dream of Nene or cringed when Tamra Judge‘s brother got into it with her during a pre wedding gathering on Tamra’s OC Wedding?

In recent months there’s been a lot of criticism of reality television being too staged. We’ve all been asking “is it really real?” That I cannot say for sure, but I think I have figured out the one irrefutable truth that makes the genre deserving of its name. Reality television shows the nitty gritty dirty of relationships. Forget minor hilarious hiccups that resolve themselves by closing credits, these shows feature realistic problems that arise in families and friendships, many that never even get resolved.

Look at The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills for starters. Who can ever forget the limousine scene when sisters Kyle and Kim Richards went at one another with years of pent up anger while the cameras were rolling? What about Vicki Gunvalson and her daughter Briana Culberson locking horns over Brooks Ayers? How many of us related to Bethenny Frankel when she argued with then husband Jason Hoppy at the heliport right before a scheduled get away?

Many wonder why reality TV is so popular, and here’s my theory. My family is nuts, your family is nuts, who really wants to keep watching television that makes us ashamed about that fact? Reality television families let their freak flags fly high enough to let us all know it’s not just us. By sharing their highs and lows these people let us know that all families have their quirks and all family events are planned with very careful and deliberate seating charts.

As the holiday season commences I’d like to remind you all to enjoy your next family function with pride because we’re all a little bit crazy. So sit back, relax, and find that one great relative you see eye to eye with. Hug him or her, laugh at it all, and share a Xanax.

Have a crazy family story or fave cray cray reality TV moment? Share it with us and you can win from TBB and Wrapadoo!