There’s a scene in the series Young Justice – a TV show about young superheroes – in which Batman and his partners in crime are sitting in the Batmobile, and Batman says, “Let’s get McNuggets.” It seems like the kind of thing you’d say after a long and tiring day with the family, when you just want to sit down and unwind for a second.

I’ve never had a traditionally big family, with lots of cousins and nieces, aunts and uncles that I dread to meet at family gatherings. In fact, family gatherings in our household are small. We are glad that it’s like that because one family member’s voice has the magnitude of about ten if enough alcohol is consumed. “Let’s get McNuggets” was never said after we’d done something fun together. We wouldn’t extend time spent with family as a cohesive unit. In a lot of ways, it felt different from families that I would see around.

An outcast

Being a kid that consumed copious amounts of pop culture, I was always drawn to found families. I loved the idea of finding a family without blood playing any part. People would fall into the strangest situations, and together they’d find a way out. They would look at each other and think, “Hell, we only have each other. Let’s make the best of it.” That’s how it went in my head, anyway. Their version of getting McNuggets meant not getting killed or imprisoned.

In hindsight, I was just attached to the idea of non-blood relation. I moved between hasty friendships, never settling, looking for my family because I knew they were out there. Little did I know my clinginess was never appreciated. My observant mind noticed things I wasn’t supposed to notice, like people’s tics and habits, things they didn’t want explicitly out in the open. And so here I became an outcast, without friends or family.

There’s a happy end to this story, thankfully. It turned out that my small family was much, much larger than we initially thought. Now we spend summer together drinking wine around the fire. And when it comes to friends, I found those, too. They allow me to talk and show the excitement that I kept inside for a long time. And yeah, on late nights we will go and get McNuggets. That’s a good thing, too.