September—Osage County

When I heard the woman crying in the bathroom stall next to me, I remembered what I had read in one review of “August—Osage County.” The reviewer said the movie could be funny, but it might not be humorous at all to people who grew up in dysfunctional families.

A few minutes later, as I washed my hands, I saw that the woman and I were the only people in the restroom. “Are you okay?” I asked her quietly.

“Yes,” she said.

“Did you just see “Osage County”? I asked. “Do you come from a dysfunctional family?”

“Yes,” she said. “Yes.”

“My husband and I both come from dysfunctional families,” I said.

“The hard part is that we just keep passing the dysfunction from one generation to another,” she told me.

I gave her a hug. “Sometimes the past still hurts,” I said. “We just have to do the best we can.”

We talked a few minutes more.

“I’m glad you talked to me,” she said, as she left the bathroom.

I wish I would have told her that being aware of the dysfunction is the first step, that I’ve learned that I don’t have to be perfect, that I have asked for help from friends and counselors, that asking for help and talking has helped, that I have made changes.

Even though August in Osage County can be horrible, what happens in September can be better—much better.