Little Bits of Pixie Dust

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thourougly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO, what a ride!!"

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Happy Birthday~ I Hate You

I have never gotten along with my stepmother. She was all right when I first met her, but in retrospect I think that she was just being nice so that she could reel my father in. Once she had him in her clutches, the gloves came off.

I was seven years old when my dad and her got married. I was very excited, because I got to get a new dress and lacy underwear and socks. And oh, I loved that dress. I felt like a fairy princess in it, and twirled and twirled until I was almost sick. But guess what? When the wedding was over, I wasn't allowed to keep the dress. She confiscated everything, right down to the lacy socks and underwear. Now, the woman has no children, so why in the heck did she need to have that dress? To hang in a closet? This was just the beginning.

I never did anything to her satisfaction. I didn't dress right, I didn't hold my silverware in the correct way, I didn't speak properly, I was too loud, I complained too much, I always wanted something, etc etc. Keep in mind that I was still only a kid. My most miserable memories are of sitting at my dad's kitchen table as she lectured me about eating what was put in front of me. I was always a picky eater, and she made weird stuff that I had never even heard of. I would sit there and stare at my plate with a huge lump in my throat, knowing that I couldn't swallow. Her dog would sit under the table and scratch at me with his claws, and if I said anything or kicked the dog off of me, I would get berated. Finally the last straw came when I called my mom in the middle of the night, sobbing hysterically because I was scared and she wouldn't let me in their room. I didn't want to stay there, just wanted the comfort of knowing that someone else was right in the next room. But she told me to get back in my own bed, and I did for a couple minutes, but I was so scared. I called my mom and she came to pick me up right away, and that was the last time I spent the night at my dad's.

As the years went on, my dad and I worked out a system where we could see each other but I wouldn't have to see her. We started going out to dinner once a week together, and that was fine with me. I got to see my dad and I didn't have to be uncomfortable. I only had to see her on holidays, and I would just try to avoid her. Once I was eighteen, I didn't have to go over to my dad's family's house anymore, so I never saw her.

The final blow to our relationship (or the shreds of it that were left) came when I was about to be a freshman in college. When I graduated high school, my dad had told me that he would split the cost of school with my stepdad and my mom. Then he said he never said that, so I understandably got angry and didn't talk to him for a couple weeks. It was the middle of week two when the phone rang, and it was her.
"Why aren't you talking to your dad?"
I told her that I didn't think this was any of her business.
"You ungrateful little brat. You get everything handed to you and you don't even appreciate it. I have no respect for you, and you are really hurting your dad's feelings."
I retorted that I didn't care in the least what she thought of me, and things went on in this vein until I hung up on her, as she was calling me a bitch. At first I was really proud of myself for standing up to her, but then my true nature (the sensitive, never say a bad word to me one) came out and I burst into tears. To make a long story short, my mom called her back and told her in no uncertain terms to never call her house and talk to her daughter that way, and finished up the conversation by saying, "You better hope I never run in to you in a back alley," to which the stepmom said "Oh, I'm scared" and my mom said, "You should be." and hung up the phone.

So ever since then I have avoided all possible contact with the stepmom. For my own mental state. But my father insists on pretending that the stepmom and I are just "different" and that we could really get along if we wanted to. Yeah right. So every year on my birthday he forces us to go out to dinner and pretend that we like each other. Last year, she didn't say anything to me the entire time, including Happy Birthday. She glanced at me once and said, "So, at home, do you, like, cook?" and A*, bless his heart, piped up and told her that I was pretty much the next Emril, even though in real life I hardly ever enter the kitchen. That was the only time she addressed me.

Tomorrow is my birthday, so tonight? The dinner. I am dreading it more than you could ever know, but out of respect for my father, I will bite my tounge and get through it. At least A* will be there, and he always keeps me entertained after these things by making fun of her and telling me how much of a bitch she is. That is why I love him so.

It's only one night, right?


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