Monday, June 05, 2006
Did I just walk into a Salvador Dali painting?
Graduation this weekend was not just filled will ill-bred cretins.

Oh, no. It was also an opportunity for me to enter the Twilight Zone.

Let me explain. Ours is not the typical family. My 18-year-old sister is really my half-sister. Her father was one of my three (to date) stepfathers. I love her, but until this summer we haven't been very close because she was born when I was 14. Much of my teenage years were devoted to her care, but when she finally was old enough to engage in real conversations, I was already away at college, then engaged in my career, and now an old married woman.

My other sister, aka SpySistah, as regular readers know, is living "quietly" in the island nation off the coast of the Carolinas and traveling internationally all too frequently to be just the actuary she claims to be. Riiiiiight. We believe her. Sure we do.

After the graduation ceremony, we all gathered at my mother's house for a little celebration. And this is where the weird part started. At this party were my mother, her current husband (#4) who I can't trust because of certain casual and illegal behavior that he has indulged in (very long story), my crazy grandmother with the propensity for speaking without thinking, my half-sister's father, his new live-in girlfriend, my husband and child, and my crazy Aunt.

The clocks were melting all over the place.

They were all being polite to each other. The atmosphere was jovial. The air was filled with laughter and conversation. They were talking about the good ol' days when they were all family. Grandmother and ex-stepfather talked about how they used to be drinking buddies until Grandma introduced him to Mom and how he liked Grandma as a drinking buddy, but not so much as a mother-in-law. At one point in the evening, my mother and my ex-stepfather were heard trading the following words:

Stepfather (to sister): I believe your mother is going to help you pay for the computer.

Mother: That was before I didn't get the last child-support check. Ha, Ha, Ha

SF: You are still trying to take all of my stuff! Ha, ha, ha

M: Yes, yes. I took it all and it was fun! Ha, Ha, Hahahaha

SF &M: Hahahahaha

I was standing there, mouth open like a wide-mouth bass out of water. No one else seemed in the slightest bit weirded out by any of this.

Not when camping stories were being told about mom peeing on the tent of my ex-stepbrother. Not when camping stories were being told about my other Aunt getting shnockered on peach schnapps and not finding her way back to the campsite. Not when my Aunt mentioned she was still taller and better looking than Stepfather.

The whole thing had me feeling that I should have started drinking for this party the week before. Maybe then it would have seemed normal to me. Current Stepfather and Ex-Stepfather chatting. Mom and Ex-Stepfather's new girlfriend discussing their grandchildren.

I can't explain just how bizarre it all was. It was more than worlds colliding. It was freakish only on cable-television or in the mind of Hitchcock. I kept looking over my shoulder for the arrival of the birds, or the four horsemen.

It seriously creeped me out. My Ex-Stepfather only had cake because I made it. That's crazy talk. He has no reason to like me! I'm the one who caught him cheating with the bimbo in the basement on Christmas Eve!

Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh! Make it stop, make it stop.

I'm going to go curl into a ball in the corner, rock back and forth, and mutter incoherently now. Please ignore me.
posted by Phoenix | 10:19 AM


>2 Comments:

At 7:38 AM, Anonymous Dave said...

You seem to have managed to recover well from your bizarre family. I mean, you have all of the qualities that many in your family seem to lack: loyalty, organization, determination, perserverance, level-headedness, etc.

I'm not trying to diss your family, but it seems from your description that they (in general) are a bit, shall I say, dysfunctional? And you are not (or you at least hide it well ;).

I guess I'm trying to say that you really seem to have achieved quite a bit of success in life despite some very basic factors that could well have ruined the chances for you to succeed.

And that, in my opinion, is a tribute to your character.

 
At 8:27 AM, Blogger Phoenix said...

Dave,

Thank you! It is so nice of you to say that. Yes, my family is more than a bit dysfunctional. We were the antithesis of The Brady Bunch, you'd have to say.

If I succeeded, I likely did so in spite of my surroundings. I'm sure that this is directly related to two things: a) my ability to think for myself and b) the solid foundation that my father and stepmother provided.

I don't want to leave you with the impression that I am perfect. I am far from that, but if we were playing "one of these things is not like the others" with me and my family, Me & SpySistah would stick out like sore thumbs.

Thank you for the nice words, though. It is always nice when someone who you credit as an independent self-thinker and a leader recognizes positive qualities in you.

Take care!

 

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