Every so often we have a be nice to “insert kid or parent name here” day. If it is for one of the kids, Bear or I will take her out and do something special for her. This Saturday was the Show’s turn.
We decided to take her out for her first mani-pedi combo. Bear obviously was not going to take part in this “bizarre girl ritual,” so I was nominated. I am not very girly and the idea of spending hours at a nail salon makes my stomach turn but I love my girl and she really needed to be appreciated. Before we went to get our nails done, we stopped and picked her up a new set of flip-flops, so that here newly painted toes wouldn’t smudge. She also found a set of bendy-straws in the shape of flip-flops. She chose to take the blue one for herself. We went to one of those asian owned, open late because they have to be places. The staff was really very nie but had troubl with English. After being welcomed, they asked us to pick out our nail polish colors. The Show went with a nice dark blue (her favorite color) and I went with a French manicure.
As we are picking out our colors though, we ran into a woman that we shall call “The Ugly American.” The first thing that she does is ask us very politely to grab her color off the wall. Trying to be nice I start looking for it. The Ugly American, “Its the first row there, 5th one down.” So, I point to the first row and look back at her. “Five! Row Five! Geez, its five! Can’t you count!” she starts shouting. I look bak at her hand her a random polish and turn back to my girl. If I had been alone, I probably would have said a few choice phrases. Instead, I look at the Show and say, “That woman is kind of a bitch, stick close to me. She can be a jerk to be, but she had better leave you alone.” I didn’t realize how loud I was, because the entire shop looked at us and a few people giggled.
The Ugly American and her 4 year old daughter terrorize the nail salon staff for the next hour. This woman yells loudly at anyone who is slightly asian looking. Her daughter keeps moving chairs around and leaving her toys in various locations on the floor. The Show who is now starting to feel bad, looks at me and says loudly, “Wow, she really is kind of a B-word.” This puts the shop into another fit of giggles.
As we get in the car to leave, she is so happy and excited. “My nails match my eyes! My nails match my shirt! My nails match my straw!” Girls are wierd!
For many years, I wrote daily. I wrote stories, poems, books and anything else you can write. I use to have multiple notebooks and journals laying about. They were unfinished works or my writer’s journals with ideas and random thoughts. I can’t remember when I stopped writing. It was somewhere inbetween college, bills, failed relationships and new jobs. I can’t even remember if I meant to start again. Instead of trying to remember when it all fell apart, I will write about the time I almost gave up for good.
In highschool, it was my dream to one day be a journalist. I was editor of the school paper in my senior year. I had some of the most read articles and my name in print all of the time. So, when the assignment for interviewing the new teacher at our school came up, I was the most obvious choice for reporters.
I set the day for the interview and had all of my questions ready. I wanted to know what she did before she was a teacher and how she decided to become a high school teacher. As it turns out, even though she looked quite young, she did a lot before she went back to school for a teaching degree. She served in the Air Force and worked in several law offices as a paralegal. At the end of the interview, she said “Please don’t include the stuff before I went back to college, I don’t want everyone to know how old I am.” Though the request seemed a little unreasonable to me, I honored it and wrote my article about everything she did from college and beyond. I turned in what I thought was a well written and respectful article.
My journalism teacher knew that there was more to the story than what I wrote. She demanded to know why I left out all of the details about the new teacher’s past. When I stated that it was because she asked me too, she gave me a choice. Rewrite the article or get a failing grade on the assignment and someone else would take my notes and write the article. I was terrified of failing an assigment. Up until this point, I had always gotten A’s in any writting class I took. So, I re-wrote the article. I still regret doing it.
Two days later, the paper came out. The new teacher stopped me in the hall way. She was in tears, “Why did you include all of that stuff I asked you not too?” I stammered, “My teacher said that if I didn’t, she would give me a bad grade.” We never spoke after that day. I stopped writting for a while after that. I took easy jobs, like the sports score board and general announcements. Finally, my journalist teacher asked me why I stopped writting the top stories. I told her, “I feel terrible about what I did to the new teacher and I don’t want my words to hurt anyone.” She looked at me disappointed, “I guess you aren’t cut out to be a journalist after all.” I smiled, “No, I guess not.” I started writting again after that but mostly about world news, things that didn’t really matter to many teenagers.
I continued to write stories and creative works well into college. Until now, I never even tried writting about my favorite topic: real life. But this blog is my second chance. Its my second chance to write about things that matter and to make a small difference, if only in my own life. I still vow to never hurt anyone with my written word. But, this is my chance to do it right.
A few months ago, Bear (my super awesome boyfriend) got really annoyed with a driver on the freeway. The kids were in the car so, he manages to keep it somewhat clean when he says “How appropriate! That guy is wearing a skull condom.” In case you need help with the visual…
The comment was meant for just me. But I am pretty sure the Tyrant only hears things that she is not meant to and completely ignores anything she doesn’t want to hear.
Later that evening, we stopped at a gas station/7-11 for a Slurpee. The Tyrant gets out of the back seat and sees a guy pumping gas with the aforemeantioned headgear. She shouts “DAD! Look! That guy is wearing a Skull Condom!!!” Her sisters burst out laughing. And of course, both Bear and I look at each other, not sure if we should laugh or turn bright red. The Tyrant looks at her giggling sisters and shouts, “Well, he is! Its a GIANT BLUE SKULL CONDOM!” By this point we are all laughing as we quickly usher her into the store.
So, okay I am not officially a Step Mom (we aren’t married) but to the three girls I pretty much am. The girls are 15, 11 and 7. They are my boyfriends kids but we do all the step-mom/step-daughter things that you would expect. Buying dresses, sharing books and laughs.
KK, the oldest, is Mom when I am not around. (Basically Monday – Thursday) So, her and I have a unique relationship.
The Show, is the middle girl. She spends most of her time trying to make other people laugh. She is a natural entertainer.
The Tyrant, is the youngest. She likes things her way and right away. She can usually boss her sisters around pretty well. She doesn’t try it with her Dad or I.
Then we have Bear, my best friend turned boyfriend. I am not sure what I would do without him but I can tell you one thing, it would be a lot harder and way less fun.