I lost my father a few days before I turned four. All together now, ‘aaaaw!’ Thanks for the sympathy.
My idea of hell growing up would have been my mother re-marrying and forcing me to call some strange man daddy. Every time I thought about another man maneuvering his way into our lives and tampering with the dynamics of our household, I’d get so angry you would have been forgiven for thinking it had happened. I had a couple of friends who had nothing but horror stories to tell of their step fathers and I’d be damned if I’d let some stranger maltreat me. I used to lie in bed thinking of the many ways I would frustrate the man’s life. Walahi, I was ready for him!
I imagined each time he greeted me, I’d hiss and ignore him. Stupid man, he should keep his greetings to himself.
I imagined that he would tell me off for doing something wrong and I’d insult his mother, his mother’s mother, his mother’s mother’s mother and his entire family tracing back to his homo sapiens ancestors.
I imagined I would call him by his first name (an ABOMINATION) and when he got pissed off about it, I’d ask him whether the name on his birth certificate was ‘uncle’ or ‘daddy’.
If he had children, the house would be a battle ground. I would make sure we fought every day. I would be the step sister from hell.
I rehearsed my lines, practiced my daggers (sorry, I’m a QC girl) and perfected the art of hissing. I also mentally prepared myself for the many beatings I would inevitably receive from my mother. I was ready for her too.
I would make sure I didn’t cry when she attempted to flog stupid and nonsense out of me.
I wouldn’t eat anything she cooked.
I wouldn’t speak to her unless spoken to.
I would make it known to the whole world that I was miserable at home. Yes, I would paint a picture of her as a bad mother sacrificing the happiness of her children for the love of a man.
I would make her life so unbearable, she would send the man packing for peace sake.
If I’m honest, I was disappointed when none of the above happened. There was no step father for me to demonise, no step siblings for me to frustrate. I’d rehearsed it so much I was gagging to act it out. That my mother, such a kill joy! I suspect that she sensed I for one, would not be up for the whole step father business.
It’s only now I’m older I realise the enormity of the sacrifice she made to provide us with a stable home. I now understand how lonely she must have been and still must be, especially as we’ve all flown the nest. No one to share the burden of raising three psychotic (and that we were) teenagers. No one to give her a hug and ask ‘hey honey, how was your day?’ No one to act love in Tokyo with. Walahi, she tried o!
These days, I wish she would find herself a man. Preferably on that is rich and has no kids. Okay, that’s pretty unlikely but he can’t have more than two kids. The less children we are, the larger my share of his fortune. He has to be generous too. I’m tired of this suffer head 9 to 5, paying rent and having to save to go on holidays. I need him to sort me out.
So mummy, go on, do what you do best, put me first!