Monday, June 20, 2011

Vodka = Frenemy

I met my dad's girlfriend Friday night.  Read herehere, and here to understand why this was a big deal.  As usual, I'm the only one of my siblings subjected to it, because a) youngest sister is off with her head up her butt and has cut the rest of us out of her life while she pretends to be an artist and might possibly be joining a cult b) other sister is on a cruise to the Bahamas with her boyfriend [hello horse, this is the cart in front of you] and hasn't checked in in a week, and c) brother and father are not speaking due to said brother's having lived with /mooched/regressed to a teenager during the past year when he was living with Dad, causing Dad to throw him out on his ear.  There, I said it.  They can be pissed if they want, but if you can't handle the consequences, don't...make the choices, or whatever.  Uggh, this is off to a bad start. 

Anyway, we went to the lake, because Dad's dating a "local" there. And try as I might to convince him that we should go OUT into NEUTRAL territory for this first meeting, he insisted that this lady wanted to fix us dinner, and that we could do it at his place at the lake. was either go to complete stranger's house and feel completely uncomfortable, OR let her fix dinner in a kitchen that still feels like it's Edna's and hang out with her in a place that is still so strongly tied to her, regardless of how well we are all managing and getting on with our lives.  So, I was nervous going in.  So nervous that I practically attacked the lady handing out wine and cheese (cheese?  who needs cheese?) samples at our favorite grocery store.  So nervous that I downed an extremely dirty martini in about two minutes.  See where this is headed?  Some friends of ours came down to hang out with us, and I think at this point I had been so worried about being able to carry on a conversation and not come across as a complete anti-social bitch (I have that reputation when meeting strangers), that I just couldn't stop talking.  I don't even really know what I said, or a lot of it.  I had two more drinks (and not measured out drinks, but POURED drinks), in what must have been a pretty short amount of time...all before eating a single bite.  Thank GOODNESS my very smart phone died at around this point, because it probably kept me from humiliating myself in front of all of cyberspace when I couldn't drunk tweet or update my Facebook status.  We did eventually eat, but apparently it wasn't enough, and I should have had bread...lots of bread...but it was a pretty carb-free meal, unfortunately.

We eventually moved up the hill to our place, because I at least had sense enough to know that it was past Andrew's bedtime (James was completely sober, before anyone thinks I'm a bad mom), and probably I had some hope that if I said it was time to move, the evening would end.  But it didn't, and Dad and the girlfriend came up the hill with us.  I had also had sense enough to take car keys away from all involved (and throw them under our bed, for some reason), so at some point, we had to call the girlfriend's son to come get her.  Great way to meet my possibly-future stepbrother, huh?  I'm sure I made a great impression.  Whoa!

After the girlfriend left, Dad and I got into some deep discussion...and how it started, I have no idea.  I guess I'll have to ask Dad at some point exactly what kind of gibberish spewed forth.  James was there at the beginning of the talk, but went to bed at some point.  I remember the conversation started with how weird it was for me that she was working in Edna's kitchen, and I remember crying at that point, already.  But I don't know what the trigger was, other than cheap vodka.  Blecch.  The conversation ended, though, with a long talk (more like a rant) about Dad's smoking, and I do remember sobbing and yelling at him about not wanting Andrew to lose another grandparent, and how Andrew asks me why he smokes if he knows it's bad for him, and just becoming altogether hysterical.  Now, I'm not condoning my behavior, but Dad at least took me seriously and didn't become angry or feel like I was scolding him, which happens when the topic comes up under normal circumstances.  And Dad promised he would try to quit...promised to fill Chantix prescriptions, and although he was probably worried that I was slipping off the deep end, he listened.

Needless to say, I felt like complete and utter hell on Saturday.  I honestly think I was still kind of drunk that morning.  All I wanted to do was stay in bed in the dark and not move.  By the afternoon, however, I was human enough to go swimming and on a boat ride with Dad (who was NOT smoking) and the girlfriend, and by nighttime, I was actually convinced I might live, although we had a very low-key evening of ordering pizza and watching a movie while my dad and his friend hung out, separate from us, for the most part.  (I don't want to go from zero to sixty in five seconds, if that's clear enough.  All things in moderation...gee, I should have learned that Friday night.)  We did gather together later that evening, along with our other friends, to put off some fireworks and enjoy some of the evening.  Andrew and I then proceeded to stay up together and watch The Bride of Frankenstein (I'm really getting Mother of the Year awards here, huh?), which he enjoyed.  We did some character analysis on the creature and the people he comes into contact with, then finally made it to bed at about midnight.  (Dad had only three cigarettes the whole day!)

Sunday involved breakfast with Dad, more swimming, fishing, and a boat ride with our friends.  My dad didn't smoke, the ashtrays have vanished from the house, and he appears to be giving it a good shot.  His Father's Day gift to me, I suppose.  He seems happy, and excited about the prospects of this relationship, which I hope he doesn't take too fast, because I don't want him to get hurt.  My brother texted him good wishes for the day, and we followed up the pleasantries of the weekend with a call from my cruisin' sister, who gave us the good news that she had become engaged on the trip.  (I wrote the bit about the cart before the horse before she called me today, and I'm just leaving it in anyway.)


Alices Wonderland said...

Oh dear. I love how you are so honest. It sounds like your family is going through some pretty dynamic changes right now. Be kind (to yourself as well.)

Diana said...


Tam said... seemed to handle it like I would have...VODKA..LOL Actually hmmm while in VA I had a few white russians at one point...LOL