Vigorous Anonymity

Archive for the ‘The Steps’ Category

My husband has two grown children (son – 40, daughter – 37), who are both married with children.  They have successful careers and families and houses.  And of course, their children are my husband’s grandkids.

There’s a long and tragic history here.  Jackass and I got together when those kids were 10 and 7.  But we have never had a relationship of any kind.  They introduce me to people as their “father’s wife”.  And their children don’t know what to call me although the oldest finally started calling me Candy recently.  More upsetting to me is that they have never tried to have a relationship with Ingrid and Morris.  My kids could have benefited from the family interaction, but the older set didn’t want to reach out and so that never happened either.  At the moment, we all just sort of coexist, all circling Jackass, the sun.  None of us like it, except for Jackass who remains convinced we are all one big happy family.

To set the following story in its proper context, I must also tell you my stepdaughter and her husband are into extreme couponing.  They have an entire basement lined with shelves where they store their loot – all the stuff they don’t necessarily need but buy because it’s on sale, and they essentially get it for next to nothing.  They have boxes upon boxes of men’s deodorant, disposable razors, toothbrushes and air fresheners, just to name a few.

Saturday, we had a Christmas brunch with them.  They were many many gifts exchanged – at least from our side.  Generous gift cards for Jackass’ kids, multiple gifts for the grandkids.  Some serious booty.

From the other side, the following gifts were distributed:

For me:  a Glade air freshener

For Ingrid:  a disposable razor

For Morris:  a deodorant

For Jackass (their father):  a toothbrush

If it wasn’t so sad, it would be hysterical.


Well I may be in a new place, but the problems are the same.  Challenges…let’s call them challenges instead, so much more tidy.

Sunday is Father’s Day.  And as you may recall, Jackass has four children – two with me and two who are older and wiser and who have children of their own.

This morning, I received an email from Jackass, forwarding me an email from Oldest Daughter asking if he wanted to have breakfast/brunch on Father’s Day.  And he asked me for my input.  So I put in.

And then he sends me back another asking me if I want to have everyone up to our house for brunch.  And therein lies the challenge.

This is what always ends up happening.  Because Jackass is incapable of allowing his older children – who are in their 30s and have responsible jobs – to pay for a meal.  The Golden Boy (the neurosurgeon) will one day very soon make much more money than his father, but he can’t buy a piece of sushi if Jackass is present.  So rather than take everyone out for a meal we’ll end up paying for, Jackass prefers to have everyone to our house so I can cook.  It’s also got to do with being the patriarch.  He wants to sit in his recliner and have people come to him.  I find that to be absolutely ridiculous, but whatever.

Not to mention, the older children hate coming to our house.  I can tell, even if he can’t.  We’re not baby-proofed, we have pets they’re allergic to, and the time spent there is interminable.  For everyone but Jackass.

I replied by telling him, I didn’t care what we did…we could go out for breakfast, or we could stay in and I’ll cook.  But inevitably, I felt that his children – all 4 of them – should plan something and invite him to participate.  Because he’s not my father.

Am I wrong, or is it just more sour grapes on my side?


  • None
  • TheQueen: Yeah, perhaps next year suggest you ALL just skip the adult gifts and focus on the little ones. I'm sure you won't miss it!
  • kristabella: Yay! You're back!
  • Shania Ring: Out of all of that, the only thing in my head is 20?!? Twenty? I remember a little boy in middle school when I first started reading you. Are you SURE