Thoughts from a Weird, Strange, Funny Girl
Ever since Disney popularized the evil step mother in Cinderella, society has generally come to perpetuate this notion. It is one I never grew up believing in but never the less, I was nervous as hell the first time I met her when I was nine. I couldn’t help remember thinking, would she like me? Would she hate me? What would she be like? I really didn’t have any other frame of reference to go on so even at nine, I told myself to keep an open mind.
The first memory I have of my step mother is that she was really, really tall. By ten-eleven I had reached the tallest I was ever going to be at five-six so I wasn’t much shorter than I am now. Maybe it is something about being a child that makes all adults just seem larger than they actually are. My grandpa and a boyfriend of my cousin spring to mind most visually when I think about this. Its like being Donkey looking up at Shrek and going… “really tall?” Either way, if it’s a child’s imagination or actual reality, I digress.
The second thing I remember about my step mother was that this was not a woman to mess with. I instantly knew I had to be on guard and on my best behavior. Because this was a woman who ran a household of five and was not going to put up with any shenanigans from anyone. At least, that is what I perceived. So I always tried to do things like keep my belongings tidy and bed made, to not sleep in and wake up early (which was always the opposite for me even as a kid), say please and thank you and never ask for seconds or more of anything. As hard as it was for me, whenever I visited, I tried to suppress myself and be the daughter she would want me to be. I did this because I just wanted her to like me, I wanted all of them to like me…. because for having no other reason than blood, I loved them. They were my family and in my mind that meant I was going to love them unconditionally no matter what, and still do to this day.
The third thing I remember about my step mother is that she was incredibly kind towards me every time I met her. Or at least she seemed that way. Maybe she was just a good hostesses as I was always just a guest. The lines of actual memory and facts are blurred pretty strongly. Reguardless, she always went out of her way to be hospital and accommodating towards me. Then again, I could stay at the Merriot down the road and receive similar treatment. I know that isn’t a fair comment to make but I just wish I knew what was genuine and what was being a good host. After all here I was, the bastard child of her husband from a relationship before her. How could she be anything other than civil towards me? Okay, I don’t really believe that in all honesty but a small part of me does. She did do little acts of kindness as an effort to bond, like taking me with her to a choir practice one evening simply because I had asked if I could come and watch. On my sixteenth birthday, she gave me a porcelain doll from an artist she loved and collected and on that particular birthday it happened to be a Sarah doll. It meant a lot to me at the time because my own mother and I used to collect Madam Alexander dolls together for a brief period (but also beanie babies and silly slammers). The gesture said to me, I’m giving you something that means a lot to me and am inviting you into my interests.
Of course, I should have followed up with a thank you card but I didn’t. I didn’t send one to be rude, I just didn’t know how to act. I was sixteen and shy and if you asked me that today at twenty-eight, I would tell you the exact same thing. Because I am shy and always have been.
I feel as like that has been my problem all of my life, not knowing how to act around people. I mean I realize most people I know have come to like me reguardless of being weird. A co-worker told me not too long ago she really liked me for the simple fact I not only work really hard but the fact I try to be kind to everyone. I try to live my life respecting other people’s life styles, opinions, backgrounds, etc. I don’t walk around with an ego on my head and generally believe no one is better or less than I am. I believe other people have more talent or are just simply better at certain things than I am but as a person and a whole doesn’t make either of us better than the other. Anyway, I digress, I am straying from my point. The point is, I am not one of those people who knows the right thing to say at any given time. In fact most of the time, my foot usually ends up in my mouth. Which is both the charm and repulsion I give.
So I couldn’t help but wonder… what happened over the last thirteen years for her to dislike me so? I have come to accept years and years and years ago that not only will not everyone like me but, to not to care when they don’t. Don’t like me? Too bad, I do. In fact I think I am pretty great. I try to treat people how I wish to be treated but only to go so far, that after a certain amount of time its fruitless to even bother. I’ve even gone on to cut away dead branches and brush of people who we were both indifferent to the other anyway. So why does it bother me so about her? I have stopped trying to reach out and friend her on Facebook a long time ago since all she ever does is reject my olive branch. Why do I ask myself what is it I’ve done to her?
It is just one of those questions I know I ask myself that I will not only never get an answer towards but know deep down it doesn’t matter. What I need to be asking myself why do I let it bother me so? Why her of all people? Why do I always seem to long and pine for affection from people who never reciprocate it? Love is supposed to be mutual, in whatever form it comes in, family, friendship, romantic, etc and not to be put on a petal stool. No matter the reason for her cold shoulder towards me, in the end it is not my burden to bare, it’s hers. And I need to stop shouldering the blame for other people’s feelings.