Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Here There Be a Dragon Lady

Uh, God….just came home to find that my stepmom is having another tantrum.

For clarification: my stepmother, the ironically-named Angelica McLachlan (nee Coleman) is a perfectly pleasant individual. She’s kind, and sweet, and hardworking. She hauls papers at night and interacts with her kids (my stepbrothers) during the day. She’s created a beautiful garden in our yard. She loves my father like her life depended on it. Yes, Angelica is all of these things…

When she’s sane.

But every now and again, shit hits the fan, and Angel goes nuclear. It’s usually something small (once it was over the fact that I left a cracker wrapper on the coffee table in the living room—yeah, really) but escalates into something huge. She’s got a razor-sharp tongue and knows just what to say to make us feel absolutely wretched. She’s never hit us—yet—but let me tell you: sticks and stones may break bones, but words can bend a spirit and break ambition.

There’s a word for women like Angel in Japanese: tsundere. It’s a combination of “tsuntsun,” which means sweet and nice, and “deredere,” which means completely fucking psychotic.

Her episodes—I call them tantrums, because it seriously is reminiscent of a two-year-old when she doesn’t get her way—have created chronic angers in this house. Because we never know when they’ll happen, I’ve come to the point where I will unconsciously tense whenever she walks in the room. I can’t watch television while she’s at home (or if I do, there has to be someone else with me). Rose’s house feels more like home to me.

My sister and I have both noticed that her biggest problem is with us, as opposed to her problem with Milo, which is rather small (he plays too many sports, whatever that means). I’ve also noticed that whenever she complains about people, it’s usually women she’s complaining about. She’s a female misogynist, which is one of the most confusing qualities in anyone I’ve ever known.

But her most grievous offense is what she’s done to my father. For five years (that is, between the time my parents split and the point where he met Angel), my dad was his own man. And I knew that even though he’s not exactly a warm-fuzzy kind of man (he’s worked over twenty years in masonry), he supported me. When my sister wanted to study nursing, he said he’d get her contacts for local hospitals with internship programs. When I talked to him about colleges, he was always excited; in my junior year I was looking around a lot, and wherever I told him I wanted to go, no matter how far away—Towson, Notre Dame, Lycoming, even Miskatonic up in Massachusetts, which is still my dream school—he said he’d support my decision and help me with tuition and travel expenses to come and visit, at least on holidays. Even when I said I wanted to go into one of my passions (acting, history, English, or one of those other majors that doesn’t exactly lead to a high-paying job), he said he was happy that I was pursuing what I love. Granted, he didn’t exactly give me a hug and a lollipop—he’s just not that kind of guy—but I knew he cared, even if it was just in his way.

Not since Angel moved in. To put it softly, she’s a more practically-minded individual. If it can’t lead to an actual job, it’s not worth pursuing, and how dare I try to leave my father and siblings for some hoity-toity college? I was barely able to convince her that my major in the Performing Arts wouldn’t be a waste of time. And I did need to convince her, because she could get my father to do whatever she says.

Not to mention her warped ideas on what constitutes a job. You got a writing gig for two different newssites? That’s great, honey! Wait, they require you to work from home and you don’t have to actually go anywhere, except on assignment? Well, that’s just not gonna cut it! Get a real job, young lady!

She’s the reason I want to move out of here so badly. A friend of mine and I are trying to get together a bunch of roommates and find a cheap apartment.

Oh, and one more update: I have an interview to work at a Wawa about a half hour from my house. Let’s hope this job’s good enough.

And in any case, I’m still seeing Rose tonight. Pizza, booze, telly, FTW! :P

1 comment:

  1. What an insane stepmother.

    She really needs to look up what the word "job" means.