Thursday, July 26, 2012

WARNING: Premature Conclusions May Cause Belly Fat

I wrote a post awhile back called, Guess Who's Coming To Dinner? about my boyfriend's daughter coming to live with us. It’s being featured on ModernMom.com. They changed the title because my titles suck. Below is an update to that original post. 

The eighteen year old Girlfriend Mom kid moved in with us. When I say 'moved in', what I mean is that, she stayed with us during her college breaks this year and she’s here this summer. As I expressed in the past post, I was beside myself with worry, anxiety, fear and dread, over her impending stay. Oy, new territory and change. I got my hairs up, and I was ready for battle. I envisioned the worse case scenario of course, because I'm Jewish and a Virgo, and that's what we do.

What would happen if she couldn't (or wouldn’t) find a job, thereby spending her days either, getting melanoma on the beach, or flattening her ass out on the couch, watching The Kardashians, for hours on end, while eating us out of house and home. Isn't that redundant? Why both? Aren’t they the same? I had ranted to my friends about how scared I was and how I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to have another body, and a young adult in the house.

My boyfriend and I have been living together for almost three years. We were on the ‘every other weekend’ custodial plan. I never lived with a child before. Do we have to feed her? What is this going to look like? I knew one thing for sure. I wasn’t going to do her laundry. I know how that might sound, get over it. I am of the belief that, once you go off to college, you need to know how to do your own laundry. I had tactics, escape routes and a script written, just in case I was met with resistance, by either my boyfriend or his daughter.

Before any of her bags were even unpacked, I had put my ‘resentful’ skirt on. This is a distant cousin to the poopy pants. I was convinced that the situation was sure to disrupt my flow (creative and otherwise), and I seriously didn't think that I would be able to handle it. The unknown was making me mental.

What a naive little bunny I was. It sounds a lot kinder than bitch, doesn’t it? I had worked myself up into such a lather (my mother's expression) all for nothing. My boyfriend’s daughter got a job a week after she came home. Her ass was going to stay nice and lifted after all. I got a job as well and I was busy and out of the house. Things were falling into place and I breathed easier. It was the perfect transition into our new family dynamic. Then I got hired to teach Pilates in Martha's Vineyard, which meant that I wouldn’t have to deal at all. Problem solved.

And then I got real on my ass. What the hell was I doing? Was I so afraid of living with my boyfriend’s daughter, that I’d leave our new beach house (and the first summer living in it?) my boyfriend, my writing, and our comfy porch furniture? For what? Teaching Pilates for 35 hours a week and renting a kitchen-less room in someone’s house! I declined the summer job, dug my heels in, opened my heart and braced myself for whatever was to come.

A funny thing happened on the way to crazy town. I started enjoying her company. So now we have great talks in the kitchen, where I thank the good lord above that my college days are over. We work out together, doing Pilates and Insanity (which I still kick her ass at) She never assumed that I would do her laundry. Instead, she asked me how to use the washer and dryer. Be still my heart. I gave her a demo on the efficient way to load the dishwasher (that's still in process) and how to clean the expensive, non-stick pans. She had Turkey bacon for the first time and I introduced her to Woolite. The three of us cook together, house shop, and yes, on occasion she sucks my boyfriend and I into the Kardashian drama.

All of my fears were baseless. Fear is, false evidence appearing real. I have been pleasantly surprised, and through this journey, I’ve learned a great deal about myself. Sure I get miffed when there's a trail of crumbs, or the last of the beans are eaten, or she's too cheap to buy her own tampons. As a good friend so accurately observed, upon hearing that which miffs me, "I never knew how much of a petty, petty, cunt you were." That's what friends are for. It made me stop and take a look at myself in the mirror. Man, I hate holding that thing up.

Being The Girlfriend Mom is challenging, no doubt. There isn’t a road map and I never know how I’m going to feel with each new situation. But I do know that my feelings, however odd, insensitive or ugly that they may seem, are valid, and real. The situation is ever evolving, and it's comforting to know that things aren’t always what they appear to be.

Let this be a lesson (one of only a shit load) that drawing conclusions prematurely will only cause me angst, and possibly an ulcer. Most definitely belly fat, because when one is stressed, cortisol builds up. And before I bitch about how The Girlfriend Mom kid has kept a bowl of leftover oatmeal in the refrigerator, for over a week now, that I may hear those friendly pearls of wisdom, “You petty, petty cunt,” and simply walk away.

5 comments:

Kathy Radigan said...

I love this piece!! So glad it is working out! Fear always causes me more problems than any of the things I fear actually have ever caused. Hope you are enjoying the beach house too! xo

Brooke Secretan said...

Oh how I wish I was strong enough to lay some of those deep seeded feelings out on the table in the way you do. you are not alone, feelings are strong, but as you discover, it is what you do with them that matter.

injaynesworld said...

What an excellent piece. Congrats on having it picked up.

TheGirlfriendMom said...

Brooke,
Thank you for stopping by and I hope that you'll come over to my new site, www.thegirlfriendmom.com. Laying these feelings out is the hardest thing I've ever had to do. And that I continue to do. Last week,I got up the courage to ask both kids to please put their dishes ACTUALLY in the dishwasher. I said it with authority and confidence, and not all weezily, like I sometimes do, and they did it, without a peep. You'll never know until you try.

TheGirlfriendMom said...

Thanks, Jayne. It's always a hoot when I see my shit on another site.