January 20, 2010

Step by Step

Today, I walked myself into a restaurant and applied to wait tables. I'm trying not to feel lost about it, so I'm learning to focus more on the fact that I think there's a good chance I'll get this job, and that I'll be generating income soon.

The other thing is that one of the managers is a former step-sister. (I won't go into details about my parents's divorce rates, but I do have ex-step-siblings, so. You know.) I haven't seen this woman since she and I were roughly 4 and 7, respectively (nearly 20 years ago, yikes), and I had sort of forgotten she existed. Every once in a while, a photo or a random, worthless artifact (blue and white pom poms, mix tapes, entangled purple wigs) from those days would turn up and I would think of them, briefly, but my memory of it is very limited, what with my having been four.

And then mom found them on Facebook. And as often happens with Facebook, our lives converged again. Mom found out Alex managed a restaurant in the area. And tonight, for the first time in nearly 20 years, I saw Alex in person. It was sort of surreal, it's sort of how I feel adoptive children must feel when they meet their birth siblings, on a very micro scale. Like I feel as though I should know her, but there's no real basis for my feeling that way. I wonder what she's been doing since she became entirely a stranger. I wonder if we would get along, if we could be friends. I wonder what it will be like to think of her no longer just in passing.

And now, the four things I remember about my three step-siblings:

1. Plays and puppet shows. In particular, a play in which Kate and Alex were fairies and kept forgetting to bring their wands out onstage. At one point, Alex shouted, "OOOH! WANDS!" And totally in character, ran behind the stage to grab both wands. In retrospect, it's funny, but I think at the time I was upset about not being a fairy myself. There were only two sets of wings.

2. Chandra's mixtapes. To this day I cannot hear "(Everything I Do) I Do it For You" without thinking of her. YEAH, I WOULD FIGHT FOR YOU!!!!!! I'D LIE FOR YOU!!!! WALK THE WIRE FOR YOU!!!! YEAH, I'D DIE FOR YOUUUUUU. Sigh, love.

3. Adam giving me a stuffed animal, a mouse with big floppy white ears. He was friends with Mr. Bear for a long time. I named him Mr. Mouse. What can I say, I was really good at naming things.

4. Visiting them after our parents divorced. It apparently happened several times, but I only remember one time in particular, touring their barn and Adam finding a snake and throwing it what seemed like miles and miles away to my five year old depth perception. Their mom yelled at them to clean their rooms.

...That's really all I remember. It's strange, how little it is, and how much they must have been around, but I couldn't have been older than 5. And now I'm nearly 23 and here we are again. Strange.


Unapologetically Mundane said...

I sort of know what you mean but also sort of think this is the strangest, most oh-weird-I've-never-thought-about-that post ever. My mom died when I was a senior in high school, so by the time my dad remarried, I had already moved away from home. My two stepbrothers and one stepsister are all my age and were friends with my sister and me growing up, anyway, so when I go home to visit and see them all, it's sort of . . . surreal? On one hand, I feel very familiar with them, having known them my whole life, but on the other hand, it's hard for me to think of us as related. And it's REALLY hard for me to think of them as possibly not liking my dad as a stepfather or something. And now I'm trying to imagine what it would be like if I came home for Christmas one year, and my dad had divorced their mom, and we suddenly celebrated Christmas apart.

Chris said...

he parents-marrying-parents-of-friends thing happened in the Babysitter's Club (Dawn and Stacey, right?) and I remember thinking it was the most ridiculous, unrealistic thing I'd ever heard. So way to go, redeeming Ann M. Martin for me.

Regardless, it is weird because my mom remarried again and I now have stepsisters, who are no more related to me than Alex, Adam, and Chandra were, but like. I'm not four anymore, and I feel significantly closer to them, but I never would have met them or been friends with them if our parents weren't married. And so, what if my mom were to divorce again? Wouldn't I want to see my nieces? It's totally a crazy thing to think about. Surreal is overused, but that's because it basically means "there's nothing else like this," and there's nothing else like a lot of things.