If you haven’t noticed, I’m not too big on sappiness. All of those flowery Facebook posts about how much everyone loves their significant other and how great their families are make me want to puke.
Not that I don’t think that it’s nice or that I don’t feel that way about my own family. It’s just…well, I’m of the mind that a firm and solid exclamation like, “BALLS!” gets the point across just as effectively.
That said this post might be just a bit out of character. However, I want you to read it not with a tear in your eye but with a smile on your face (like you’re working through a gas bubble. In a minute you’ll realize how appropriate that is).
Thanks to Cinderella’s whiney attitude about mopping floors and marrying some stupid Prince (who probably would mess up her floors anyway) the word “step” has forever been branded as evil.
But please don’t let one bad batch ruin the rest, because to me “step” is anything but evil. Instead, it’s funny. It’s wise. It’s a great cook. It’s politically incorrect. It’s got “gazzzzzz” (said just like it’s written).
In fact, I often correct people when they refer to my Stepfather as my Father. Not because I don’t want him to be my biological father but because Stepfather is a very important title to me—one that takes years (in my case 34) to nurture and develop and deserves the utmost respect. So yes, Dave is my Stepfather. Get it right.
Now here comes the sad part. In November 2014 Dave passed away from cancer.
Ok, ok, ok hold on. Before you feel too bad let’s laugh a little because that’s exactly what he would do.
As a teen I didn’t really appreciate Dave. (But let’s be honest, the only real way to get a teen to appreciate you is to buy them booze and let their friends do lines off your back. So we’re in a good spot.) Like any gum-cracking teenage girl with a stepfather, I spent most of my time slamming doors and giving him the stink eye.
And do you know what my evil stepfather did in return?
He had dinner with me every night. He came to my track meet (yes, that’s a singular “meet” because I was only on the team for one day. But damn it, he was there!) He taught me how to drive, how to cook (I should have paid closer attention) and how to clean the filter in my AC. When I locked myself out of the house after sneaking through my bedroom window he opened the front door for me—no questions asked. (Ok, maybe there were a few.)
When I was a little kid he came to every school concert no matter how painful it was to listen to 25 eight-year olds years squeak out Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on the violin.
When I was 5 he took me to Disney World and on the way there we laughed at my very first joke: “How did the alligator talk? Through the machine!” (Oh shut up! He thought it was funny!) He also taught me what the word “fart,” meant (or should I say showed? He was a very gassy man. Are you getting that now?)
But most importantly, Dave taught me that the most precious things in life are family and a great sense of humor. Oh and Vodka. You really can’t live without a good bottle of V.
So I promise you this: If my mom ever remarries—which she swears she won’t but if she does—of course I’ll be happy for her but don’t think for one second I won’t slam the door in her new husband’s face and yell, “YOU’RE NOT MY STEPFATHER!”
He really won’t be. Not in a million years—because just like a father, a good stepfather only comes along once in a lifetime.
So Dave, here’s to you (as I lift my glass of V), thanks for being an amazing stepfather. I hope Jesus doesn’t mind a little gazzzzz.
(Here’s a pic of Dave and me and all of my stupid, evil steps.)