2016-07-21 - 10:52 p.m.

So, stepparents are lame no matter what age you are. I have this dream of a stepdad that looks and talks like Alan Alda (that twinkle eye smile!), was a college professor who loves to read and has a study full of books, smells like old leather and Grey Flannel cologne, is a fierce Democrat who drives a Prius, has a dry wit and an appreciation for good beer and baseball, has a very decent jazz record collection and a nice old family cottage somewhere that we are welcome to use anytime.

I do not have the dream. I do not have one element of the dream, not one. And it is painful, even if I'm over 40.

When my Mom married him several years ago, I was Not Thrilled. I did not even make a speech, and I love to make speeches. I'm happy my Mom is happy - but that's where my happiness ends.

I am making my annual summer visit and on the very first night, he begins extolling Trump. They live in Canada, btw, and why the hell are you supporting Trump when you live in Canada? My Mom and my sister hate Trump so they had already told him never to bring it up - but it was our first night and he decided to take me on. Then it went to hating J. Trudeau and at some point he said "You are uneducated". Ah, I see. You finished high school and I have a Masters. I read widely and constantly and you read literally nothing. My job is information, yours is - I'm not sure. But I'm uneducated? Then he jumps up and yells at my Mom, swearing and says directly "F*** you and F*** your family, I'm done with your family" and runs off. Kids are crying, we are all so upset and he leaves. Now this wouldn't be AS big a deal if he hadn't done the exact same thing on my last visit. A huge blow-up at my Mom, dismissing my whole family and running off for 24 hours. My Mom talks constantly about how hard it was dealing with my Dad's temper and I am sure it was but I'm not seeing a big improvement in this guy. In fact it's worse - he is always so ready to ditch us if we don't follow him and comply exactly.

I have searched and searched for anything we have in common. Literally, nothing. He likes telling dumb jokes and anecdotes he reads in a bathroom reader - over and over. He is loud and crude and unsophisticated. He does not care about art or books. He likes Elvis impersonators and the Eagles. His politics are obviously completely Red. He has no friends and is completely estranged from his ex-family. He spends a lot of time playing poker at the casino. He does no cooking at all and no housework. He believes in the man in the house and doesn't like strong women. My sister has made her peace with him because she has to and she is kind - and he shows his "love" through money and has gifted them lots of money to help out. I don't care to accept it anyway, but he definitely does not offer us any.

After that fight, I just closed off to him. No one forgets and forgives someone treating their Mom that way. Not me anyway. I am a polite houseguest. I am happy with my Mom. But goddamn. Why couldn't i get one little teeny tiny part of the stepfather dream.? And for the record, I don't refer to him as my stepfather - he is my Mom's partner. And that is all.


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