Stories of a Family Too Dysfunctional to be Fiction
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As I jumped out of the shower I immediately grabbed my cell phone to see if I had missed any phone calls...like every other red-blooded American of my generation I was dependent upon this miniature computer to tell me when I had received an email or text or in those rare occasions...a phone call. Damn it! One missed call. Who wants what now? Shit! Not her...what the hell does she want now? Well let's see...I don't think it's a holiday...I don't think I missed anyone's birthday...crap...maybe someone died. Yeah, that's it. Satan or his spawn has finally descended to the seventh circle of hell and we are all free! Woo hoo! As I did a little jig I figured I might as well listen to the voicemail to confirm my theory. As the voice from my little device informed me that I had one new message that knot in the bottom of my stomach returned. Ugh! I hate voicemail. I hate the phone. I especially hate voicemail messages from her.
"Piper"...her voice was reminiscent of the teacher from Ferris Bueller's Day Off who called role monotonously... "Bueller, Bueller, Bueller..." Ok, it's mid-morning so she can't possibly be wasted yet, or can she? Hold on, I always forget about that damn time change...what is it? One, two, three hours difference? Two...I am pretty sure it's two hours difference in time. Well that would only make it noon at the latest...crap...she's been up long enough to slam back a few...or at least pop a couple of pills. "Piper, it's mom." Xanax. It's gotta be Xanax.
"Piper, it's mom. I haven't tried calling you in a while so I thought I might. I really hope that one day we may have a relationship again." Ha! Fat chance! "I really love and miss both of you." Liar. "Everyone is doing fine. Your brothers are fine. Reese is doing well in school." HA! Now I know you are lying. Liar. "Rich is working on a job out of town." Smart man! "My catering is doing well." Liar. "Let's see what else is going on...Amy Nunes is living with us." My attention was peaked... "She is pregnant again and moved out here to stay with us." What?!? "She is going to give the baby up for adoption after she has it." What?!? This would be her second contribution to the almighty orphanage! Another deposit to the government. What?!?
"No one really knows that...but yeah...um...let's see what else...your father got remarried." And like a record being scratched to a halt at a party I froze. You have got to be kidding me. Who on earth would marry him? "His new wife won't be in the United States for another eight months or so...she is in Russia." And with that her voice trailed off amidst my laughter. Ha! He finally did it. That bastard finally figured out a way to have the perfect wife...buy one. A mail-order Russian bride. Are you fucking serious? Only in my family...wow...I can't make this shit up.
Now let me back track a little so some of this might make sense...yeah right. I don't even understand it. At least now I don't. I used to think I did, but what I thought was the norm really wasn't. A big catch phrase for my era was "Everyone's family is dysfunctional...get over yourself". I, however, was probably the only person who was actually happy, and somewhat relieved, to see that phrase. That phrase meant that I was not alone. That phrase meant that I was not the oddball. That phrase meant there were other people out there with similar issues. It wasn't until I found out that it was meant to be funny and that what everyone else thought was dysfunctional was what I considered to be ideal that I finally was able to let go.