Chapter Three ~ At least the chances of us dying in an alcohol-relate
DescriptionStories of a Family Too Dysfunctional to be Fiction
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On March 31st, 1980 my mother turned 21-years-old...18 days later she gave birth to me...60 days later my father graduated from college with a degree in philosophy (or as I like to refer to it: a degree in bullshit). Coming into this god-forsaken world to parents that were so young created a very different "family" or "home" atmosphere than that of most of my peers. I was growing up alongside tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum and then eventually having to babysit them. My father was hired right out of college for a position that would not require the use of any of his educational background in the degree he held, for a company that would never have a need for it. However, as were the times, many fresh-faced twenty-somethings were getting snatched up right out of college to fill the newly created positions in companies that were rapidly on the rise. Having wed right out of high school, thus toting along a wife with him to college, this newly acquired job was the first taste of fraternity life my father had had. I mean...don't get me wrong...he once told me that "the greatest years of his life were his high school years and I should enjoy mine while I was there." He was a partier. High school was far from the greatest years of my life and if that is what he considers to be his...then he has never really lived. Anyhoo, with a wife in tow, my father was the "married guy" in college, of which I never met a single one when I did my stint at a university, so this new job gave him a legitimate reason to go out and party without having to explain himself to the wifey, since it was for work. Not that the narcissistic sociopath ever felt compelled to explain himself to his wife nor his family, but now he was asked to leave town or stay late or meet for drinks to "discuss deals". So, as daddy dearest was gallivanting around the country for weeks at a time with a couple of his buddies; getting wasted, sleeping with women, eating on the company's dime and occasionally dragging his hungover ass to a meeting...my mother and I were at home. Mother was on a strict $20.00 per week allowance that father gave her and the rest of the paycheck from her full-time job at one retail store or another was deposited into the bank that only he had access to. Have you ever ordered an extra-small cheese pizza with extra cheese and made it last more than one meal for two people? We have. Dear 'ol dad's control did not stop with the finances, though; he controlled every aspect of our lives. We lived a measly two and a half hours from the small town that both of my parents had been born and raised in...their parents had been born and raised in...and their parents' parents had come over on a boat. As you can imagine, in a town of this caliber, the ratio of high school graduates to leave, let alone attend college, and not return ever was far and few between. As I mentioned before, my dad was a partier...well, you guessed it...so was my mom. It was probably what had initially drawn them together in the first place. Had I not been born three years post nuptials, I would have assumed the marriage was a product of overactive hormones, booze and the back seat of a Pinto. Alas, the powers of the universe that initially drew my parents together always have been and will most likely remain one of the unanswered wonders of the world. Being that my mother and I were left little to no money to survive on when daddy went on his "work trips", it would be a pretty safe bet to any average bear that a short drive to the grandparents to stock up on supplies would occur, but it never did. I was always boggled as to why my mother wouldn't take me to her hometown to eat when there were more than enough homes open for us to go to. Then one time we went; mom and I drove to her best friend's house (of course I was sworn to secrecy at the mature age of two and a half to not tell daddy we went anywhere), we ate, she drank, she smoked, she snorted, she did probably a whole lot more, but at two and a half, the day ended for me at 7:00pm and I would acquire the ability to sleep through anything (an attribute I still possess, one that frightens most, but that's a different story). So we left in plenty of time to make it back before dad was supposed to be home from his "work trip". However, on the ride home a rock flew up, hit our windshield and cracked it. Crap...we were busted. We would have to tell dad that we went out of town. So dad arrived home, and before any explanations could be made, he was already fiddling out in the garage with the car. My father is not what you would consider to be "mechanically-inclined", so he wasn't tuning this or tweaking that...no, he was checking the odometer reading. The fucker never even noticed the cracked windshield until it was pointed out after. He came storming in and tore into my mother with no concern or composure that his two and a half year old daughter was in the room. He had taken down the reading on the odometer before his departure so that he could track whether or not my mother had made any long drives while he was away...wow. What an asshole. It was at that moment that my mother stopped traveling to her home town while he was away. No, instead she stayed very close to the homestead she shared with my father and myself...at least the chances of us dying in an alcohol-related car accident were reduced ten-fold.