Rhymes With Fuchsia

Monday, November 24, 2008

S is for Stepmother

Marjorie, my stepmother, appeared in my life when I was 14. I wasn't all that thrilled to meet her, as she represented change, and teenagers hate change even more than normal people do. Life was thrusting quite enough changes on me, thank you very much.

As time went on, however, I mellowed. For an agent of change Marjorie proved remarkably staid: sensible, practical, as willing as any mom to embarrass me in a good cause, and, eventually, equally willing to play the heavy when I needed one.
(Me: Can I go camping with Larry and his sister?
M: How old is his sister?
Me: Um... 24, I think.
M: Sure, I guess.
Me: Please rethink that answer.
M: Oh, in that case, absolutely not.
Me: Thank you.)

By the time I went off to college, we had long since become friends. When I called at the beginning of junior year to wish her and my dad a happy anniversary and to tell them that, speaking of weddings, I had some news for them, she said, "Oh, that's great, that's wonderful, I'm so happy for you, you're too young" — all in one breath, and meaning every word. I married him anyway, as you know, although we did graduate first. She wore chiffon to the wedding, and she and my dad gave us an Oster food processor. We still have it: solid and dependable, the damned thing refuses to quit so I can replace it with something sexier.

In the fullness of time she has reveled in becoming a grandmother (especially without going through that icky diaper phase, although she didn't get to escape it the second time around), even going so far as to Frolic with llamas.

At one point she and my dad signed up for a home-exchange program, and she asked me for a picture that they could send to prospective exchangers to prove that they were nice normal people.

For some reason she wasn't too happy with the results. (Yeah, I know, I could have done a better job on the antlers.)

A woman who could put up with me all these years obviously deserves a pair of handknit socks, don't you think? (That was the year I knitted something for everyone, finishing barely in time, and spent the rest of Christmas Day weaving in ends.)

As Snow White and Cinderella could tell you, a good stepmother is hard to find, and I'm immeasurably lucky to have found Marjorie.

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  • I hope my stepchildren think this highly of me someday.

    By Blogger Carole Knits, at 6:49 AM  

  • The more I hear about Marjorie the better I like her. (LOVE the antler pic.)

    By Blogger Ruth, at 7:38 AM  

  • What a wonderful tribute!

    By Anonymous Chris, at 8:46 AM  

  • Lucky Marjorie to get you as an s-daughter.

    By Blogger Roxie, at 9:23 AM  

  • She sounds like a terrific woman!

    By Blogger Kathy, at 12:02 PM  

  • I think you're both pretty lucky. :) Very touching tribute.

    By Anonymous Imbrium, at 2:00 PM  

  • What a great post for a great woman and friend!

    By Blogger Laurie, at 3:34 PM  

  • what a cool post, i love the camping dialogue. i'm still a fairly new stepmother (and grandmother) and i hope someday we'll be as comfortable with each other as you and marjorie.

    By Blogger the boogeyman's wife, at 5:44 PM  

  • What a neat post! I think you did a better job with the ears than with the antlers ;)

    By Anonymous Joy, at 10:55 PM  

  • That antler picture... omg, so funny, did they get any exchangers?

    By Blogger Lisa, at 1:50 PM  

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