24 January 1999

I have been upsetting Reba in weird ways almost since I got here. Last night I upset her again.

I had been attempting to draw, and then I had to take a dump. Sean was watching TV and zoning out on the couch so I figured he was okay for a bit. When I came back, Reba barrelled out of her bedroom to tell me I’d left out a sketchbook and some other supplies. I’m not sure which pissed her off more, that I’d left them out or that Sean was still up.

After that she sat out in the living room writing a note, then went and showed it to Rick in their bedroom, then told me about it and said she’d give it to me in the morning (today).

To say I am pissed off at Mike for putting me into this situation would be the understatement of the year.

Reba says I’m reverting to Angry Teenager. Looks to me like she’s reverting to Nagging Nitpicker, and who’d be happy about that? Not me.

I’m really tired of her tattling to Rick, too. I may have Sean calling him “grandpa” but he’s no relation of mine.

Anyway, I had been working on a drawing but after this blowup she asked me if I had started drawing anything — stupid question, she could have seen it when the sketchbook was on the coffee table — and since we were all about the stupid questions I resorted to stupid answers, said No, and then ripped it up when I got it back to the bedroom.

Yesterday we went out driving and passed by the neighborhood where Reba and Dad had bought 1.25 acres of land several years back. In the divorce, Reba got Dad to sign away his share of it. Now she wants to sell it. Depressing. It’s like a piece of our family history and she’s talking about it like it’s a commodity. But it’s her land, not mine. I’m not entitled to inherit anything from her. Nothing I can do.

Another thing from yesterday that pissed me off was a conversation about Mom. Apparently she was living with a cocaine dealer during the time she was fighting Dad for custody of me and then visitation rights. Reba even thought Mom had been snorting coke herself, since she lost a lot of weight around that time. I suppose it’s possible. But it amazes me that whenever Reba has anything to say about Mom, it’s usually negative in some way. Reba says she avoids negativity in that area, but historically she’s used the tactic of talking about how messed up I was as a toddler and how Reba felt the need to “rescue” me.

It’s not like I need or want Reba to lie to me or cover up any bad stuff Mom might have done. But if you go around for years doing all but calling your stepdaughter’s mom a bad mother, it’s very bad form to deny what you did, years later. And it’s not like she never called my mom a bitch. Yep, that too. Late one night when we lived in Mississippi when she thought I was asleep and she and Dad were having one of their late-night discussions.

I’ll say one thing for Dad: he never said anything mean about Mom to me. He has always been something of a realist and recognizes that he and Mom were just kids who had no business getting married, much less having a kid. Didn’t spell it out in so many words, but. And I know enough about young single moms and the stupid shit they do to basically forgive Mom for anything she did.

Speaking of young relationships. One actually pleasant conversation Reba and I had on the road yesterday: She mentioned, in the past, having gone to the hospital on the Navy base at Millington and having been treated by Dr. Moody. In other words, the father of my first boyfriend. He’d look at her last name and tap his forehead and say, “I should know you, shouldn’t I…? Hm. Oh yeah, our kids dated, didn’t they?” The thought that Daniel’s dad remembered me even though Daniel and I were only together a month and I don’t think I ever actually met Dr. Moody in person cheered me up a good bit.

I wonder if Daniel is married now. I’d ask Marc, but Marc hates him.

Last thing for now. Reba keeps gushing on about Rick and how she’s finally found true love. She then turns to me and says she “knows” I still love Mike.

Mike wasn’t my true love. He was a four-year mistake who happened to be good in bed.

If that doesn’t suit her fairy-tale idealism, nothing I can do about it.