Flash forward through an uneventful 8th grade and now the year is winding down. My dad was living in a red house down the road from my school and I would walk there on the days that I spent at his home. He was dating the woman with whom he had had the affair with, and everything was awful.
I didn’t care about school, I cared about softball, and talking to my friends on AIM. That’s right people, somewhere along the year I had made friends. I didn’t go out with my friends, I was never really included in plans, but I talked to people and that was enough for me.
Now, when I say I didn’t care about school I mean I REALLY didn’t care about school. I was getting D’s and C’s I may have had a B in there, but it was not close to stellar and I didn’t care. Not in the Grease, “I’m too cool for school way” but in the depressed I don’t care about anything way.
So this year was full of me changing my Myspace song to the most moody thing I could find, watching tv, sleeping, and that’s about it.
Now, I think any normal 13 year-old would do what I did next, I like to think that I am not THAT terrible, but this was pretty bad.
It just so happened that report cards came out and I had hidden mine from my family. My parents were busy not paying attention to notice that they hadn’t seen grades from me in months. My dad was in a “new” relationship, bending over backwards for the blonde Barbie that was now entrenched in our lives. My mom was too depressed to care about anything. She was either running, watching tv with a glass (or more) of wine, or out with friends. The only thing that they both did was fight with each other. Loudly and often.
This is all to say that they didn’t notice that they hadn’t seen my grades or really spoken to me (just at me) for months. That was, they didn’t notice this until the school called my mom because my grades were so bad she needed to sign something saying she saw them.
I remember it perfectly. I was at my dad’s house, which used to be a barn and looked it. I was sitting on his tan couch in front of his large tv watching something on Disney Channel. My dad came over and sat next to me. He told me how happy, Heather, the new girl, had made him. How great their relationship was and he told me he was proposing to her. That’s where my memory alludes me. I remember being mad, I thought he was moving incredible fast and I really hated Heather. She had ruined my family, she was mean to me and my brother, and she pretended to try to get along with us only when my dad was around.
I can say with the utmost certainty that I had no positive feelings about the upcoming nuptials.
This is where fate stepped in and I swear you would do the same thing.
The NEXT day. I’m talking, dad says I am proposing at night, I wake up and go to school and THAT day the school called my mom about my grades. See, timing is everything. It was pick up time and my mom had parked the car, she was marching up to me with the march that only mad mothers can do, the one where their arms move wildly but also stay incredibly stiff at their side. She was speeding up to me with a plastered smile that I knew was not a smile, but a grimace. She looked like a desperate housewife dressed in what is now known as “athleisure” who was told that the world was ending, she must alarm no one, and grab her children as fast as she could. My mom, however, was not one for waiting to yell or punish behind closed doors. She mom walked up to me, squared up to me one foot away from my face and unleashed.
“How could you?!” She screamed.
“What?” I said. She tended to be mad a lot, I genuinely didn’t know what was wrong. Besides the report card was MONTHS ago at this point.
“Your grades are terrible AND you hid your report card from me?! What were you thinking?!”
“DAD’S GETTING MARRIED!” I screamed back.
And that ended the conversation. I don’t feel good about it, I didn’t feel good about it then, but I wasn’t in trouble for my grades.