Thursday, February 11, 2010

Help! Cancer Dad is Missing!*

*I’m a sarcastic dirt bag. All of the below information is true, but you should not take it as an invitation to google the shit out of my family and start spamming them. I mean, I would probably find it amusing and awesome. But don’t tell me it was you. I will not be associated with prank calls, twitter slander, etc. I don’t want to be dragged to court again. Thanks friends!

Assistance needed: I cannot find my father. Had you seen him? He’s 6’3”, wears glasses, is a pompous ass and looks like he’s about to give birth to triplets. Oh, and he drives a Jaguar with douchey personalized plates. He’s probably insulted you or cut you off on the road and acted like it was your fault. No? You sure?

Oh, wait, never mind, I found him! He’s on the radio!

I am a great lover of chaos and blatant assholishness. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside – probably because it reminds me of my childhood. And nothing makes me smile harder than listening to my Dad give ridiculous advice over the internet radio waves. About raising step children. Which he doesn’t really have.

If you’re scratching your head and thinking what the fuck? don’t worry. I was there once. But see, the thing about life is that it is much stranger than fiction. And the thing about me is, I think the horrible things people do to each other are freaking hilarious. Because if I were to get upset every time Cancer Dad filmed a special on step families for basic cable, I would probably have to be institutionalized.

Okay, I’ll stop confusing you. Here’s the back story:

I went around for the majority of my childhood thinking my parents were each other’s first spouses – mostly because nobody ever mentioned any other spouses (or a rather inconvenient sociopathic child) to me. Many confusing years later, it was apparent that Cancer Dad, had, in fact, been married many, many times. And produced offspring.

Then he got married. Again.

I haven’t quite figured out yet whether the current wife is wife number four, or wife number five. It’s up in the air. When you find some old picture of a woman who your father tells you not to mention to his new wife, and whose last names mysteriously matches your own, you get suspicious. Especially when this kind of thing has happened before.

But Wife Number Four (or Five) happened to have the most absurd career. She is a step family therapist. Right? Absurd!

Well, step family therapists are people too. Even if they have step children from previous marriages with whom they are not on speaking terms. And they uninvite you to their wedding to your father. And file restraining orders against your mother to get back at you for existing. Or they put all your belongings in trash bags, throw you out of the house, and call the police on you. I mean, hey, that’s normal, right?

[Now, to insert some cliché like “those who can’t do teach,” or “the blind leading the blind.” Because, really, they all apply.]

As if this all weren’t enough, Wife Number Four (or Five) decided to take her message to the street, and the internet. She started a step mom Twitter. A weekly online radio show. A local cable show. She started writing a freaking book. Supposedly she’s getting a show on A&E. All so she could share her expertise on step families with the world! Even better, she made my dad Managing Director of her practice. His bio on their website hilariously begins: “I had no idea of the complexities of stepfamily life until I lived them firsthand.”

Hello, what?!

I mean, technically, my dad is a step father. To a 32 year old. Who never lived with us. Hmm, that must have been really hard on you, Dad. I feel for you.

Because of the dynamic duo that is Cancer Dad and Wife Number Four (or Five), I get hilarious phone calls from parents of friends, saying things like “Umm, I saw your dad last night on television…yeah, that…what was he talking about?!”

I also get hilarious phone calls from my Dad telling me to read his wife’s new articles and listen to their radio show, because I could “learn a lot.”

Well, I finally gave in and listened. And, ohmagawd, it was more magical than I could have ever imagined. Totally epic. Like, someone else has got to picking up on the major holes in the story here. Or the super awkward moments when my dad says dumb things, like (and this is an actual quote): “Honey, was it the hardest thing you ever did, moving in with me and my kids?” Wife Number Four (or Five): “Babe, umm…you’re really putting me on the spot here.” Hell yes he is. His cancer is causing brain farts. He forgot that he’s not allowed to mention us on live radio! He’s gonna blow your cover!

Now, really, everything is a two-way street. I’m not going to pretend that my brother didn’t send Wife Number Four (or Five) emails to her work address saying he was a child chained up in a basement who was being beaten mercilessly by his step dad (it would have been funnier if he hadn’t sent it from my mom’s email account on accident, making her look like a psychopath. But oh well).

And I’m not going to pretend that her fake-ass therapist voice didn’t piss me the fuck off.

But hey – it’s all good. Now’s it’s funny! Now I laugh ‘til I cry when I hear her moaning softly into the microphone about how hard it is to be a step parent. And how she was able to successfully preserve her relationship with “her man” despite his children (i.e., she got rid of the fuckers, so they’re not really a problem anymore)!

Unfortunately, my father doesn’t think this is funny. He’s mad I don’t want to reconcile with Wife Number Four (or Five), and therefore doesn’t call me anymore. Oh dad. People have given me so many explanations of why you might think this kind of thing was necessary. Is it a career move? Are people catching on to your wife’s lack of stepchildren? Are you still convinced you’re going to drop dead at any minute, and therefore you want to be forgiven – but you’re too pompous to apologize?

I’m not sure, really. But you have such nice ways of asking me to do you favors. Like, reconcile with my wife, or you’re not part of my family anymore! Or, you are a horrible child, I convinced her to reconcile with you, you should be able to do the same!

Either way, the antics you two have pulled make me smile.

I really do appreciate the both of you. I mean, hell, she took care of you during 3 rounds of cancer treatments. And Dad, you provide me endless entertainment and stress stomach aches with your mad crazy drama, yo. Because of you, I have so much more to bitch about! I can top just about anyone’s weird step family story. It gives me the street cred I need!

But Dad, if you really want those release forms signed so Wife Number Four (or Five) can butcher my persona in her new book, you’re going to have to think of a new tactic. Like not taking me to lunch in a public place and telling me I suck at life in the middle of my work day.

Just sayin’.

Love ya bitch.

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