May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day...and This is When RoF Started

On Mother's Day of 2009, The Ratio of Failures (RoF) was born. Though I have been a rather neglectful blog mamma of late, it is kind of cool that I've managed to keep this blog limping along for five years now.

I am humbled and amazed at all the lovely people I've met (online and in real life) because of the blog. Thank you for that.

As my Mother's Day post, I thought I'd let you read the essay that 2014 Listen To Your Mother rejected.

Even if they didn't like it, I did. Here goes:

Stepmother? Yes! Evil? Not So Much

I always thought I'd rock as an evil stepmother.

I already have malevolent laugh down pat (and have witnesses). Mwahhhahahaha!

I've watched Disney's Snow White and Cinderella enough times to know the drill.

  • Disappointment
  • Unreasonable expectations
  • Punishment
  • Abandonment
You know, the same techniques I've used while parenting my own children.

How hard could it be?

All I needed was the passel of ungrateful stepkids. I had deliciously wicked dreams about damaging their psyches with constant disapproval, blame and guilt. I was convinced that I had what it took to become an evil stepmother legend.

I got my chance to put my plan into action when I started dating The Mister. We had a long-distance relationship for a couple of months before I flew to St. Louis for a visit to meet my potential victims.

My plan was to lull them into complacency for now...and lower the evil stepmother hammer one I snagged their dad. I'd be as nice to them as possible. You know, Golden Rule and all that. But I had the Wicked Stepmother card up my sleeve if things turned ugly. If I encountered the worst case scenario, and they were mean to me, I'd give them a taste of disapproval, but only in response to their bad behavior.

Here's how it went down:

Despite my planning, I was nervous. A lot was riding on this dinner. As I smiled and chatted, my brain was filled with self-talk (and self-doubt).

Oh, I asked Ruth to pass the rolls.
Do they think I am bossy?
Am I good enough for their dad?
Are they thinking about Cinderella's stepmother as we make small talk?
Is it my imagination, or are they watching to see if I offer to help pay for the meal?
Am I being graded on conversation and table manners?
Did I pass their test?
Or did they see through my ruse and recognize me as wicked stepmother material?

And then, the epitome of self-doubt: What am I doing here?

Luckily, I didn't need to go with the nuclear option. Our first dinner was pleasant, and everyone was on their best behavior.

I went with the identical strategy the following day, when The Mister and I met his youngest daughter, Tammy, for lunch.

How clever of them to arrange two meetings! I could see that I was dealing with three very clever adversaries. I imagined the conversation the girls would have about me after I returned home.

(I found out later that they said I was "too nice". Harumph).

Ten months later, I returned to Missouri and The Mister and I got married. Things haven't worked out the way I dreamed they would.

My three adult stepdaughters welcomed The Boy and I into the family with loads of warmth. Two of them even volunteered to sign our marriage license as we said our vows in our living room (don't worry, it's all legal).

They've included me in activities with their family and friends.

During nearly six years of our marriage, they have always been supportive, helpful and kind to me and my children. What can I say? These stepdaughters like me.


How am I supposed to embrace my inner evil stepmother when they're so damned nice?

You know what's worse? Even their KIDS like me! When I first met the family, I stayed in granddaughter Desiree's room. She attempted to clean it up for my arrival. Near the end of that visit, I asked her if she would have the room cleaned for the next time I showed up.

"No. I cleaned this time because you're just a visitor - next time, you'll be my grandma."

And the last time I watched grandsons Seth and Russell for a weekend? Two-year old Russell asked if I was his "new mommy".

Doesn't that just make you want to hurl?

I don't consider myself a quitter, but I've gotten nowhere with this family. So I've given up my dream and I've given in. I've stopped my scheming and I smile entirely too much.

I am powerless as they continually kill me...with kindness.

Maybe THAT was all part of their evil plan.

1 comment:

  1. Kim--You can always change from evil stepmother to evil *itch, and rain down your cruelty on people who are deserving.


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