Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cutoff jeans

My now EX-husband, step father to my two daughters for 9 years, used to say really stupid shit. His priorities were all wrong. My children were 4 and 8 when he made his grand entrance, full of magnanimous overtures.

One of the things he INSISTED on was new clothes. He hated that I kept, and wore, older clothes. In fact, dresses I've owned and worn each season, or every other, for up to 20 years.

It's how I grew up. My house had 4 kids. We made shit last and used it over again, repurposing things where needed. Old worn t-shirts become rags. Everyone knows that. It's being thrifty, economizing. Time and dollars. Everything had a dual purpose. People shared space. And bedrooms.

Oh, But EX insisted that we move from my two bedroom duplex, where my girls shared a bedroom for sleeping and another for their gazillion fucking toys that I really didn't mind them playing with but I couldn't pick up from my livingroom every night due to a back injury. It was a compromise I imposed on them as little children living in my household. You can have the freedom to share a play room and clean it jointly as I ask but I don't have to look at it or trip over it. In exchange for that daytime freedom, at night, while they SLEPT, they would have to share the other bedroom, separate beds.

That was my structure. It worked for me, newly a single mother of two. HE came in and said that was all wrong. They deserved to have their own rooms. They SHOULD have their own rooms and since I clearly couldn't give these children ALL that they deserved as children, through no fault of my own, HE was going to help me.

He took over. He bought them new clothes, often, but the clothes HE wanted them to wear. To draw his picture. He bought them nintendos and gameboys and computers and televisions in every room. He moved in. He ingratiated himself deep. Then we bought a house. Then he took me to his church and OPENLY talked about us living together to a Pentecostal minister, being very frank about sex.

Now who wouldn't know that said preacher wouldn't immediately start pestering him to marry me. He did. It was by design. He had ingratiated himself for years to that preacher and now he was calling in the favor. He did that stuff. He made sure everyone owed him. He gave and gave and gave and when he was ready to set things in motion, he took what he wanted from those people by design. He had them performing like trained monkeys, playing into his design.

He worked in entertainment all his life. He is a performer. And he was performing then. He wanted his little ready made family, perfect wife, beautiful kids, white fucking picket fence and the family picture. It was what he was told he deserved all his life. I was caught up in the dream life for my kids. I was not excited when we moved to a one horse, hick town in MO, 27 miles south of Kansas City. A long commute. I thought I left those days behind in San Francisco when I moved home.

But my kids were getting SO much. And SO much more than they were ever going to get from me without the help of their deadbeat dad, who has disappeared off the face of the earth since. So I swallowed my pride and I married for something not love. He insisted it was best for me.

And the replacements. No matter what, if it broke, it wasn't fixed, it was replaced. Usually with lots of screaming and dramatics about how hard he works to get us things and now he has to REPLACE it. Mother fucker, it's scratched. It works just fine, it has a scratch on it. But no. He would throw it away and buy a new one and mean spiritedly point out he didn't NEED to do it. He did it because he LOVES us he said. Wow. What an asshole.

We were scared to breathe most of the time, afraid we would RUIN something and feel the wrath. All of us. One kid would do something that was certain to bring wrath on all of us and the other would act out. By being mean and tattling on one another or fisting it out with each other.

And he hated me buying vintage. I never got that lesson and kept doing it anyway. He would ruin some of the things I bought that way sometimes. No matter how good I could make a 99 cent item look, he hated it. It had no value if you didn't overpay for it.

So my 13-year-old Babygirl has 3 pair of jeans my mom bought her. She didn't want to give up the old ones, three inches too short.

She's at a very awkward age.

Grandma said it was okay to cut them off for shorts for summer. I said I didn't like her cutting up an unused pair of pants and grandma says get SOME use from them before she outgrows them. Okay. I can live with that.

She hates the purple pants. They fit beautifully and appropriately show she is starting to get some voluptuous curves, but cover all well. She's starting to look like a tween. A Babygirl with curves and a little babyfat still. She's awkward. Like a little duck. So cute but everything is out of proportion at the moment and she's stuck between little girl and woman.

She wanted to cut off the blue ones, that look good, FIT and are LONG enough. I begged her to cut the purple ones. It was hard to get her to understand.

"You have two pair of jeans that fit, three if you count the purple." I explained.

"I hate the purple jeans," she replied with a little vinegar in her voice.

"I know, baby. But come school time, you will only have ONE pair of suitable jeans, for 5 days a week of school, because you won't wear the purple jeans. Baby, PLEASE, please, please, cut the purple jeans and make them purple shorts. I cannot guarantee you will get any new jeans and you can't go into the 8th grade with magenta hair and one pair of jeans."

She reluctantly conceded. She's been a little pissy all day, but she conceded. And they look good and we can work with them and get more vintage stuff to jazz it up.

Learning the lesson of things are not as they used to be is the hardest one for her to understand. But she is coming around.

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