You remember that scene from Mean Girls when Gretchen tells Regina “YOU CAN’T SIT WITH US”? That’s one of my biggest fears. I have a tendency to make friends but not necessarily build friendships. I am personable and get along well with most people I meet, despite the setting. I floated between all those stereotypical high school cliques people place each other in without ever really belonging to any one in particular.
This past Wednesday, Step Dad #1 called to invite me to his birthday party this summer. He said, “Yeah, I know it’s early but I’m inviting all my daughters….Ha!” There was something about that little laugh that followed his statement that made me feel…I don’t know, different. Out of his five daughters, I’m the only one that isn’t biologically his. As a child when he and my mother were together there wasn’t anything he did or said that made me feel like I wasn’t his biological child. Even for some time after their relationship ended he was very loving and inclusive of me. Once his other kids moved to Ohio, I had him to myself for a time.
Recently however, I find it hard to know where I stand. Step Dad #1 has four biological daughters, two of which I grew up with along with his son. Around Father’s Day in 2012 they all took family pictures together. I was in town. I had a white t-shirt. Since I’d always been your daughter anyway, why couldn’t I have been in the family photo? This must be how Sandra felt that one time in Season 1 of The Cosby Show when Clair asked, “Cliff why did we have four children?” Then Cliff responded, “Because we did not want five,” as if forgetting they had a whole other child away at Princeton.
Point being, no matter how many times my older sister texts, “Hey sis I’m at Daddy’s;” no matter how many invites to Christmas dinner I receive as an attempt to reintegrate me after years of being away; no matter how hospitable my “aunts” are; once he had his new baby, ending the seven+ year relationship he had with my mother, I got left aside. Then all of the people I felt familiar with and all of the places I felt safe in, I no longer belonged.