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Disaster Zone

It's official. Home on the Fringe is dysfunctional enough to be called a disaster area. Oh, sure - the worst ice storm in the state's history is technically to blame, but it's all a lovely coincidence, isn't it? What else could possibly explain the horrifying list below, which anyone reading this will assume I am embellishing, but oh no, I am not:

1.) Stepkid #1 re-entered our lives six months ago - via a phone call from roommates suspecting he'd stolen something of theirs to pawn for gambling money. He'd told them we were dead. WEEEE!!!

2.) Mother-in-law took the prime martyrdom opportunity related to #1 above and thought, "hey, how convenient, my martyrdom will further this family's dysfunction, PERFECT!" and (against our wishes) allowed said stepkid to move in with her, drive her car, eat her food, and continue to pretend those pesky thousands of dollars in Stepkid #1's unpaid bills were all a bad dream. Woops! Six months later, nope! Not a dream!

3.) I decided two surgeries in four weeks would be doable this summer, when my work life was just reaching a fever pitch. Yeah. Not so much. Hello, 15 pounds! How I've missed you. DIE, FIEND! (They say the multiple personality thing wears off in a year or two. I don't know.)

4.) Bryce has the intensity of a Tasmanian Devil and the intelligence of Calvin (of Calvin & Hobbes). Therefore, SOMEBODY PLEASE. HELP. US.

5.) Quinn is smarter than he wants any of us to believe. Therefore, I need a professional spy to help me out with him. He is now reading, but clings to the baby act and thinks I don't get it. I don't have the energy to fight it. See #s 1-4 above.

6.) Stepkid #2 turned 18 in biological years, but the whole maturity / responsibility / facing her life thing is still causing us a few minor issues. For instance, a few weeks ago she had a stomach bug and woke us up by politely letting us know she had thrown up, what would we like her to do with all the vomit? OH, golly, I don't know. Throw up in the toilet rather than all over 200 square feet of the walls and carpet on your sloth-like way to the bathroom? Or maybe in a trash can, using that brain-shaped thing inside your head, when you figured out you wouldn't make it? Oh, I know! Let's ask the six- and four-year-olds, who manage to NOT leave chunks of puke all over the house when they get sick. Perhaps they can give you some pointers while we're STEAM CLEANING THE ENTIRE UPSTAIRS AND RE-PAINTING WALLS COVERED IN YOUR VOMIT.

7.) Also, stepkid #2 recently got her driver's license (why not two years ago when she could legally drive? Oh, because she is literally that unmotivated: my friends give me rides, I guess I don't need to take the time to get my license. Look at that! Nap time!), which compelled John to get her a cell phone for safety. How many text messages do you think one human being can send and receive in three weeks? 3,500, apparently! Know this, world: we are unreasonable in our decision to cut the phone off of our plan because we no longer want to monitor an 18-year-old's every move to avoid paying or recovering hundreds of dollars in overage fees (she's paying, not us, but still, the monitoring! GAH!). Yes, we are definitely the ones with unrealistic expectations.

8.) I decided to take a certification test practically out of the blue at the end of the summer. The test was scheduled for November, and I figured I could study in the evenings after the kids were in bed. You know, because at our house, there is all sorts of peaceful free time in the evenings. My trip to Chicago in October for a prep class served only to horrify me about what I had gotten myself into, and so for the next few weeks, I spent every night at the library and burned myself out beyond what I even knew was possible. The test is over, but I think there are parts of my brain that are permanently damaged. Oh, and I also never saw the kids. THAT certainly didn't cause any issues, except for the pesky fact that every Saturday and Sunday morning within 15 minutes, they still ask me what I'm doing at home for so long.

9.) I got screamed at by a psycho co-worker who had spent months not doing his job and creating complete havoc for me on a daily basis, and my department is so conflict-averse that nothing is being done about it. I'm too attached to the whole paycheck / job thing that I'm moving on and not making an issue of it against every fiber of my justice-obsessed being.

10.) I offered, like an idiot, to host Christmas dinner. Both sides of the family will be there, including Stepkid #1 who has never stepped foot in the new house and hasn't seen or spoken to me or the kids - his brothers - in two years; also including mother-in-law, who feels stepkid #1 has really turned a corner and deserves lots of praise (Lies about our deaths be damned! Possible future break-ins to pawn our belongings, pshaw!). Don't worry, there will be ample alcohol. I don't know what the rest of the poor saps are going to cope with, though, since I will have consumed it all by 10:00 a.m.

Yeah, the storm that just took out half the city's power for over a week was only the tip of the iceberg. Or the straw that broke the camel's back. Tonight on a whim I dyed my hair red. It's been blonde since birth. Somehow I think it all means something, but then I also have this feeling that it might just be my way of signalling to the world that if it eats me, if it tries to attack me, if it makes the mistake of thinking I'm its prey, it will be very, very sorry.