…and then she said tearily, “but this lady does not know how to grow flowers. She only appreciates them cut, bundled, and in a vase.” I recognized the metaphor instantly. My youngest sister had seen through the cracks of this broken woman, and hit the nail on exactly what she wanted: our father, and his prolific monetary value. It angered me, her gall. What kind of person preys upon grieving families without any sign of remorse? Is she even human? I thought women were supposed to be extra-sensitive to this kind of stuff? Her absolute disregard for our circumstances was beyond disgusting, and yet, I was relieved that my baby sister saw through it, even if our father could not.
I suppose I can give this lady some credit, however, by saying that after our initial meeting, she realized precisely how displeased my siblings and I were with her presence in our home. My father had just taken her to a dance he only ever went to with our recently departed mother, and this woman flaunted it with foolish debauchery; mimicking that of a coo–coo bird with her stupid boa, dropping stupid feathers, all over the stupid dance floor. The perfect display of whatever lies beneath “classy”. We were all gathered in the kitchen after our weekly routine of Sunday night dinners, cleaning dishes and chatting about who knows what. We hear car doors shut and heavy footsteps up the porch stairs. My youngest sister runs up to her bedroom, having met her already and not wishing to see my father drunk. Two silhouettes line the window of the front door and my father pushes it open, rushing in with a look of wild excitement.
“Kids, there’s someone I want you to meet,” he says. At this point, we’d all been aware of his I’m not dating her relationship. We’d heard stories from our uncle about her unwelcome visits to the office wearing such inappropriate clothing it made everyone uncomfortable. I’d heard rumors about her piled debt and nightly bar patronage. It was something that I’d already openly expressed my outrage for, but it fell upon grief stricken ears…and eyes.
And I had no desire to meet this woman. She was the current bane of my family’s existence and she walked around like a dimwit in high heels. My eyes instantly swelled with tears, an unfortunate trait of mine whenever I experience intense emotion, and I excused myself to the bathroom. I heard my father making introductions and calling my name, looking for me as if he could prove that this woman wasn’t as bad as I thought. I left the bathroom, still sniffling but mostly in control, and looked up. There, in the doorway of the kitchen, unable to even enter the room we all stood in, stands a tall, busty woman in her mid 50s, with bleached hair and orange-ish skin. My dad offers the introductions since neither of us seem inclined to initiate such formalities, and I manage a weak, forced smile with a polite “Hello”. I wasn’t about to give her the satisfaction of thinking I was pleased to meet her, and apparently she wasn’t either.