My New Mom, Choppers


(This is the follow-up to yesterday’s My Runaway Mom–And Her Surprise Replacement—which was the follow-up to My Runaway Mom.)

The next morning—a Saturday, her first in her new/our old home—my new mom backed me alone into a corner of my bedroom. With her nose inches from mine, she spoke in a voice kept low, but infused with a kind of feral menace I’d never before heard in an adult.

“I want you to listen to me, John. You and your sister mean absolutely nothing to me. The only thing the three of us have in common is your father. I never wanted a family; I never wanted children. I’m here for two reasons only: because I love your father, and I love this house. This house is worth something—and in ten years, it’ll be worth more. Just like your sister, you’re welcome to stay in this house until you’re eighteen. But not a day after that. And while you live here, you need to make sure this house—my house—doesn’t deteriorate in value.”

She shot a look at the posters on my wall—a Sierra Club poster of some pretty woods that said, “In Wildness is the Preservation of the Earth,” a poster of the text of “Desiderata,” a hippie-style black light poster of Buddha, and so on.

“Those come down today,” she said. “I don’t want you to put anything on these walls again. The tack holes detract from the value of the house.” She glared hard at me. I was terrified she was going to bite me. God knows she had the choppers for it.

“Do we understand each other?” she asked.

I think I managed to nod yes. I’m not entirely sure I didn’t pee my pants.

And then “Mom” was gone—off, I assumed, to clue my sister into Our New Reality.

And it was just after she left me again alone in my room that I discovered what  in a million years I wouldn’t have thought possible: I could miss my real mom even more.

[The follow-up to this post is, “The Return of Mom 1.0”]

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Casey: Yes, as you say, my step-mom was … extremely unreasonable. She just … had really, really intense money issues.

  • Jill: She did seem decidedly monstrous, yes. In very short order I was actually glad, at 10, to be as fast and as strong as I was. It actually–and quite quickly—came to that sort of thing. Terrible.

  • Matthew: Yes, I did often at moments such as the one I've here describedl ooked out a nearby window or through a doorframe, and seen cartoonists and writers watching and recording my life. And each one of those cartoonists and writers was always me.

  • Joanie: Yes, as you say, "Mother" is certainly not the first word that comes to mind whenever I think of my step-mom. But, to be fair to her, being a mother was also something she never, ever wanted or planned on being. And, as I've expressed a little bit here, she was, at least, honest about that. A little TOO honest, but … honest.

  • PurplePeople

    Eeewwwww! Did you ever warm up to one-another, or did your step-mom remain a low-life?

  • There are many words to describe Choppers. Mom isn’t one of them. Choppers actually sounds a bit to nice also.

  • It’s like a Disney bad-stepmother.

    Did you ever feel there were cartoonists and scriptwriters peering through the curtains recording your life at this point?

  • Jill Kerman

    Ugh. She’s hideous! I imagine sharp teeth and green breath…

  • A little late advice, but now a days they make sticky squares to hang posters on the walls. Doesnt hurt the walls or the posters and there are no thumbtack holes. With that said…. your new mom was a very unreasonable woman. And invasive when it comes to bubbles apparently.

  • Melissa

    So John, I have to know… did you talk to your Dad? Please tell me you told him about this…. and please tell me he did something about it! Do you have a relationship with any of them now? I have to say it – what a BITCH!

  • Oh .. you did write the third part.. this sounds like a Holly wood movie script. It’s great that God took you through all this and you are here writing about it in your usual humorous way and encouraging millions (Wait is your readership that big…. well never mind) you are encouraging many through this.