Monday, January 12, 2009

Leave me a plate

Late this afternoon, my step son called up from downstairs, "I'm going out."

His father: "Will you be back for dinner?"

Step Son: "Huh??"

His father (calling downstairs): "Do I need to think about you when we cook dinner?"

Stepson: "I don't know, I'm going out with my friends....but leave me a plate for when I get back."

And this? This has left me angry. Stepson expecting his father (I know I didn't make the tone clear) to prepare a meal for him, and wrap it in Saran, and put it in the fridge for him to eat whenever it pleases him....because he is too busy and wonderful to eat with us.

My Stepson, who lives here completely rent and utility free, is 24 years old. Twenty four. At that age, I was a married woman, chatelaine of my own home. I wasn't living in my father's basement, stealing his black socks, driving up his phone bill, drinking his beer, demanding rides, and bitching when I didn't like the free meals my stepmother cooked.

At twenty four, I cooked my own food or my husband and I went hungry. I dug through pockets and drawers, looking for change so I could do the laundry. I wrote our rent check every month, knowing that someday we would leave rent behind. And if I thought I needed something new? I found a way to make the old thing work, not wanting to be an expense to my new husband right away. I scrimped and I saved and I penny pinched and I paid my own way, damn it.

And, never once in my life, did I ever disrespect anyone by pissing on their offer of a good, homecooked, entirely free meal by shrugging and saying, "Leave me a plate."

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