Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I Rocked The Casbah

Thankfully the Google news feed on blended families has improved from the "Train Your Child Like You Train Your Dog," article. Today, I got a link to The Detroit News which highlighted a blog post about a stepmother trying to balance clothing sprees -- and love -- between her daughter and stepdaughter.

My stepsister ruled the roost. There was an attic off my bedroom in my father's house and for some God forsaken reason, my father and stepmother allowed her to create a "club" in this attic, which means she freely walked through my room with her friends at any given time because it was her fucking club.

Since I was used to being the older sister and the H.B.I.C (head bitch in charge), I was completely unaccustomed to anyone pissing on my territory and expecting that I'd be okay with it.

I complained to the parents who really were ill-equipped to handle it. In fact, I don't remember them handling it.

I was 12. So I went playground on her. "If you walk through my room again, your club is toast." And the poor thing, since she was an only child, she didn't understand the wrath of a sibling -- especially one as angry as me.

She strutted into my room as I sat on the bed reading, then made her way into the attic/club with two friends.

"Liz, I told you not to come in my room."

She shrugged.

To her disadvantage, I had a 10-year-old brother. So when I told him it was time to have fun in her club, we destroyed the place. Chalk over all of her drawings. Tore up magazines. Books strewn. When we were finished, I actually felt bad for her.

She discovered the destruction when I was in the kitchen. I heard hysterical screams from upstairs.

As my parents were figuring out how to deal with the situation, Liz took it upon herself to one-up me. At this point my father took notice. "Dad," I said, a smile on my face, laughing at the absolute hilarity of it. "She took all my furniture." There was nothing left in my room except for the bed! Really, I was impressed.

When the ordeal was over, my relationship with her was never the same. She was done trying to get along with her stepsiblings and her mother was done trying to get along with my father.

I've hoped to run into her at my local pool where someone told me she sometimes swims. Maybe reminisce about how strange our life was together and how removed our parents were. Apologize about destroying her club.

We had ten years together as a strained stepfamily, yet to this day I can't remember what she looked like. Isn't that awful? But I remember the furniture. The chair with the giraffes. The sign on the door of the attic that read: "The Casbah."


  1. I love this post. It would be nice for you to see her again and hear how she remembers the events. As kids we get so wrapped up in our own perspectives that it can be hard to see other's.

    When you spoke of the fact that you were always the one in charge as the oldest sister, but that she was an only child, it really resonated with me. I wrote a post a while ago about family systems and the impact it has on blending a family. She never had to accommodate for siblings. You always were respected by yours. Smoosh them together without being cognizant of the differences and being shown ways to deal with them and 'kapow!' The Casbah gets rocked. :)

  2. Thanks Carolyn,
    It also helps to have different sexes - less competition. I'm thankful that my new baby is a girl and therefore won't have to compete with my son for her father's attention as another boy in the house, you know?

    About the family birth order - I'll tell you I was really was ready to look up to her. Looking back as an adult, I think she was so in shock to have two new siblings...it must have been difficult for her.


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