Monthly Archives: October 2011

Not Daddy’s Girl

And I always thought my family didn’t have much drama. I think I was just trying to ignore it. Or even when something would happen, I would forget about it for a few months until something else happened.

But today…I don’t know that I’ll forget this one.

And I know I’m going to blog this and people are going to think that it’s not that big of a deal. And maybe this one incident isn’t, but it’s a culmination of things and this has just pushed me over the edge.

I’ve never hidden the fact that I don’t like my stepsister. We don’t mesh. I think she’s rude and self-centered and I can’t stand her. I’m not alone in this assessment either, but whatever. We don’t get along.

Now, I understand my dad trying to make sure she feels included in things. (She’s 21 btw…not a little kid.) My dad’s usually pretty good about those things, so fine.

But over the last two years, he knows a million more things about her life than mine. I had to annoy and pester to get him to complete the two different tasks he had for the wedding. His only daughter’s wedding.

He knows who her friends are. What classes she’s taking. All sorts of things. I brought three friends home a few weeks ago and I bet he couldn’t tell you any of their names. He has no idea what I’m taking. He probably doesn’t even really know what I’m doing in grad school.

I also have an older brother. My dad and brother have always been close. But that’s fine. B is 7 years older than me, they are both into the same music and play/played in bands and have similar sense of humor. For some reason, even thought it used to at times, it doesn’t bother me as much. B wasn’t a “threat”. Dad still had a daughter and we just had a different relationship.

Until my dad apparently developed dementia and thinks my stepsister is his real daughter and now feels no need to include me in anything at all.

You see, my dad and his friends and my brother all go to this place every year. They rent cabins and go to a show on Saturday and they grill and hangout and have a good weekend. They look forward to it every year. Well, last year, my brother and his girlfriend had broken for a little bit, and B had an extra ticket to the show, so I was invited to go. Awesome. My dad’s friends are like extra uncles- they have been around my entire life. They are fun and I love seeing them. My stepsister was also invited last minute, but she was on fall break and whatever. Fine.

Well, this past weekend was the weekend away again. I knew it was coming. I was a little bummed that I wasn’t invited, but I figured dad assumed I wouldn’t want to spend the money on it. I am a grown up now and can’t expect dad to pay for everything, and if I had gone, I would have wanted to pay my part.

Until I get an e-mail today from my dad with the group picture they take every year and my stepsister is in the picture. (It’s taking all restraint I have to not have a million curse words in this. My text message to my brother did not contain such restraint.)

Just thinking about it makes me tear up and simultaneously want to punch someone.

I KNOW she didn’t pay her part. And, somehow, even though dad had talked to me about the trip, never once mentioned that she was going. Funny how that happens.

I’m beyond hurt. I feel empty. I feel like I’ve been replaced. My dad HAS a daughter. It’s just not the one he saw being born or took pictures of her on her first day of school or the girl he consoled when her first serious boyfriend broke up with her. It isn’t the girl he had nicknames for and went to choir concerts for. Nope. it’s the girl he’s know for less than 4 years. The girl who is rude to most people. But hey, she happens to be a theater major and does plays, so at least he has something to brag about, right? What do you say about the girl that was unemployed for 6 months, worked in retail for 8, and is now in grad school for English? No one gives a shit about that. That’s not impressive to his business contacts. No. Completely understandable why he’d trade us out.

I’m just done. I’m tired of feeling unwanted. I’m tired of feeling like a guest in the house I lived my entire life. I’m tired of not knowing what’s going on in the family. I’m tired of feeling like a needy 10 year old in family conversations, just trying to get any morsel of acknowledgement. It hurts too bad.

So maybe this Christmas business will be easier this year. Maybe I just won’t worry about trying to schedule time to see him. He already buys her really awesome presents and I get crappy sports team hoodies in big sizes. Guess it doesn’t hurt that she’s a size 4 and 5’10”. Yeah. I’d probably pick her over me too.

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Filed under A little More About Me, Normal Family?, WTF

Hiding in the Corner

Sometimes I hate political things. Hate them.

And I really try not to discuss them much on the blog. They are too polarizing and people are emotionally attached to their ideals and people get mad and defensive.

But I’m currently smack dab in the middle of a situation and it’s all I can think about.

It’s distracting me from work. I can’t focus. I avoid conversations with certain people in fear that they will bring it up. I’m tired of being judged for just doing what I’m here to do. I’m tired of feeling pressured. I’m tired of not being able to get unbiased facts from either side. I’ve spent nights in tears talking to Mr. A about this. My close friends and I have spent countless hours discussing every freaking aspect, and for the most part agreeing, but there are areas of contention.

All of the uni@ns at my school have authorized a striek. (I’m spelling things this way in hopes that a Google search doesn’t bring this up. I will also refer to the graduate assistants as TAs to also not bring up my school’s uni@n stuff.)

Now, I am not necessarily pro or anti uni@n. I live in a state where you can be in one or you don’t have to be. This whole thing never came into my little world until recently since both of my parents work in jobs where they don’t even come up. I don’t even have a clue where my parents stand on uni@ns since it simply didn’t come into the realm of my life. Mr. A feels one way, but I am more in the middle. Do as you wish. Whatever. Is this a good stance? Don’t know, but it’s how I feel. I have other soap boxes to stand on.

So here I am, finally in grad school and getting to teach and learn from amazing professors, and I’m getting thrown into a uni@n battle.

The TAs have one, as do 3 other groups. They are arguing about contracts and benefits, as most of these arguments are about. I agree that the fakulty have some very good and valid reasons for being mad. I agree with their arguments. But guess what? I’m not fakulty. I don’t deserve the same benefits as them. I do not really agree with the TA argument. A couple issues I agree with, but not even the majority of their complaints.

Also? I read, understood, agreed, and SIGNED a contract. I knew ahead of time what I was getting and what I wasn’t. I’m pretty freaking happy with what I’m given. They pay for school and I get a pretty decent paycheck. Am I rolling in the dough? Not at all, but I’m also not starving. We’re fine.

But if people are mad and want to bargain, fine by me. Do as you wish.

But now they have voted to authorize a striek. They haven’t called one yet, but the uni@ns have voted that they will.

And it’s causing all kinds of uproar. People are passionate one way or the other, for the most part.

I went to the info meeting last week, and well, if nothing else, they persuaded me NOT to join. They were incredibly combative and confrontational and aggressive, and just overall rude. This is not me being anti uni@n. This is me being anti THIS uni@n. Again, the fakulty have some real complaints that needs to be addressed and I fully support them. But that’s not me.

Also, I can’t afford to not get paid. And I don’t want to pay the dues each month because while we aren’t starving, I would like to use that $20/month to go out to eat with my husband or get a manicure or buy a new shirt. That may seem dumb to some, but it’s how I feel. If I felt that I was being mistreated and abused, then yes, I would put the money towards the uni@n. But I don’t, so I’m not.

So now I’m in this weird place. Many of my colleagues are planning on strieking. I’m not. Will I cover their classes? Nope. Not in my contract and I’m not, contractually, allowed to work more than I currently am. I won’t become a replacement. But I WILL continue to do the job i was hired to do and I will enjoy every minute of it. I like teaching. It’s why I’m here.

Do I want to cross the line? Not really. But since I’m not in the uni@n, I don’t have a choice since they CAN fire me for not showing up to work. My friend and I are going to dress down in sweats and baseball hats in hopes that we look like students and walk together to our classrooms. We don’t want to seem unsympathetic, but we also need to get a paycheck and want to teach our classes. I’m hoping to find some back door to sneak into or getting there crazy early in the morning to avoid getting screamed at, but who knows. They haven’t called for one yet, but from the e-mails I keep getting on both sides, neither side looks willing to back down. I’m concerned that it could get violent simply from the rhetoric that has been used, but until then, I’m planning on carrying on with business as usual as much as possible.

Maybe this is an unpopular stance. I don’t know. But this is what I feel deep inside that I am supposed to do.

This isn’t some flippant view or position I have taken. I have tried to gather as much information as possible. I’ve tried to talk to people and get all sides, but nothing is simply factual. Everyone has an agenda. So I had to look within myself. This is the decision I have come to.

I hope and pray on a daily basis that they come to some sort of agreement before it comes to a striek, but I’m not all that optimistic about that.

They can call one as early as Thursday. And who knows how long it could last. The head of the school seems pretty determined not to back down and, from everything I’ve read, they will not be pushed into a decision.

And neither will I. I cannot allow bullies on either side to push me. It may seem like I’m taking a side, but only because I want to keep my job. If I had a choice, I wouldn’t join the uni@n but stay home if they do call for one. But I’m not allowed that option, so this is what I have to do for my family, however small it may be.

So I guess I’m asking for all of you to pray, hope, send good thoughts that it doesn’t come to a striek. It will get nasty if it does, and we all know I’m fairly emotional. I will do what I need to, but doesn’t mean that I won’t be an emotional wreck while doing it.

And everyone thought this blog would only be about silly students and my precious cat. Boy were you wrong.

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Filed under Grad School?, Life After College, Teaching in College, WTF