The clock strikes drama

Nothing like bringing in the midnight hour aimlessly driving dark residential streets in search of a tragically wayward stepdaughter, “C”. How it happened:

Yesterday morning, I took the Camry Hybrid to the Toyota dealership for its 40,000 mile service. Before leaving, I found C in the media room, remote in hand, TV on all night, sound asleep on the sofa. I turned it off, stashed the remote so she couldn’t find it and grumbled as I left. I hate that she won’t sleep in her bed. I hate that the TV is on non-stop when she is home – in this case, from 6pm until I turned it off at 9:30am. Food dishes scattered about.

Anyway, after the car servicing, I shopped at Fred Meyer and Big Lots. Fun to find the familier in my new community. I’ve been in West Seattle all of three weeks (moved July 21). I arrive back home at noon to find the garage door stuck partly up – and where is my gold Camry?! I’m in disbelief that it is missing. C took it? Yes. I search the house. Back patio door left ajar. Great. She took the car and left the house open to robbers.

I check phone logs and see she made contact with S, her best pal and cohort in unbecoming behavior. She made no call to me. She knows we do not allow her to drive. She knows we expect her to tell us where she is going. There is no courtesy or responsibility shown. She found my hidden car keys and took off to be with her friends.

Rob was in San Jose, speaking at a panel on mobile video at the “Digital Hollywood” conference. I think that factored in to her decision to split. I made him aware and he texted her to return the car immediately. She didn’t. I picked him up at the airport at 10pm and we started tracking her down, with help from her mom. We heard she was meeting friends at a parking lot in Sammamish and we got there close to midnight. We asked some nice boys hanging in a big group. They knew her but didn’t know where the party was. We called her and S several times. They didn’t pick up. We called a guy we had a number for, woke him up – poor guy – and he texted C that we were trying to find her. We drove around looking for our car in dark neighborhoods. Finally, I got through to S and she handed the phone to C. To her credit, she guided us to her location and came out to the street to meet us. I immediately got in my recovered car. Meanwhile, Rob and C talked for several hours on this dark country road in front of her friends house. It was amusing to hear the incessant, deep croak of a bullfrog from the pond along the road while they hashed out the strife.  I listened as best I could from my car, not able to go anywhere as I was in unfamilier territory.

C is, in my opinion, on a very bad path. As Rob said, he’s skeptical the boat can be turned around. She is comfortable with lying, but not good at it, condescending, sarcastic, she belittles her dad, contradicts herself, feels sorry for herself in a manipulative way. cries, whines. Several times I nearly got out of the car to get involved, but stayed put. It’s not a place for stepparents. I felt very bad for Rob from the way she talked to him. He was his usual calm, reasonable, thoughtful self. She knows his demeanor and uses that to push buttons hard and practices no self-control.

We finally left close to 3am. Even how that happened is a snapshot of C’s awful behavior. While they were talking, some friends came out of the house, laughing and chatting. She walked away from Rob mid-sentence and joined them and wandered back to the house. No ‘goodbye’. No plan to come home then or whenever. Rob waited, then pulled along side me and we pondered how long to wait and what to do next. With a confusing mixture of hurt, stress, bewilderment, disappointment (and from me only, anger), we drove to our home in West Seattle. What a long day for Rob, who had a full day at Microsoft that started in just a few hours.

To me, C’s life is hurting her and impacting Rob in a destructive way. While not eroding our relationship, having C suppposedly living with us is hard to handle.

Ah. The wherefore of this blog was to get this out of me and documented. Maybe looking back on this and future C dramas will serve us – somehow.


~ by enchantedvalley on August 6, 2008.

2 Responses to “The clock strikes drama”

  1. Oh Dana, Dana,Dana,

    This is so hard for you and Rob. I did believe when mine were teenagers that Aliens swooped down from space and invaded the minds of my sweet darling children and turned them into EVIL ,strange alien beings! Whereupon they were absolutely brainwashed into thinking that mom and dad were the stupidest people on the face of the earth! And how in the h*&L did we make it to such an advanced age?
    But miraculously-at about 18/19 years after much patience, swearing, grounding and other things-they were given back to us.
    True they were not “steps”, but hang in there dear Dana! We are rooting for you.

  2. Nancy – oh, man. Your explanation for what happens to kids helps. I think the Aliens liked her because they still have her. Yes, mom and dad are not only the stupidest people on earth, her two favorite descriptions of anything we do is “retarded” and “ridiculous”. Case in point:

    Some random things overheard while she was filling in a job application form:

    “I’ve lived at my current address… one month. Um, what month is before August? “Um, Ju… July.”

    “I have to list all my addresses for the last ten years? That’s so retarded! I’m gonna lie.”

    She wanted to know how to spell ‘initiative’ for her job application: “Okay, I found it in google. It doesn’t look anything like it sounds. Why are words so retarded?”
    I said, “Words aren’t retarded. You just don’t know how to spell it.”
    Carolyn: “Blame it on the school for not teaching it to me.”

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