Chapter 4, Part 1: Summer of Terror 1.0
The summer of 2016 rolled on and SD returned home. SO was still living separately in his 2 bedroom apartment while I was waiting for my new home to finish construction. After SD returned home, we planned some dinners and outings for the three of us.
All went well initially and maybe a little too well – SO seemed to form a pattern of making plans with me and then the next words out his mouth would be, ‘Can SD join us?’ At first I would say yes, basically out of politeness. SD (who turned 19 that summer) did not have her drivers’ license and was home a lot. She did have a part-time job at a local store within walking distance, as well as an unpaid internship answering phones for our local congressperson (also in walking distance). But both of these jobs combined were < 20 hours a week so she had a lot of free time, especially evenings and weekends. Without a license (and not many friends) she would want to tag along with us a lot. This grew to be frustrating to me because I was missing alone time with SO, and whenever SD came along I would be left out of the conversation. At one dinner I stopped trying and just picked up my phone and started reading. They didn’t even notice, lol. I didn’t say anything at the time because for one, I felt sorry for SD being home a lot and two, I did want to spend time with the three of us together. But it wasn’t really clicking for me. I should have said something sooner but instead I didn’t want to rock the boat and kept going along.
During the summer, SD decided she finally wanted to get her drivers’ license. She got her learners’ permit and would practice driving with SO. Eventually towards the end of summer she passed her road test and got her license. Of course then she promptly got into a fender bender – she was trying to park SO’s car in their assigned carport (which are really wide spaces) but turned at a bad angle and hit the car parked next to her. True to form, she tried to blame the other car for ‘parking too close to her’. LOL. SO told her it was in fact her fault that she hit a parked car but as a new driver these things happen but be more careful going forward.
As the pattern of SD tagging along continued to grate on my nerves – I finally sat down with SO and told him that we needed alone time as a couple and SD couldn’t tag along all the time. He did understand and said it just hadn’t occurred to him that it been awhile since we had a 1:1 date night. We resolved to invite SD occasionally but not all the time – maybe once a week or so with the three of us together. So the first date we planned together, a local outdoor play, SD of course asked if she could go. SO let her down gently and explained it was a date night for us. I wasn’t there but he said she got quiet again. During the evening, SD texted SO some snotty question about if they had more cereal because she was ‘having a date night with herself’. Whatever.
Again this look-back has really helped me see the undercurrent of resentment that was present in SD from the beginning. It also created resentment in me that simmered through the summer and really started to boil over during a mid-summer trip to SO’s family reunion – the scene of Lasagna-gate – which I’ll focus on in Part 2 of this Chapter as it was a high peak of the Summer of Terror 1.0.