A Rare Victory
Good day, fellow S'Talkers. Been a while since my last update, had a nice story to share. For those who have who have not read of my tragi-comic adventures in Step-World, here is the cast of dysfunctional characters:
SO - Significant Other
POS - ex-husband of SO, and the sperm donor of SOD and SOS. This is the "man" who happily unloads responsibility for his children on me (mostly financial in nature, but also all of the labor of helping them learn to be adults).
SOD - Significant Other - Daughter
SOS - Significant Other - Son
SOD - GD - Significant Other - GrandDaughter
TPP - The Trailer Park Prince, babby daddy of SOD-GD
As has been the case since I have known her, SO has continued to prioritize all things SOD, as SOD is her "golden child" and very obviously the favorite. SO is breaking her back to fill in the gaps left by TPP, since he refuses to pay for anything, continues to be abusive to SOD, and barely helps with childcare. SO is basically "Dad" to the baby. Despite all of this, SOD remains smitten with TPP as he is a "bad boy," and she has made it her life mission to lock him down. She thought that "baby-trapping" him would cause him to change his ways, but I'm sure it comes as no surprise to the group here that this plan did not work. So SO continues to overfunction for SOD, which in turn allows SOD to overfuction for TPP.
Anyway, SOS is not exactly neglected, but he only gets a fraction of the MEAT (money, energy, attention, and time) that SOD gets. He's not perfect, by any means, but he is a decently good kid. To my surprise, he has managed to hold onto his job, and has been steadily building a war chest to buy his first car (as long as he is staying out of trouble and making good deicsions with his money, I am allowing him to live in my house rent-free). However, no one has been willing to help him even start looking for cars. SO is too busy chasing SOD's approval and affirmation, and his own father, the POS, completely washed his hands of his kids once they turned 18, since he "was no longer legally responsible for them."
So, last week, since no one else was willing, I took SOS car-shopping. By some miracle, we found a quality car that was the right price. He actually had enough money in the bank to buy it for cash, and we brought it home the same day. SOS, to my surprise, was genuinely appreciative of my help. He has gotten a little better about saying "thank you" over the years, but that often felt strained and forced (his parents did not teach him basic manners or courtesies, since they wanted to be "friend" parents, and showing gratitude could have made the kids feel "controlled" or "judged). This time, though, I could sense something real. It made me feel good about someone else's kid, for the first time in forever. So that was nice. The guys at the dealership even called me "dad," which might have been pandering, but it came off as sincere in the moment. And SOS didn't freak out and correct them.
So, all in all, it was a nice day for once. Most of the days in step-life suck, but there are some occasional bright spots.