Some fucking bullshit

So just when it looks like things finally calm down around here, I got a call from my sister in law.  She’d asked if the spawn could spend the night with her, and called me saying that I needed to come take a look at her.

Kazander and I went next door and saw the spawn covered in a huge rash, all over her torso and neck.

Yay, so it’s the emergency room for us.

Luckily, she’s alright.  Tons of antihistamines and popsicles are in her future.

And luckily, the drama from last night is over.  I think.

Lia, her boyfriend (we’ll call him Texas), and the grown ass man (we’ll call him Red) have been at each other’s throats since the kids got here.  Red had been up Lia’s ass for months about Texas, about how he’s a pussy, she can do better, she’s wasting her life, she’ll never be a strong independent woman if she can’t detach herself from a man, blah blah blah.

What a shock that she didn’t respond well to that.  And the more he harped on her, the more she shut down.  And the more she shut down, the angrier he got.  Add an arrogant 18-year-old boy, and it’s an explosive situation.

Texas wasn’t helping, for awhile.  But I put him in his place quick.  He made the comment, “I’m just not going to let anyone disrespect me like that.”

Oh, little boy….

“You’re not entitled to respect,” I said.  “You have to earn it.  And you haven’t.  You spent the last year in a tent.  No job, no diploma.  Red spent 20 years fighting for your right to be an arrogant little prick.  And then he spent another two and a half years fighting because he said it didn’t feel right to throw a retirement party right before everyone got deployed again.  Regardless of the fact that he’s acting like an asshat, he’s earned respect.  Do something I find worthy of respect, and then we’ll discuss how I feel about him disrespecting you.  But say anything other than, ‘Yes, Sir,’ or, ‘No, Sir,’ or ‘Thank you, Sir,’ and deliberately set him off, and you’ll be shocked at how quickly I’ll step aside, let him at you, and let you see for yourself how little you really are.”

That wasn’t easy for Texas to hear, but he impressed me at how quickly he humbled up and changed his tune.  So at least I didn’t have to worry about him making things worse anymore.

But Red has just been stirring shit up nonstop.  He just can’t let it go.  But while he was out of town on work, it was more or less manageable.  I told Lia to block his number and block him on Facebook, and told them they needed separation to let him cool off, and we’d sit down and talk when he got home (he sort of lives with us).

Then, he showed up three days early.  Thankfully, Lia (who can be fucking dumb sometimes) had the sense to barricade herself and Texas in their room next door and lock the door, then called Kazander to let him know Red was here and trying to break down their door.

I ran over and got him outside and away from them, and worked on getting him calmed down.

It worked for a day.  Then he went off again, when she shut down when he started getting on her ass again, and set him off once more.  He and I had words (tactful words), and I thought it was taken care of.

Until last night.  She was over at my house and he followed her over, cussing at her and telling her she was pathetic.  I had been in the kitchen, getting the spawn ready for bed, and immediately went to the living room and called Lia over to me.  She stayed with me until the kid was in bed, then I went back out in the living room.

“First thing,” I told Red.  “That is not going to happen around my kid.  Tell me you understand that.”

He nodded and apologized, and immediately went back to yelling at her.  And for a minute, I held my tongue, thinking that maybe he just needed to feel like he was being heard.  Lia can be more obnoxious than your average teenage girl, and it can be frustrating as hell.  Maybe he just needed to feel like what he was saying was being acknowledged.

But he kept using the word “pathetic,” which I wasn’t comfortable with.  The first two times I told him to stop using it, he ignored me.  The third time, I was fucking pissed.  He knows me better than that.  I sent Lia home, and when he came at me with, “I’m just in PTSD kill mode.  I’m going to beat that little fucker’s ass,” he saw a side of me he’d never seen before.

“This is my fucking house, you arrogant dipshit, and if you touch him, you’re no longer welcome here.”

“You’re not helping her!”

“And you are?  You can’t let this shit go.  You say she’s pathetic, but who is the 48-year-old Marine who keeps starting fights with a fucking teenage boy?  She’s a stupid teenager, acting like a stupid teenager.  You’re a grown ass man, acting like a stupid teenager.  You’ve done nothing but stir this shit up every chance you get, and I’m done with it.  You’re going to grow the fuck up and leave her the fuck alone, and you’re not going to touch him.”

“Well fine, I’ll just pack my shit and leave.”

“Right, because that’s not something a stupid teenager would do, either.”

“Well what do you want, then?”

“I want you to let it the fuck alone.  She’s not you.  She doesn’t want the kind of lifestyle you lead.  Wanting to be monogamous, instead of spending these years partying does not make her weak or pathetic.  It makes her different.  But you can’t accept that.  You think she’s pathetic because she’s had a stable relationship for over a year?  At that age, that’s practically unheard of.”

“She needs to know that there’s more out there than just this one guy.  But I keep inviting her out, and she won’t even go with me.  She’s too worried about him.”

“You’ve done nothing but nag her since you got here!  She’s fucking defensive and uncomfortable, and waiting for the nagging to start.  I wouldn’t want to be around you either, if I was her.  Leave it the fuck alone.  The more you try to drive a wedge between them, the more you’ll push her to him.  Let it go, and if you’re right, and he fucks up, then he won’t need your help, and you’ll be the hero who was right all along.  What you’re doing isn’t working, and you need to knock it the fuck off.”

And holy shit, man, after weeks and weeks of dealing with this bullshit, it felt so damn good to yell at him like that.

I really didn’t want to have to do the whole “if you touch him, you won’t be welcome in my house” thing, because I love the man to death, and I’m not a fan of ultimatums, anyway.  But tactful, polite, and calm just weren’t working.  He needed direct, assertive, and pissed.

And I wouldn’t have wanted to kick him out, anyway.  He’s got his faults, but everyone does, and he’s got a huge heart.  He’s a good man, and I consider him one of my closest friends.  I didn’t want to have to cut ties with him over some bullshit.

Especially since I agree with him.  Lia knows how I feel about her inability to be single (which she inherited from her cunt of a mother), and the fact that her self-worth is so deeply tied into what a man thinks of her.  Lia needs to spend some time alone, to find out who she is as an individual.

But that’s not going to happen while Texas is here.  And really, I think Texas is good for her.  He treats her well, he’s a good kid.  He’s ignorant and has a very small perception of the world, but that’ll change now that he’s here, and his world is bigger than the small town in South Carolina he grew up in.

They function well together.  If they break up, then we’ll talk about Lia’s independence.  But she just doesn’t have the personality to foster that trait while he’s around, and as long as they both take care of their responsibilities, and are both happy, I’m not going to protest them being together.

So Red and I agree.  And we even agree that she may regret not “sowing her oats” when she’s older.

But people are different.  Red and I share the same birthday (18 years apart).  We’re both Aquarius.  Somewhat known for the whole oat-sowing thing.  Lia is a Cancer.  The polar opposite.  The kind of lifestyle that appeals to Red and to me holds no interest for her.  Her idea of a fun night is staying home, curled up on the couch, cuddling with Texas and watching a movie.

Fucking great.  That’s what makes her happy, then that’s what makes her happy.  Going to a club or going dancing or going out partying and getting obnoxiously drunk doesn’t make her happy.  Nothing Red says will change that.

So today was peaceful, the three of them went out together to buy dinner, and built a fort with the spawn together.  And when we got home from the hospital, the three of them were outside together, talking (Lia and Texas smoke, and smoking is only allowed outside).  Hopefully it stays peaceful.  Because I swear to hell, if I have to have this conversation again, I’m going to set some shit on fire.

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