I admit: I'm looking forward to seeing Hitomi in her cute, pink china girl dress. She has permed her eyelashes–which I had never heard of until last week–and polished her nails. And she has little hair clips with shiny bits of colored glass in them.
As for Ariel, who's actually getting married: I'm definitely looking forward to her not being able to ask for money anymore from me. That's not to say I never regretted supporting her going to school, I just never got much satisfaction out of it either. Giving money to people is at least less troublesome than trying to lend money: As I had learned so many years ago lending money to Jeremy Blackman.
Back in the day, I used to earn money for getting good grades. (As it turns out, it is an effective tool for making better students.) I think the going rate was $20 for an A, $10 for a B, but double the total for $240 for straight As. (This might have encouraged me a bit to take some easier classes.) Most of my money went towards computer parts, like a new hard drive or fancier modem or something. I think in this instance, I lent about $150 or so to Jeremy Blackman, probably to get a faster modem but he did not pay it back in the week or so that he said he would.
My parents weren't involved in this "deal" but eventually found out as I was not effective in convincing Jeremy. They called his parents and Tim made me learn the phrase: Neither borrower nor lender be…Tim was attributing this bit of wisdom to Benjamin Franklin, but it comes from Hamlet. (And the line is spoken by Polonious, who's a fool. But even fools have good advice.) I've had yet to experience anything quite as awkward with a friend as having to collect money from one.
With my family, of course, it's been always awkward.
Firstly was the divorce of my mother and father. My father's been a pretty awkward guy, emotionally immature. My mother was cheating on him, repeatedly, and even had the chutzpah to bring her boyfriends over to my Dad's place. I was in 3rd grade, but I knew this was weird and strange. And humiliating for my father and maybe deliberately so. Then there was the actual divorce, Tim getting a black eye from Dad, and going back and forth between two homes every weekend.
Under such circumstances, you saw a lot of acting out amongst us children. But mellowing out, mostly. And Alsia, my older sister, went from calling Tim (literally) "Dad", to moving out, and joining a cult. Well, two cults: First it was a multi-level marketing "cult" and later on it was New Age scam artists. Tim undoubtedly did not approve. And her cult did not approve of Tim either. Or perhaps Alsia felt picked on by Tim too many times. Humiliated or maybe just frustrated, she sentenced Tim to Mu. As for why she did this, or why she doesn't want to talk about it, she never has said anything substantive to my mother, or anyone.
Ariel, my even more emotionally unstable younger sister, recently sentenced Tim to Mu, as well. Why? Ariel's self-indulgent as well and rather than try and reconcile her loyalty with Alsia or Tim, she sides with Alsia. Thus no stepfather appearing next weekend.
I was going to cut out a little figurine of him and take pictures of him with the cake, flowers, etc., but I wouldn't really be respecting Ariel with that.