As previously mentioned, I’m currently experiencing the first remarriage since my parents’ divorce last century.
Since the divorce, my mom and dad have each maintained long-term committed relationships. I’ve had a handful of pseudo step-parents and step-siblings… but it was never Official. I’ve since learned that when something becomes Official, it makes a big difference. With marriage comes expectations. (and that’s one of the things I hate most about marriage… darn expectations!)
Blended Family Territory is difficult to navigate. It doesn’t matter which branch of the tree you represent nor does it matter how old you are or where you live. At some point, everyone reaches his/her own “WTF!?!?!?” moments. I wanted to plot a map of this new territory, so I called upon my sister and we pinged New Stepsister on Facebook:
Would you be interested in doing another halfway meetup for dinner sometime with us? We were thinking we should get together and catch up… or whatever it is that adult stepsisters are supposed to do.
The following day I received a response:
I would love to do whatever it is that “we” do haha!
We collaborated to work out the details and last night, Sister and I drove 45 minutes to meet Stepsister at a little restaurant/bar a quarter mile off the highway between our hometowns. On the way, Sister and I rehearsed what we wanted to talk about:
- What does she expect from us?
- What does her dad expect from us?
- How much has her life changed since the big Union? (she actually resides with the Happy Couple)
- Is she OK with the changes?
- How does she feel?
We met in the parking lot and exchanged informal niceties. After we placed our orders, the discussions began. I’ll spare you the details (partially because my mom is reading this and I know she is mad with curiosity right now)… Let’s just say it was a relief to get everything out in the open:
- We accept the fact that we hardly know each other, and that’s OK…
- We talked a little about our pasts…
- We agreed that we’re similar enough to be friendly and chat, yet we don’t feel the need to exchange holiday gifts or indulge in other obligatory family customs…
- Overall, we have zero expectations of each other…
- And we’re all quite happy that none of us think we should start shopping together and sharing clothes.
It was good visit. I’m feeling a little more confident about the new branch of my family tree.