Dear Stepfamily Magazine:
This letter is in response to your call for nominations in your April issue. I would like to nominate my husband, Dick, to be named your magazine's Stepfather of the Year.
Dick and I were married four years ago, but your posted rules said that I should share anything in the nominated stepparent's history, not just stuff from this year, so I guess I'll start there.
Now technically, I am a stepmother, since Dick has a daughter by his first marriage. I've never met my stepdaughter, Lolita, however, since somehow Dick's ex got sole custody and the right to keep Dick away from his own now-seventeen-year-old daughter. Dick doesn't like to talk about the divorce, so I don't know what she told the judge in order to get such an unusual constraint on him. Anyway, Dick moved away from their state and then met me.
Well actually, he then met both me and my daughter, Kitty, who was ten years old at the time. Despite the negative experience he had just had with his own family, Dick did not hesitate to marry me, even though I already had a daughter. And it's not like he didn't know right from the start — Kitty was with me the day I met him, at the roller rink where I was chaperoning Kitty's class from St. Catherine's Catholic School for Girls. You see, it was a special day at the rink, and they were hosting all the Catholic schoolgirls in the city. I'm not sure what brought Dick to the rink that day, but there he was. He took to me right away, I must say, and didn't seem to mind at all that Kitty was so obviously part of the package.
We got married straightaway, and Dick was such a dear, he insisted we even take Kitty on our honeymoon with us, to Brazil. He didn't seem at all embarrassed in front of either one of us when we found out our hotel had a nude beach. He just calmly stripped down and suggested that we do the same. He is so cosmopolitan!
Anyway, this is a stepfather award, so let me tell you more about his relationship with Kitty. He dotes on her!
One of the first things he changed around our household was stodgy old me! I had always insisted that Kitty wear only the most prudish clothes. Dick really won Kitty over when he insisted that I let her be more fashionable, like her friends. He actually took her shopping on more than one occasion and bought her the Brittany Spears-type stuff that I always thought made a girl look like a whore. Dick taught me that those sorts of clothes actually make young girls look independent and smart.
On a similar note, when I was hemming Kitty's new school uniform skirts, he took Kitty's side (although of course, I was actually happy to see them bonding, so I didn't mind) and convinced me to "break the rules" like Kitty wanted (the skirts are supposed to be no higher than two inches above the knee, but I think a couple of them got hemmed more like six inches above the knee!).
Kitty also has really gotten to experience a father's love for the first time. You see, she never really knew her father. For that matter, I barely knew him myself, I'm ashamed to say — teen pregnancy and all that. Although I was always a good student, I was also always a bit naïve and ditzy as a teenager. In some ways, I guess I still am. So anyway, Dick is wonderful for Kitty. He treats her like she was his own daughter!
First there's the nicknames. He started calling her "Pussycat" right from the start, although now he's got a bunch of variations: Pussy, Sweet Pussy, Baby Pussy, Girlpuss, Daddy's Pussy, and the like — you know, because her real name is Kitty. It's like they have their own special language, because he has some nicknames for Kitty that I don't understand, but she seems to like. For example, he calls her "Mexican Hairless", although we're not Hispanic. And "Bald Pussy" or just "Baldy", which is weird because she has thick, luxuriant brown hair. She likes those names, although why anyone would like to be called something that conjures the picture of a shaved cat is beyond me. But even those names are normal compared to the completely inexplicable "Three-Holer." I know Dick likes to go bowling, and he often takes Kitty with him, so maybe it has something to do with bowling balls.
Besides nicknames, there's "Take Your Daughter to Work Day." Not only does Dick enthusiastically participate in this, he goes all out. You see, Dick is a traveling salesman, and his work takes him on road trips around the region for days at a time. He has taken Kitty along on these trips for three or four days every year since we've been married. Kitty always seems to come back happy — all the attention I suppose — as well as exhausted. You'd think she didn't sleep at all during the whole trip. Must be all the excitement. She never complains about all that time in the car, either. I know it must wear on her, though, because whenever she comes back from one of these trips, she walks funny for days. I suggested to Dick that they stop at more rest areas so she can stretch her legs, but he said her legs get stretched plenty. I guess he knows best.
I've told you what a great stepfather Dick is to Kitty, but I'm sorry to say Kitty hasn't always been the best stepdaughter. She has been known to give Dick no end of trouble. What makes Dick such a wonderful stepfather, however, is how he rises to these occasions.