In about an hour I have to punch out of here and go pick up my Wicked Stepmother at the airport. I am being a bit facetious: having been married to my father for 27 years (during most of which he wasn’t speaking to me, or I to him, I’m not sure exactly which) she would be technically my stepmother, but she’s six months younger than I am. How do you parse that?
I haven’t met her before despite a three year Net correspondence and some phone calls, and far from being appreciably wicked, she is mild and a little shy, one of those people who sort of freezes up on the phone, so I have no real idea what I am getting into here. The most distinctive thing I know about her is that she keeps snakes, at present four corn snakes in big glass aquariums, and has been known to take one out and loop it around her neck while she does housework. The snake apparently grooves on this. She’s also got a clan of cats, who apparently don’t molest the snakes. They all live in the double wide she kept when my father died last year — and no, I never went out (two time zones) to see him. A guy who only remembers he has a daughter when he’s had a stroke and feels the cold hand of mortality tightening around his gizzard… well, it was just something he was going to have to deal with himself. I was polite, but I note she was the one who actually called me.
She’s probably just as weirded out. The universal consensus is that I look so much like him that he might as well have spit me and eliminated the middleman.