In 1987, I married my second wife, Lulu. (The name has been fabricated to protect me from lawsuit). Although she had a teenaged daughter, the daughter was to remain living with her natural father, a 39 year old man, a Westminster police officer. I tell you his choice of work to instill in you that he was a healthy man and in good health.
We got married on 1-17-87 and I don't thing the poor guy made it through February before he suffered a massive heart attack and dropped dead on the spot. As sad as that was for everyone, it also left a 14 year old girl without a father or a home. Naturally, I jumped in and became the infamous step-monster that step-fathers are known for. Although I felt "out of place" attending the funeral, I flew to CA after the funeral, rented a truck, loaded her belongings and headed for home Arizona, with my new wife and my even newer step-daughter, Cha Cha. Before leaving CA, a man that I learned was the father of the deceased, took me aside and warned me to keep a close eye on Cha Cha, if I didn't she would ruin my new marriage. He patted me on the back and I had the sense to take heed to his unsolicited advice.
As the months went by, I learned that this young girl knew of no limitations. She was without supervision and had a way about her of manipulating her poor mother around her fingers. She was spoiled rotten, dishonest, deceitful, lazy, untrained, dumb and without manners. I had my work cut out for me.
Bythe time Cha Cha turned 18, she had come a long, long way. Although she never called me Dad, she would introduce me to her friends as her father and I took pride in that recognition. Although she chose not to go to college, she became a very successful hair stylist and even though she was never the brightest crayon in the box, I felt that she was at least prepared for the world, and showed a vast improvement during the time that I oversaw her. One comical experience that comes to mind, I'd like to share with you.
The year was about 1989 and Cha Cha had gotten invited to the prom. She and her mother were busy all week buying a dress and all of the things that go along with it. I even liked the boy she was going with, which was a rare thing.
It was about 3 PM, the day of the prom and Cha Cha was busy preparing in her bathroom. When I asked her mother why Cha Cha was taking so long in the bathroom, she explained that she had purchased a spray-on tanning solution and had to stand naked for 45 minutes without moving, so as not to smudge her new tan. That explained why Cha Cha was screaming things to her mother from the closed bathroom similar to, "Mom, my nose itches"! I got a pretty good laugh over that one.
About an hour later, Cha Cha came out from her retreat in the bathroom wrapped in about 3 different towels, one just for her hair. With the most serious look on her face that I'd ever seen on her, she said these words to me and I can still picture the disappointed look on her face. "Mel, can I use your shower, mine's out of hot water"!!!
Cha Cha had a pretty good time that night, in spite of the second half of her shower being just kind of cool....
I had the best laugh of the decade!!!