1. Hotel check-ins: He asked me in front of the clerk and two security guards if I owned a bra. I had boobs by the time I was 11 and he didn’t like me wearing tank tops.
2. Family sleepaway camp: He insisted that I learn to swim, kayak, and ride a bike, all while I had my period. The bike ride ended with me crashing into a bush and skinning my knee. He didn’t think period cramps were real. He’s a retired GP by the way.
3. Sailing lessons: He made us take sailing lessons one year. My brother and I would sneak away to the bar next door. We’d trade our gross hotdogs for pretzels. I never learned how to sail…or swim. The swimming lessons from the year before didn’t take.
4. Vacation chores: He made me and my brothers do some “light landscaping” at his ranch in Topeka. I ended up with a nasty cold because my hair was still wet from sailing.
5. High school graduations: He gave my brother a trip to Hawaii. For mine, he brought flowers and a new grandmother! He’s now on wife number three. She’s 17 years younger than my mom.
6. Road trips in his minivan: He had me and my brothers sitting in the back. You know the space where you normally keep luggage. The middle and back rows were already taken by my two year old uncle and three year old aunt who were still in car seats.
7. Fourth of July fireworks: He made us a big feast. The chicken was still pink inside. When we complained, he told us the whole bit about starving children in Africa. His wife threw it away when he wasn’t looking. Oh and there were never any fireworks.