The Truth about Junior 10/27/00

Question: When will you get your butts to Oklahoma. You can never know the twisted, inbred, almost non-human truths that exist in the great plains. I have seen things better left to writers like yourself. We want you to come see our humble abode!

Junior Steele

Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like you to meet my oldest daughter, Junior Steele. And there's actually a bit of a story to this, so bear with me for a bit whilst I wax.

My marriage to Mrs. Steele was my first. No ex-wives, no kids. Mrs. Steele's marriage to me was not her first -- two daughters, one grandson. Mrs. Steele's taste in men has not always been as good as it is now, so her daughters had some pretty crappy father-figures, growing up.

Enter Mr. Steele.

Needless to say, I was not expecting them to like the idea of their mother marrying me over-much -- particularly after her last choice, who was a real doozy. Hmm ... no ... too vague ... okay, he was a complete asshole. But despite the fact that I didn't think they'd like her getting married again, I was in love with their mother. I figured that I'd just win them over, eventually.

The first one -- the youngest -- she was easy. I met her and Mrs. Steele's grandson (now, my grandson as well) and her boyfriend a few months ago, when they came to Jersey to visit. We all clicked immediately, just like family ... and I was pretty sure she was digging me okay.

Before they left, we all went out to dinner. She ran into some friends of hers from high school, and introduced everyone. "This is my son, this is my boyfriend, this is my mother, and this is my future step-father."

Step-father. It was ... I dunno ... maybe five or ten minutes before I heard a single word that anyone else said. I was far too distracted by my efforts to remain macho, to not begin to bawl like a little girl and throw my arms around her and tell her how profoundly those words affected my world.

You see ... she doesn't have to call me Step-father. She could call me 'my mother's husband,' if she really wanted. After all, both of the daughters live in Oklahoma. Although I don't like it (actually, I don't like it one bit) I don't think I'm going to get much opportunity to play the Step-father role. No trips to the hospital, no late-night-why-doesn't-Mom-see-where-I'm-coming-from-on-this conversations, no I-can't-talk-to-Mom-about-this-but-I-want-to-know-what-you-think talks. I missed those, because I met and married Mrs. Steele too late.

But she used the word Step-father. And ... wow. It blew me away.

I didn't meet the oldest daughter until a few days before the wedding. It was a huge jumble of people, but it was the best jumble of people I've ever seen ... her family and my family just blended together and the possessives Hers and Mine blurred until there was nothing but Family. I wasn't sure how I was doing with this daughter, until she put her arms around me after the wedding ceremony and said something extremely touching.

What did she say? Fuck you ... that's personal between me and my step-daughter.

When I received the above email, I was equally touched. Junior Steele. She's adopted my cyber-moniker. True, she might just be adopting her mother's cyber-moniker and maybe I shouldn't take this to mean too much ...

... but I'm gonna, dammit! I'm gonna take it to mean as much as I want!

Why!?!?

BECAUSE I'M THE (STEP-)DAD! THAT'S WHY!

And it fuckin' rocks.

We'll make it out to Oklahoma as soon as possible, Junior. Give all our love to the Oklahoma Branch of the Steele Clan, and we'll see you soon.