by Noise Pollution

My family situation is kind of strange.

I’m not saying that to complain. Honestly, in this day and age, most family circumstances aren’t “normal”. The divorce rate in the U.S. is around 50%, which moves me from the “special snowflake” category I used to belong to into the “fucking deal with it” category I’m in now. And I can.

That’s not to say it’s been exactly easy. Up until literally this year, I haven’t had a good relationship with my dad, and even now that it’s not so bad, our communication is infrequent. I’m okay with that. Everyone seems to think that family is the most important thing in the world, but it’s not. The people you care about are the most important thing in the world, and if they happen to be family, then great. If not, then you shouldn’t feel pressured to bend over backwards for them. Not to say that I don’t care about my dad. I do. But the reason I care about him is because I have a relationship with him. It’s not because he’s my dad, or because he’s blood. It’s because there are memories we have together and things we’ve done for each other that I care.

There have been some rough patches in our relationship, to say the least. Some of them have even been pretty recent. But he did show some signs of becoming a better person when I saw him last. He used to be a raging homophobe. When I saw him last, he came to the conclusion that it wasn’t right to treat people poorly for that kind of reason, relating their situation to the relentless torment and teasing he got when he was young. At almost 50, my dad is growing up. It’s pretty cool.

I also have a stepfather. And two ex-stepfathers, but I don’t really want to talk about them. One of them literally broke into our house in an attempt to hurt or kidnap myself or another member of my family (we happened to be away from home at the time) and the other is the most emotionally distant person I’ve ever met. And he cheated on my mother. So there’s that. My stepfather right now, though, he’s a good guy. He could actually be a role model to me if I wasn’t so stubborn about that sort of thing. I refuse to have a legitimate father figure in my life at this point, after the ones I had before. So to me, he’s just a good guy. Not that we always got along, but now that I’m more mature I can see that he’s worked extremely hard to be good to me and my siblings, even though we aren’t technically his blood. Fuck “blood”. That doesn’t matter. My stepdad is my family and he’s done a lot for me.

This is the first Father’s Day where I feel legitimately okay about my relationship with both of my dads. every previous year, there’s been some sort of major conflict with at least one of them. I’m glad things seem to be getting better.