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Christmas Cards Must Be A Nightmare

, , , , | Related | June 10, 2022

My parents were, and still are, pretty irresponsible. Despite being married, both Dad and Mom slept around a lot. In fact, Dad fathered a few illegitimate children during this time. 

They eventually divorced when I was fourteen, which shocked nobody. The only thing shocking was that they stayed together that long.

For most of my childhood, Dad’s sister essentially raised my sister and me. After the divorce, [Aunt] wound up with custody over us, as neither parent was willing to surrender custody to the other — not because they genuinely cared about us, but because fighting for custody meant that the other person would have to compromise more in the divorce.

They eventually remarried to different people, both of whom had children of their own from previous marriages.

And no, neither parent is on speaking terms. In fact, I’m probably the only person, apart from my aunt, whom both of them still routinely talk to. Even then, [Aunt] (and my sister) have basically walked away from the whole mess and essentially consider both Mom and Dad strangers.

My cousin and I are now trying to figure out how many siblings I have.

Cousin: “So, there’s [Full Sister]; that’s one.”

Me: “Then there are Dad’s illegitimate kids. How many again? I’ve lost count.”

Cousin: “Mom told me that there were three.”

Me: “All right, that’s four.”

Cousin: “Half siblings?”

Me: “Mom has two boys, and Dad has two girls.”

Cousin: “I always get them confused. They were all born so close to each other.”

Me: “No kidding. If Mom and Dad send them to the same school, good odds they’ll be classmates.”

Cousin: “Huh, that really is weird. Anywho, we’re at eight now.”

Me: “Yeah. Stepsiblings now, I guess.”

Cousin: “How many?”

Me: *Counting on my fingers* “Mom’s husband has three girls. Dad’s wife has one of each.”

Cousin: “Thirteen! Wow, that’s a lot.”

Me: “Fourteen. You forgot to count yourself.”

Cousin: “But I’m just your cousin.”

Me: “Your mom basically raised me and my sister single-handedly. She’s the closest thing to a mother figure we have. So yes, the final count is fourteen.”

Cousin: *Blushing* “S***. Thanks, mate.”

She punches me affectionately.

Cousin: *Frowns* “Huh… Wait, does that mean that I’ve jumped from being an only child to having fourteen siblings?”

I pause.

Me: “I genuinely cannot answer that question.”

I pause again.

Me: “Well, there’s [Full Sister] and me, so that’s at least two. We’ll figure out the other twelve another day.”

Cousin: *Shrugs* “Works for me.”

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