Everybody Needs a Mini Mussolini in Their Life

I am still never sure whether I really liked my dad or not. I guess when you nickname him mini-mussolini maybe not so much. He came into my life when I was six. My first recollection of him was the day he married my mother and the day I stood in family court and the judge asked me if I wanted to him to be my father. I sort of knew what was going on but not really.What the F? did the judge expect me to say.. like no..yo judge I have a bad vibe about this dude and I don't like him? Boot his ass out of my life and let me go on-line and find another. This was the 60's and their wasn't a web site,  replace your crappy stepfather.com. Yeah that's right he was my stepfather..but we all pretended. We all pretended that I wasn't illegitimate, born out of wedlock, a bastard-all the things you would call me in the 60's when a woman of 40 had a child without a husband..so we pretended he was my "father."


Looking back I always wondered what if..what if I said no..I  have a bad vibe..something’s off.. would anyone have believed me. Would the judge have said whoa..its not going happen.. your not father material.. I doubt it.


That day in family court I said yes.. and I knew it was a mistake..but I had no choice. God bless him though he married a woman who had a child out of wedlock in the 1960’s (she was forty). She was living with and helping to support her parents and single sister in a two family tenement. You gotta give him some props for that.


 I always wondered if he just sucked  up being an instant father. I love this hot woman and she has a kid kinda deal.  Later on in our battles over power and control over my destiny he would tell me that he tried to do me a favor by giving me a "name." Basically making me legit. Yeah dude, some favor you made me miserable for 16 years until I finally could run to college and get a real life.


So let me tell you mini mussolini’s rules.


No chewing gum.
no bows in your hair because it made you look like a gypsy
No sleepovers
No eating over other kids house.
no music except opera
No  dates

No nothing except school and a job when I got old enough.I came from a large Italian American family with lots of extended family in close proximity. They like to pretend too. It made it easier for everyone. We just pretended my mother didn't give birth in a home for unwed mothers, put me in a foster home because she couldn't figure out how to support me and then take me back when the foster family wanted to adopt me.

We pretended that my grandmother never told her that if my grandfather found out that he would kill her and me. Yeah my family was freaking Mother Goose of  pretend and none of that exists.  The best thing they were good at pretending was that my biological father was her brother in law's nephew, I know I'm an Oprah winfrey show.  My mother hooked up with her brother in laws newphew.. she was a cougar.. before it was fashionable.


So anyway things start heating up when I went to high school. It was time for make-up and dates and mini skirts and sleepovers and he would have none of that. My first date was when he was in the hospitable for his back. It was our little secret between me and my mom.

My mom saw how miserable I was and asked me if she should divorce him. It was one of those pivotal moments in a young person's life when you hold yours and someone else's destiny in your hand. Making her divorce him would make my life easy but leave my mom without love and support. I told don't because I'm outta here when I'm 18. I wanted out. I got accepted to a college away from home and that's when it finally happened. The duel that had been building for 13 years. It was in ohio and leaving home was not an option. Finally after years of me sucking it up, I told him, I'm leaving. You can't stop me. He told me he would make it hard for me (which he did) and I said.what put me in jail? I wish I could say he came to some epiphany and we all lived happily ever after.  He stopped talking to me from that moment on and died not speaking to me. Did I feel bad yes. Did I need therapy yes. Did the whole clan blame me yes. Did I go to college, make it on my own and never take shit from anybody ever again yes.

He taught who I was and who I wasn't. He taught me to fight for myself and what I believe and understand their are consequences. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.