Chapter 1

Shopaholic Father

Some families have to deal with an alcoholic dad, I on the other hand get to live with a shopaholic dad. Which comes with a lot of the same attributes. Other then the fact he isn't shopping for himself. Or my mother. Or my sister. Or me. But for my baby brother, 'because it was on clearance'. A three-year-old's dream come true. No, he isn't angry when he shops and he doesn't beat us. But, he does put us into some tight fits with money and gets upset when anyone else (mom) buys something, leaving everyone else (mom) in a bad mood.

For example: Our drier seems to take in jeans, torture them until they are a size 2 with a size tag saying '8', and makes it impossible to squeeze into -as well as lower a girls self-esteem. In other words; we have a demon drier and I need new jeans that fit, as opposed to wearing extremely thin fabric skirts in the dead of winter. Unfortunately for me dad spends the amount of money on toys a week that could pay for 3 pairs of jeans for me. Selfish, I know. But I really would like to stay warm this winter.

So, I am faced with a conflict, tell mom that I need these jeans and if she refuses point out dad's problem, again, or get the flu 20 more times this winter. I choose jeans.

Bad thing is, we were supposed to meet my boyfriend's mom and him for a movie and I chose the absolute worse timing. I was looking really forward to that rare time spent with mom, too.

"Mom?…. Mom?…. MOM!?" I tried to yell over Jack's shrieking.

"Oh! Sorry, sweet heart. I was in a daze." More like she was tending to Jack's every need. Which is fine, he's 3.

From here on out I don't remember much. Other then it ended with crying on my end when my mother said the words, "You're 16-years-old and you're jealous of a 3-year-old? That's really sad."

No. I am not jealous to clarify. I am, in fact, in love with Jackson and would do anything if it meant his safety and happiness. But, the kid is not going to notice if a few dozen toys a week doesn't get bought for him as long as dad doesn't take him to the store. Besides, he's got over 200 in his room and a whole collection of 'county fair play-games.'

No, I wasn't jealous at all. I was hurt. She even brought up food and drink items she spends money on for me every week. This wasn't the first time my mom ever got upset with me and blamed something she didn't like about her life on me. There was once when I was 5 and got upset with her smoking on break while talking to me on the phone and told me she started smoking because of me. There was a time she would talk about how much weight she gained because of me behind my back, and there was her depression once mentioned, too. Another thing to clarify- she isn't a bad mom. Actually, she is an amazing mom. She just has her slips once every few years and says something I will never forget and will always hurt -they just tend to be the worse of the worst.

Because of my hurt and most likely overly-dramatic tears I hopped into the shower to cry some more, my favorite place to cry. About 5 minutes into a beautiful sob the door busted open and defied the lock on it.


"Y-yhea?" I tried to sound as stable-voiced as possible. No way would she get to hear my raw pain.

"I was thinking and we could always go do something while dad has Jack, like buy you a new pair of jeans and maybe go out to eat?"

I had to think this over for a few full seconds, "Sure, mom." I gave. I really wanted to spend some time with her. Last time we had a chance to I was way too depressed to do anything so I faked ill.

We went shopping and I bought a nice pair of jeans that fit alright, but she never did apologize for accusing me of feelings I did not have. My boyfriend, Derek, his mom, Tracey and I all enjoyed the movie later that night. But all I wanted was my mommy sitting next to me laughing.

So, as you can see, a father who is addicted to anything that wastes money in a just-makes-enough to-be-considered-middle-class family can cause problems.

Sometimes, he even gets upset when mom has enough money left over to buy us Subway to bring home on her lunch break for me and her to enjoy. Being jealous of a 3-year-old? That's sad, sure. What's really sad is hiding the wrappers and receipt so there's no chance of an argument later.