Oh, my sweet little Polar Bear. Some of the old blog readers might remember her from this story. From then until now, things have remained relatively normal. For Polar Bear. Sure, half the time we see her she is whacked out of her brain on pills, drooling on herself and others, but the other half, she is pleasant. Funny. Charming, even.
I have attributed her ‘normal’ streak to the steadying influence of her husband, who we shall call Mr. Bear. I also attribute her pain pill addiction to Mr. Bear, but hey, no one’s perfect, and at least she has consistently seen her children these past four years. Silver lining and all that.
Mr. Bear is my sister’s third husband (my sister, who is clearly insane, has had three husbands. Me and my clean bill of mental health? Zero.). Let’s take this opportunity to review my sister’s weddings.
Wedding Number One:
Polar Bear married her second child’s father in the office of the Brentwood mayor. Afterwards, we all went out to the Old Country Buffet to celebrate. The mere act of typing that sentence makes me want to hurl myself out of the closest window.
Wedding Number Two:
Polar Bear married her youngest child’s father. This was by far the most normal of the weddings. It was held outside at Boyce Park. Wormy came, as did my friend Coffee. Coffee wrote a bad check. On purpose. She took ‘It’s the thought that counts’ to its natural conclusion. We BBQ’ed, danced, and generally had a great time. It was actually a lovely day. (Some of you astute readers will notice that Polar Bear did not marry her oldest child’s father. That is because he decided halfway through her pregnancy that he wanted to become a woman. Let’s leave it at that.)
Also, a sidebar here. Polar Bear and Husband Number Two had taken a bus downtown to see some play for Valentine’s Day. Afterwards, they caught a bus home from Sixth Avenue. They were standing on one of those sidewalk grates that are so common around Pittsburgh. Apparently these grates cover underground transformers. One of these transformers, the one that happened to be directly underneath my sister and her husband, decided to explode, engulfing the both of them for a period of a few seconds. No one was seriously injured. I believe my sister’s pantyhose were singed and there might have been some missing arm hair, but it was more scary than it was damaging.
This did not prevent Polar Bear from suing the local utility and using the proceeds to set up an ill-advised karaoke company. These are just the type of things that happen to Polar Bear.
Wedding Number Three:
This marriage did not revolve around a child, because my sister had blessedly gotten her tubes tied after child numero tres. No one is sure of the details of this particular union. Because my sister has problems with truth-telling, the story has changed roughly one zillion times. No one has ever seen a marriage certificate, or any other tangible proof that they are, indeed, married. We just call Mr. Bear her husband because we all gave up a long, long time ago.
Because before Mr. Bear, oh boy, before Mr. Bear, shit was off the chain. For example: Polar Bear had left her second husband for a couple that she had met while volunteer firefighting.
Let’s break that sentence down. She LEFT HER HUSBAND to live with a COUPLE that she had meet while VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTING. *headexplodes*
Of course, the couple was ape-shit crazy, too. No one really talked to her during that period. So, I was only half surprised when one morning jr., who was in third grade at the time, called me into the living room.
Jr. – “Mom. I think Aunt Polar Bear is on the news.”
Me – “What? Lemme see…” walks in living room, looks at TV, look of slowly dawning realization flits across face, followed closely by heartbreak and immediate relief that we have two totally different last names … “Dear god ….”
It seems that the woman of the couple my sister had been shacking up with decided to torch their house. So there was my sister, with her hair all crazy and her teeth not brushed, wrapped in blankets, sobbing to channel 4 Action News.
Soon after this, Polar Bear met Mr. Bear and relative peace and calm have reigned. Until.
Saturday morning my sister was returning a vacuum she had borrowed. She was not alone. She brought her new ‘friend’. Her new, morbidly obese friend who smelled like she hadn’t seen the inside of a shower since the 90s. Her hair was literally stiff with … Christ, I don’t want to think about what it might be stiff with. She lumbers inside, wheezes her fat ass onto my couch, croaks out “I like your house”, and proceeds to fire up a Newport (I don’t smoke in my house).
She (the friend. Let’s call her Mount Fatterus) then proceeds to tell me she is getting married this Friday, and she moved here for the ‘jobs’. All I could think was this doesn’t strike me as a good situation, and how can I get her off of my couch and out of my house so I can prepare for the delousing?
So I wasn’t all that surprised this morning when Polar Bear texted me to tell me she had left Mr. Bear. I am sure that somehow it will come to pass that Mount Fatterus is involved. And now I get to look forward to seeing how far this crazy train ride will go.
Family. You really can’t pick them, and you just can’t kill them. Pass the beer nuts.