I never liked my step-grandmother. And she never liked me, so at least we had a healthy understanding of our mutual dislike. She was never maternal to anyone in my family. There was never a warm sweater, good meal, or any idea that she would ever be the matriarch once my great-grandmother passed away. I feel like my entire relationship with her can be summed up with the story of one fateful Thanksgiving.
My mom made us go over to her father’s house, and my step-grandmother was going to cook for us. My mother made sure we all ate a big lunch before leaving the house in anticipation of disaster. And sure enough, when we arrived, my step-grandmother was cooking away. And by cooking, I mean microwaving. And by microwaving, I mean she put a freaking turkey in the microwave. The nuked turkey was the most appetizing thing she had created. I was already feeling sick, so while my cousins ate Jell-O with their bare hands, my mother gave me some cold medicine and put me down for a nap on the living room couch, far away from the cancer turkey.
I drifted to sleep dreaming happy dreams of edible turkey when I was suddenly woken up. My young teenage cousins had gone into the garage and were playing with my grandfather’s cars. They hadn’t stolen it. They hadn’t busted the windshield. They were just playing in the car. A rational person would tell them to get out of the car and then lock the garage door if they were really peeved. But no. My evil step-grandmother called the police on my cousins. So, our family meal complete with microwaved turkey was broken up by police statements.
My cousin were (clearly) not arrested. And we never went back to my grandfather’s for Thanksgiving. Or any other day that would involve my step-grandmother’s cooking.