True bravery is shown by performing without witness what one might be capable of doing before all the world.
- La Rochefoucauld, French Classical Writer (1613-1680)
I can’t remember what it was that compelled me to move out of my mom’s house and try living life with my dad and soon to be stepmother, Bonnie. I’m sure that I felt my mom was too strict while both my parents probably thought living with my dad would give me some needed discipline and fatherly influence.
Bonnie had a house in Fountain Valley with her two black labrador retrievers, Carbon and Misty. The first time I met Bonnie it was sort of weird all of a sudden meeting the new chick my dad was dating. We went to a race track. I think I felt a strong desire to act as if this was no big deal, that I didn’t feel that it was any sort of uncomfortable situation in meeting my dad’s new girlfriend.
Bonnie had been previously married and divorced, and her only two children were her Labs. She was far removed and totally unprepared for my adolescent behavior.
For the time that I lived there before they got married, I had some of the best laughs of my life. Bonnie has a great sense of humor and she cued in on all the silliness that comes with the awkwardness of growing up. My behavior never ceased to amaze her and it was wonderful the way she used to laugh at the things I would do. We got along so well and we used to laugh even harder at the things my dad would do. I can’t even remember a single specific thing we would laugh at, but Bonnie was the ultimate at appreciating the nuances of human behavior.
I think my honeymoon with Bonnie ended the moment my dad and her returned from their own honeymoon. Once they were married, the amusing juvienile tenant that she had taken on had suddenly became an outrageuos liability.