Ed. note: This story wasn't coming out right in my usual style, so I decided to go for something different.
Hey. My name is Ingrid--Ingrid Beata Riedmayer. Yeah, I know. What a name. Anyway, I'm 17 and a senior in high school and...that's not really important. What is important is that today I'm going to tell you all about my messed-up family. Think I look weird with my black lipstick and whatever? Trust me, a little black lipstick will seem like nothing in a few minutes.
The first thing I remember happened when I was four--the Jerk moved in. He's my dad, biologically speaking, but I prefer to call him the Jerk. You'll see why in a minute. Anyway, he and my mom were engaged, but they didn't get married when he first moved in because Mom was pregnant again and didn't want to wear maternity clothes to her own wedding. My grandma did, to her wedding with my step-grandpa, and they seem happy enough together. But that's beside the point.
Anyway, then Mom and the Jerk both got the flu--my aunt Joan and uncle Greg had it at the same time; apparently it was going around back then. So Mom was on bedrest for most of her pregnancy. Here's a picture of her and the Jerk reading together in bed. Aren't the matching pajamas gag-worthy? Mom says she didn't do it on purpose; those pajamas were just on sale. But Mom is a hopeless romantic, so she probably did do it on purpose.
The Jerk got better faster than Mom. Apparently he was fooling around as soon as he wasn't contagious anymore. My uncle Mal--yeah, I have a lot of aunts and uncles, try to keep up--says he was doing some shopping downtown and saw the Jerk wrapped around this cheerleader girl. Uncle Mal didn't know Mom that well--she's like 20 years older than he is or something--so he knew she wouldn't believe him if he called her up and said this guy she was wild about was cheating on her. But he says he kept an eye on us after that, to make sure we were all okay.
I remember walking in on the Jerk and this lady in a black dress--her name is Audrey, but I'll have to talk about her enough later, so I won't now. I think Mom was taking a nap because she was still real tired and sick, and the Jerk didn't realize it was time for me to come home from school. Anyway, I said I'd tell Mom and the Jerk said that if I did I'd regret ever being born. I don't know if you've noticed in these pictures, but the Jerk was a pretty muscular guy. And I barely knew him, so I definitely couldn't have said for sure that he was the kind of guy who wouldn't slap around a five-year-old. So I kept quiet. Judge me if you will.
Right after that, my brother Todd was born. The Jerk's name is Corbin Todd, so Mom named my brother Todd after him--Todd Riedmayer, not Todd Todd. 'Cause she and the Jerk still weren't married. By then I think they'd given up on ever getting married; otherwise why give my brother such a silly name?
Mom was all over the Jerk all the time--I really don't know what she saw in him--but she still found time to help with my homework and stuff. One time I asked her if she noticed that back then I cried when my dad walked into the room. She said she always figured I was still getting used to having him around and that things would sort themselves out in time.
Todd was still real little when Mom found out she was having another baby. I guess she figured that once you have two kids with a jerk you might as well go for broke and have three.
Okay, I'll say one thing for the Jerk. He was nice to Todd. Maybe he liked having a son. Maybe he just liked having a kid who couldn't talk back. But we have lots of pictures of them together, and the Jerk actually looks like a sort of nice person instead of like a jerk.
Todd was an easy kid to like. I loved him too. I felt like he was my only friend sometimes. I couldn't talk to Mom about anything, and I was terrified of the Jerk. But Todd was always there when I needed a hug.
Here's my other brother, Frederick Riedmayer. We call him Fritz. Weird, I know. But at least he can go by Fred or something when he grows up. I'm stuck with Ingrid forever. Not like I can start going by Ingy. Or Grid.
Todd got older. Here's his picture for his first day of kindergarten. He looks kinda dorky in that outfit Mom picked out for him at the thrift store, but he's still cute. Maybe a little too cute for his own good. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
When Todd was in second grade or so, Mom got pregnant again. That's right, four kids with a guy who wouldn't marry her and didn't even have a job. While she was pregnant Mom didn't pay a whole lot of attention to me and Todd. We could get our own food out of the fridge when we got back from school, after all. She just took care of Fritz and napped.
It was okay, though. Todd was still my best friend. We didn't need anybody else as long as we had each other.
Well, that's all for today. I think I hear my carpool out front.
This is what the house looked like at the end of the week. It's not much improved over the previous week; most of Corbin's money went to his shiny red convertible.
And the outside. On the right you can see the Landgraabs' driveway.
I hope you enjoyed hearing from Ingrid...all two of you who read this blog. We'll see if she comes back to tell us about Week Five.
Side note: I was going for a vaguely Germanic theme with Edith's kids, but realized recently that Ingrid is actually a Scandinavian name. Oopsie. I decided not to be too bothered about it. After all, I made that mistake as a third- or fourth-generation German-American (I can't remember if my great-grandparents were born in Germany or not), and Edith is supposed to be a third- or fourth-generation German-American too. So she'd totally make the same mistake, right?