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The curtain opens: midwest raised Girl-Next-Door awakens one morning to the realization she has been reclassified: Stepmom. “How can this be?” she wonders. “I am the daily caregiver, homework helper, packer of lunches and baker of cupcakes. Why must I have the awful nickname?” She has been carefully trying to bring harmony and love to her family, and can see her efforts taking hold. What went wrong? Happily, she soon finds there are others like her, who also wish to stand up and claim their blended family. She decides the pen is mightier than the sword and the dragon will be slain! (Although in this case it’s a poodle, read on). This is her story.

The scene: Currently I hail from the not-so magical land of Connecticut, although beautiful, historic, and close proximity to most of New England. Very nice in an “I could live here” sort of way. I’m told Cyndi Lauper lives here, so there’s that.

Cast of Characters: I am MJ: “Miss Janet” or “Mom Janet”. Also “McCoy, Julie”, Whose cruise director-ish job I now hold, without the clipboard and exotic ports of call. After spending 5 years as a working, single mom I was very excited to let my inner Hippy Chick run amok and start to focus on the two girls who found their way into my heart and life. (Refer to “Meet the Parents”).

Two fabulous step-daughters: Really, they are. I will name the youngest Nola (age 6), as her essence is much like the annual little gala held there known as the Marti Gras. Her older sister shall be Holly (age 8), as in Hollywood. She shines with charm and cuteness; and is convinced if we would simply take her to Hollywood, she would be instantly cast in her own show and would never have to worry about math again. Together we have colored, walked home from school, and shopped until their wardrobes were sufficiently stocked with skirts and funky tights.

My son: A soccer obsessed, type A teen with a job and school would take up an entire blog; and he most certainly has his own epic story to tell. He will remain a peripheral character for now, and known as simply “13”. He was given that number on his soccer team years ago because as an incredible defender was consequently “bad luck” for the opposing team. And as a bonus, it rather fits in with the whole theme, doesn’t it?

Clark {Kent}: Holly and Nola’s father has full custody. When we met, he was a full time father juggling work, the girls, coaching and volunteering at school. To this day he will not admit he has a red cape, but I know it’s  around here somewhere.  He is truly our foundation, and has the patience of a saint.

The incubator/birth mom: She will be FiFi; named after a highly irritating, yippy poodle that once lived in my childhood neighborhood. ‘Nuf said for now.

Disclaimer: If looking for a warm and fuzzy “can’t we all just get along” mentality, this is not the blog for you. In some cases, the socially correct attitude of “play nice” is not whats in everyone’s best interest. Frankly, I have higher standards. I also promise to go easy on all further theatre and faery tale references going forward, but please indulge me – we had tickets for “Wicked” this weekend and this is just too much fun.

From time to time other characters, and I do mean that in every sense of the word, will include fellow stepmoms, family and friends whose names will also be changed to protect the sinister.

Hey, we have to stick together!