I am part of a stepfamily. Technically I guess I'm part of three stepfamilies. Whatever the case, merging families is a complex task involving the "blending" of three P's: people, personalities, and possessions.
When my husband and I took the gigantic step of moving in together, it was I that moved in to his home. My one bedroom apartment wasn't going to fit all three P's and his house was two minutes from his 9-year-old son's school. Instant household.
We spent the following weeks taking inventory of our possessions. The extra bedroom set became guest room furniture. The extra glassware made for a well-rounded collection. The toasters, well, there were two and how many toasters does one house really need?
As I pulled my toaster from the box my (now) husband said, "I guess we can get rid of that."
What? Get rid of my toaster?
There's nothing like merging households to make you really sentimental about a toaster. After all, it was the toaster I bought following my previous divorce. It was the kitchen appliance staple that I picked out all by myself for my own place. It wasn't fancy. In fact, it's most endearing quality was it's low price tag. But it was mine and it symbolized my ability to take care of myself.
My husband also loved his toaster. It was stainless steel and, therefore, matched all his other appliances unlike my stark white model. It had a special button for frozen items to properly toast them. Even I had to admit it looked sleeker and was more functional.
After many gentle reassurances (my husband to me and I to my toaster) I decided it was time to donate my toaster and let someone else love it's thrifty simplicity. It was an unexpectedly monumental step in our relationship.
Some time later, while visiting my dad, I realized a toaster oven adorned his counter. I've never known my dad to own a toaster oven. I couldn't help but wonder if there had been a similar debate between him and my stepmother about which toaster to keep.
By now you probably noticed I am both a stepmom and a stepchild. Here's a quick run-down. My family consists of a husband, a stepson, a father, a stepmother, a mother who was adopted, a stepfather, and two (or is it five?) step-siblings.
Thus begins Too Many Toasters, a blog to share my experiences with non-traditional families and, hopefully, hear about your experiences as well. I plan on writing here once a week (or more if I have time), so please stay tuned.
You are invited and encouraged to share your experiences and thoughts in the comments. Do you have a confusing family? How do you navigate the stepfamilyhood?