February 27, 2014

Meet the Parents

From the train platform, I scanned the parking lot for Richard's car. He was driving a silver Infiniti SUV, his mom's friend's son's car, some kid who was abroad for his junior year in college. Yes, I'm twenty-six and now calling college students kids—get off my lawn.

I spotted Richard's car and made my way over to him. The driver side door opened as I approached, and Richard met me at my door. "Welcome to Lawng Island," he said, and gave me a kiss.

"Don't they stone Jersey girls here or something?" Richard slapped my ass as I climbed into the car and I yelped.

On the way over to Richard's dad's house, Richard briefed me on his dad's side of the family. "My stepmom, Diane, is like every stereotype about Long Island rolled into one."

"She takes steroids and wears thick gold chains around her neck?"

Richard slid his eyes sideways at me. "This is Oyster Bay. We don't allow that kind here."

I raised my eyebrows. "Oh."

"She's moneyed, she's superficial, and she will ask you where you went to high school and if it's a public school she will write you off immediately."

"So what you're saying is she's going to write me off."

Richard looked at me again. "You could have gone to Exeter and she would write you off. You're twenty-six years old and beautiful and you have a cool job in New York, she's going to despise you." He held up one finger. "My stepbrothers, on the other hand, will want jackhammer your brains out. I would advise you not to accept any drinks they give you."

My stomach twisted into an even tighter knot. "Great. Okay. And what are their names?"

"Miles and Booth. But only Booth will be there. Miles lives in London."

I snorted. "Miles and Booth?"

Richard flicked his turn signal and we waited for an opening in traffic before he made a left onto a road marked 'private.' "I haven't even gotten to the best character of the bunch."

"Your dad?"

"My father," Richard corrected, "Dad is too generous a word for him. Do not speak to him unless spoken to, and I apologize in advance for all of the wildly racist, elitist bullshit that will most definitely come out of his mouth the more loaded he gets. It's nauseating to listen to, but it's preferable to being told what a dumb piece of shit I am, so I've stopped standing up for common human decency."

"Jesus, Richard," I breathed.

Richard didn't say anything, just clenched his jaw tighter. I reached across the center consult and gave his knee a squeeze. He released a hand from the wheel and wove his fingers through mine as a pair of wrought iron gates parted in front of us.

The house was a white shuttered monster, an entire wing covered in ivy and vines. We parked the car and walked around back, the expansive yard containing a tennis court, a pool, a pool house, and a guest cottage. There are plenty of impressive homes where I'm from in Summit, but there was something about this place that felt ominous, menacing. It made the property seem even bigger than it was.

Richard knocked on the glass door, connected to the kitchen, and a man in slim, expensive looking jeans and a pastel button down opened the door. "Richard!" he said, and clapped his hand on Richard's back.

"Josie," Richard said, "this is Allen."

I gave him my hand, confused. "Hi, Allen."

"Nice to meet you," he said, shaking my hand vigorously.

Richard and I stepped into the kitchen and Allen asked us what we wanted to drink. "Just a club soda for now," Richard said, then dipped low to say in my ear, "I forgot to tell you about Allen. He's my father's personal assistant. And he's the only non-asshole in this house."

"For you?" Allen called from the bar area.

I called back, "Red wine, please."

I heard loud footsteps on the stairwell, and then a floppy haired collegiate type in Nantucket Red khakis strode into the kitchen. "Richard!" he cried, in a mocking, shrill pitch. It took me a second to realize he was doing an impersonation of Chris Farley speaking to David Spade in Tommy Boy.

Richard sighed and held out his hand. "Hi, Booth."

Booth slapped Richard's hand away and wrestled him into an aggressive embrace. "Brothers gotta hug!" he whined in that same ugly voice. Booth suddenly took notice of me and released Richard.

"Whoa," he said, raking his fingers through his shaggy hair with one hand and holding out his other, "How much did the human stain have to pay you to pose as his date?"

I locked eyes with Richard as I took his hand. "Richard, you're right, he is a little simple looking." Then I squeezed his fingers hard.

I swear I saw a look in Booth's eyes like he wanted to clock me, but before anyone could say anything, we heard a woman's voice, calling for us to join her in the next room.

"I can't wait for my mother to meet you," Booth sneered at me.

Richard grabbed my hand and led me through the informal dining area, and into a large, all-white sitting room. Perched on one end of a regal looking couch was a woman with ice blonde hair and gumball sized diamonds in her ears. "Richard, sweetie," she said, and held out her arms.

Richard stooped over her and gave her a hug. "Hi, Diane."

"And who is this?" Diane flicked her eyes over me, lazily. I noticed the empty martini glass on the table next to her and wondered what number she was on.

"This is my girlfriend, Josie," Richard said, and I couldn't help but swell up a little inside. I liked being his girlfriend.

"Nice to meet you Mrs."—

"Please," she snapped, "Diane."

"Diane," I finished.

"What an adorable purse," she said, nodding to my most prized possession hooked over my wrist—the Alexander Wang bag I got on super duper sale from The Outnet. This was a woman who knew her Saks Fifth Avenue like the back of her hand, and adorable was a very choice word. She may as well have said nice last-season bag, you sad little poor.

I gave her a thin smile. "Thank you."

From yet another room, deeper inside the house, we heard an angry call. "Am I eating alone?" There was no one else it could be but Richard's father.

Diane uncrossed her legs and heaved herself off the couch. "Oh, goody. It's dinnertime."

Richard's father looked nothing like I had pictured him—which had been short, fat, and bald, face the color of a heart attack. There was something distinguished and Harrison Ford handsome about him—which I guess means Richard will age well. It was really the only positive I could find about meeting this man.

Richard introduced his father to me as Robert. Robert was already cutting into his steak, and he barely looked as me as he grumbled, "Nice to meet you, Jessie."

"Josie," Richard corrected, and Robert just grunted.

The first few minutes of dinner were eerily silent. Once Robert had put a decent sized dent in his meal, he called for Allen. "Bring me the Herald from earlier this week!"

A few seconds later, Allen scurried into the room, a limp newspaper in his hand. He placed it on the table in front of Robert and Robert smacked his hand against the front page. The headline read: Drunk Long Island Mother Causes Near-Fatal Car Wreck.

"Do you see this?" Robert roared. "What a fucking disgrace."

"Really," Diane agreed, flicking her hair off her shoulder haughtily.

Richard put his steak knife down. "Is this why I'm here? So you can tell me how badly mom screwed up again?" He took a sip of his wine. "Jesus, I know."

Robert picked up the paper, the corners shaking with rage. "You're here because I want to know how the fuck your mother can afford to drive a BMW when she's slinging burgers for pennies."

I glanced at Richard, his face was white. "How should I know?" he muttered.

"You bought it for her, didn't you?"

Richard didn't say anything, and Robert demanded, louder this time, "Didn't you?"

"What the fuck is it to you?" Richard said, and Diane gasped theatrically. She was loving this.

Robert slammed the paper down on the table. "That's it. You're cut off. Effective immediately."

Richard responded with a wry little laugh. He tossed his napkin on the table and stood up. "You've just taken away the only reason I bother to speak to you two times a year. I should thank you, Dad." Richard pulled my chair away from the table and grabbed my hand. "Sorry," he said, "we can't stay for dessert."

And then Richard was pulling me through the house, back out the way we came. We were both breathing hard, throbbing with adrenaline, by the time we climbed into the car. "Holy shit," I said, half-laughing, half-gasping. "Your father is terrifying."

"Well, you never have to deal with him again," Richard said, looking over his shoulder as he backed the car out of the turnaround at the front of the house.

"Are you going to be okay?" I asked. "I mean, financially."

"This is the kick in the ass I need," Richard said, "and it means I never have to speak to him again. I'd say it's a win-win."

I jumped, startled, as we collided into one of the cars in the driveway. I arched in my seat to see that the trunk of our car had left a dent in the antique Jag behind us. "Oh my God."

Richard gave me a wicked smile. "Whoops," he said, and peeled out of the driveway.





63 comments:

  1. Wow. Richard's father is a jerk, but I can also understand why he would be upset at Richard for buying his mom a car knowing about her addiction. No wonder Richard has some issues to deal with, but turned out as down to earth as he did.

    Lifebyaleah.blogspot.com

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  2. Ohhhh my goodness. This was insane! Richard's family seems horrible. Honestly, I'm a little surprised that Josie acted out a bit though. Obviously it's good that she was standing up for herself to Booth, because he was downright rude. Still, insulting your boyfriend's family right away, even if they don't get along, usually isn't the best idea!
    I wonder what will happen with Richard? He's still jobless, right?

    Can't wait for next week!
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    Replies
    1. I respect you opinion, but I think I would do the same. I dont care who is it, you should never let anyone treat you like that.
      ps, love the name of your blog :) I'll check it out!

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    2. Ditto. First intro or not, you insult my man, I will find a way to get in a dig of my own. Family or not.

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  3. Replies
    1. Horrid just like Richard.

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  4. Wow I feel really bad for Josie and Richard but at least maybe this will give him motivation to find another job or start his own company.

    I'm starting to like Richard more and more.

    I've just started a new blog and hope you will check it out!!!!

    http://www.livinglaughinglovingboston.blogspot.com

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  5. Sounds like Josie is gonna be a suga momma!!! Can we get to LA already!'!-

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    Replies
    1. Suga momma? How so? :)

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    2. She is going to be supporting Richard because he has no money from his Dad and no job!

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  6. Oh my!! Good on ya Richard :D

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  7. Richard's family sounds absolutely horrendous.. I'm surprised he turned out fairly normal. I was expecting bad, but I wasn't expecting THAT bad. Sheesh.

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  8. Hopefully Richard didn't dent the loaner car he was driving! What a wonderful family he has. Wow.
    Maybe this will be a new leaf for him and Josie!

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  9. Booth is a dick. Glad Josie put him in his place immediately. This isn't the last we hear from Richard's father, I'm sure of that. mum

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    Replies
    1. Indeed. Guys like that feed on power and control. He wants his puppets to dance, he's not cutting those strings.

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  10. Wow, Richard's family is horrible. Like another poster, I can understand why his father was upset that Richard purchased a car for his mom knowing that she had issues with alcohol. I'm not saying that his reaction or his actions are warranted, because they aren't. I hope his father cutting him off truly does motivate Richard to do something great with his life, maybe start his own business or something. I can't wait to read more.

    One criticism, being a Long Island (Lawn Guyland) girl myself, most people aren't that superficial and look down on those who went to public school. Anyways, I love the blog but I had to defend my fellow Long Islanders...lol.

    http://crazyadventuresinny.blogspot.com/

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  11. Am I the only one who pictured Booth like Dick Casablancas a la 'Veronica Mars' fame? I hope he shows up again!

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    Replies
    1. Hahah no but that's a great comparison!!

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  12. I dont know if its just my laptop being annoying, but I use Firefox to view this blog and it seems like the layout is messed up. the header is really stretched out and I cant see anything on the side bar that I know used to be on the right side that had your twitter feed and the archives

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    1. nevemind! just refreshed and it showed up again

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  13. I love this blog but it's become more about Richard and not Josie. It's become heavy and no longer an easy fun read that takes us away from our own life issues. I want more fun and less Richard. I'm sorry if I'm the only one feeling like this.

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    1. I think that's a valid point, but for me even this heavy stuff has given me an escape. I really like seeing more of Richard's personal life because it means that Josie is being more involved with a guy for once. I love Richard for Josie, though. I know there is going to be some drama for them with LA and Peter, but I would love to see them somehow work it out. Great job, Jessica! I read these every week!

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    2. I find the Richard story line to be a drag. He's holding Josie back, she's getting engulfed in his drama instead of being happy and enjoying life.

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    3. Yep. Add on the fact he's unemployed and now financially unstable, he's going to be a burden on Josie and her career.

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    4. Josie needs lightness and joy in her life not Richard. Way to be mature hitting into your dads car with someone else's car and laughing about it. Richard could save a puppy from a burning house and he still wouldn't appeal to me. He's a jerk and the only connection he has with Josie is sexual.

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  14. Richard is a total snoozefest. Apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I don't care about his parents and I don't care about him. Justin and Ian were better than him.

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  15. I like Richard & Josie together. I think they balance each other out very well! :)

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  16. I welcome Richard's drama, it's an important part of understanding his character and excusing some of his previous emotional disconnect and then to top it off, shows that he cares about Josie by bringing her there. It seems like this break with his family was something he really needed and that being with Josie gave him the strength he needed to do it. I know he was "busted" with the car for his mom thing, but still seems like he's maturing and become stronger since having started to date Josie. I think before this, he could have went to LA, but now he'll have to stay back and get a job (which was probably the point of this plot change). I Just hope he does get a job so that there's no drama. While I'm not anti-Peter at all, I do think that Richard deserves a fair shot with Josie after all the opening up he has done with her and her having told him she loves him. Whatever happens to them, I'd be disappointed if Peter or money issues ended up coming into all of this too soon. Their break-up should have real substance after all of this build up and intensity.

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  17. While it's commendable that Richard stood up to his father and said he doesn't need the money, how is he going to help his mom? Who's going to pay for the legal, hospital and rehab bills? Richard's mom is becoming the new Elizabeth. How much will Josie be willing to tolerate when her issues become too much for Richard to handle? What happens if he lashes out at Josie in a moment of anger and that becomes the last straw?

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    Replies
    1. I can definitely see Richard lashing out at Josie. Aggression is second nature to him.

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    2. Richard's actions when he's drunk should be a giant red flag for Josie.

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    3. I totally agree. I don't think we've ever read Richard being a nice drunk.

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  18. Well, I do think Richards family is awful but I have to say his dad was right. You don't buy a BMW for a known drunk. You don't buy her one period. That was not a smart move. I don't think this blog is turning into Richards saga. We do need to understand why Richard acts the way he does in his relationship to Josie.
    I am curious about what happens next in LA. Richard may have his hands full helping mom and what's a girl across the country from her boyfriend supposed to do?
    This is good!!
    Oh & like mum's posts. Very insightful!
    Amy

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  19. I agree that Richard should not be buying a car for a known drunk. That's not a responsible thing to do. The risks involved are just too high. I mean, if his mum killed someone, how do you even live with that?

    I am honestly curious with what's going to happen to Richard, financial-wise now that he is cut off from his trust fund.

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  20. As dramatic as it made the exit, it was an asshat move for Richard to deliberately hit the Jaguar while driving his friend's car! Interested in seeing how it plays out with Josie's move to LA and him needing to find a job.

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  21. I am just curious if people follow these plots or they just read one post and start judging.

    Richard bought his mum the car because she was supposed to have changed, having gone to rehab and all. Just because she broke her promise and relapsed, doesn't mean Richard should be blamed for it. Again he was really sorry and regretted the kind gesture which could have caused a death due to his mom's recklessness.

    It is nice for a change learning more about Richard, instead of it always being about Josie's drama. The two of them have quite evolved and I really love them together, I happen to think they compliment each other and long may this storyline continue.

    Again thank you Jessica for the awesome blog.

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  22. So, basically, Richard is disappointed by his Mom's reckless driving so he behaves recklessly and damages two cars, both of which don't belong to him. Hypocrite.

    I have a feeling Josie will get tired of the drama Richard's family will possibly bring. She quickly became tired of Elizabeth's sh*t when Josie and Peter were together, I highly doubt she will stick around with Richard the prima donna and the fact he will have no money now. He used to be an unemployed and "filthy rich" as he put it. Now he's an unemployed man child.

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    1. Elizabeth and richards family aren't similar at all. First off the first time josie met elizabeth it was at a dinner that Peter had invited her to and then promptly ignored her for Elizabeth the entire night and if i remember right josie was pretty certain Peter cheated on her with Elizabeth before he left her for Elizabeth. Richard having a pos family is nothing compared to Peter being close too his ex. If anything richards devotion to his mom is admirable a little misguided but admirable. I feel it shows that he is capable of being just as devoted to josie In tough times. He's obviously putting In an amount of effort with her that he never did with Any other girl which ill admit isn't very hard since he's only had 2 girlfriends. it is easy to see that he's improving though and making a genuine attempt to make her a part of his life. Also to those who say he uses his family issues for attention that makes no sence josies the only one he's told and he was too embaresed to tell her for a wile if that was his goal we probably would have known about his family from the begining.

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    2. Yet he runs to confide in Nina instead of Josie? I think when Josie is in LA he'll make a play for Nina. This whole poor me persona Richard has is annoying. He has no redeeming quality.

      As for Peter it was never proven he cheated with Elizabeth. In fact Josie the first time made out with Peter 2.0 at the bar when she was angry at Peter. Second time she was making out with Richard after her premier. I don't wasn't Josie with Peter but she can do better than Richard.

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    3. I confide in my fiance's sister. I guess that means I'll make a play for her next holiday?

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    4. Maybe you can't read, because I didn't mention anything about Elizabeth's family. Get your facts right, Anonymous at 3:45PM.

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  23. It's nice to get some insight into Richard's family. It explains a lot of his behavior, and it makes me want to root for him because he's doing his best to rise above his parents' bad behavior and poor decisions.

    I'm excited to see where this story line goes!

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    1. Rising above his parents' bad behaviour and poor decision? By damaging someone else's car with one he is borrowing from a friend? Richard is just as pathetic as his family.

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  24. I said he's doing his best. I don't think he's perfect. I think he wants to be better than his dad.

    I'm not really sure why your comment is so hostile on a fictional blog.

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  25. I'm with the people here saying that even though his dad is clearly a dick, he was right about this being wrong. Richard should not have bought her a car, or even be giving her money. that is enabling her. I'm not heartless, my own mother was an alcoholic before she got better. Richard giving his mother money after she is responsible for hurting his sister and continues to drink is so wrong. I get she's his mom, but that bugged me.

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  26. Wow this has a nice twist to what I thought I would be reading. It was interesting though. I was a little bit amused as well. I must say that I like it.

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  27. I have been following this blog since Jessica started at Cosmo & I have been so hooked from day one! I just have to say... GREAT JOB! I have always been #teampeter, but I have to admit that Richard has been very interesting lately. I wonder how things will turn out when Josie & Peter go to LA & how things will be for Richard now that he has been cut off financially.

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  28. Since he doesn't have a job, why can't Richard come with her to LA

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    Replies
    1. ohhhh, i didnt think about that!!

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    2. dude thats what i have been saying all along!! :)

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  29. What a mess, what a miserable old fart, so glad for Richard that he will be past that now. Cant wait for the next post :) This blog just keeps getting better and better

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  30. If Richard didn't want his dad to know he bought his mom a car, maybe he should have went more low key than a BMW...Just a thought.

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