At some point my grandmother decided that maybe it would make me feel better if they went ahead and adopted me. By this point I was 13, maybe 14...I'm not completely certain - but it was around that time.
Now, why, after 13 years would you decide that adopting me would make any difference, I have no idea. They'd had legal custody of me since I was 5 months old. It's not like anyone else wanted me, so I have no clue. But - that is what she decided they should do.
I recall arguing with her because I wanted to change my name. I hated the name Sharon. It was boring and weird and nobody else was named Sharon. I also hated my last name "Hobbs". The kids would always sing the Mickey Mouse song spelling my name. S-H-A -- R-O-N -- H-O-B-B-S
She did not approve of that. I even tried to just get her to let me change the spelling of my name. Had I known I could have become just a symbol, then maybe I could have chosen that. I could have been a square, seems fitting for the time. "The kid formerly known as Sharon" It was not to be though. I remained me, Sharon. Which in Hebrew means "plain" I guess it was perfect.
So, the adoption is complete, still don't know why. But now my real father is my brother, my mother becomes my sister-in-law. My cousins are my nieces and my aunt and uncle are now my sisters and brothers. Confused yet? Ya, try jumping down that rabbit hole when you're stoned. Speaking of which...
My real dad, having gotten divorced from the Latino wife and her 5 kids, was now working over off Main in KC. He was coming around the house a few times. He tells me he's working at a strip club and lives in the building. That strip club was the iconic and notorious Ray's Playpen.
Ok, I'm like 14 years old - of course I find this fascinating. Did I want to go check it out? Well, sure! What a great idea! Every father wants to take their little girl to a strip club, right?
I had a friend staying over that night, and for the life of me I can not remember who it was. But he said she could come but we needed to try to dress "older". You had to be 18 to get in. I was all like "Ya, we got this" Me, being a scrawny, flat chested, pimple faced geek...how the hell did I seriously think I was gonna look 18?
I don't recall all the details, but I do remember walking into the place and seeing larger than life dildos hanging all over the walls, videos with graphic images, magazines and everything else you can imagine, and an older giant man my real dad jokingly called "Tiny", of course.
We went upstairs to his place. I recall it being dark and I don't remember much about it but I did have my first Yoohoo there. It was delicious! As we left we had to stop by and say hello to a couple of the stripper chicks.
Ok, who the fuck takes a kid to a strip club? I mean seriously? WTF! At the time I thought it was fucking awesome, but as a parent I'm completely horrified.
Later that same week, my real dad comes by and we are sitting outside talking. He decides to smoke some weed and tells me to go get my grandad's pipe. (He smoked a pipe ALL the time, because cigarettes were bad for him, lol)
He loads the pipe up and lights it and hands it to me. First time getting stoned and it is with my real dad...
At some point I injured myself, probably fell down laughing or something so I got the brilliant idea to make an ice pack by putting ice in a ziplock bag and melting the bag edges to seal it.
The next morning my grandfather woke up to find his pipe sitting on the kitchen table in a puddle of water from a leaky melted mess of a plastic bag. All with a lovely note saying "I hope you enjoy this as much as I did"
I didn't really see my real dad again for quite a while. He didn't resurface till the shit really blew up a year later.
But, of course, that's another story.