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This shit should have been on Oprah

Back when I was seven years old I came home from school and saw three-dozen roses on the dinning room table. I asked my mom what the occasion was; It wasn't her birthday or their anniversary. She told me "some woman gave them to your father at work." Now I'm thinking, I've watched a lot of television and I know what this means. Dad is having an affair. This is horrible. I know what is going on, why isn't mom freaking out?

A couple nights later a very beautiful and seductively dressed woman came to the door. My father called me over and said to my brother and I, "Now Boys, I have someone here I want you to meet. This is Alexis, She's my sister, your aunt." "And you have five other aunts and uncles and seven cousins that you've never met. And also a grandmother"

You can imagine how confused I was... I never had any holes in my family that I knew of. Both my mom's parents died when I was little and her only brother lived in Hollywood. I saw my dad's parents all the time and he only had one sister who lived in Laguna. Who is the woman I thought was my grandma- is she my step grandma? Is there such a title? Where did these mystical Aunt uncles and so forth come from and why have I never heard of them before? Were we supposed to be looking for them? It turns out that it was just as confusing for my parents.

When my dad was really young, about a year old his mother died. Or at least that's what his father told him. He grew up thinking he was an only child until his father remarried a woman who already had a daughter. So my aunt in Laguna is a step aunt. What really happened is sort of a mystery. There are actually several ideas as to what really happened. Some of the speculations are more hush hush than others.

The generally accepted story is that my grandmother had two kids before she married my grandfather and my grandfather threatened to take those kids away during the divorce if she didn't agree to his terms. Why would she have to agree and what where the terms? In those days the man was the breadwinner the one who could afford to raise a child. He could have claimed she couldn't afford to raise the kids and get custody of them. His terms were simple, he got my father and she would never see him again or try to contact him ever. She agreed. Why did they get a divorce in the first place? This we are not sure of either. I've never been brave enough to ask, but there is a theory.

Another more controversial theory is that Penny, the sister closest in age to my father is also my grandfather's daughter. Dad kept one kid and mom got the other kid. They look more similar than any of the other kids. My grandmother married a total of Seven times and had seven proposals in her last year of life. She was a looker!

The more controversial theory is that after my father was born my grandfather went did his term in the military and when he got out he came home to find his wife married to another man. Enraged he threatened to have her thrown in jail for polygamy unless she agrees to the aforementioned terms. She agreed.

The two older brother and sister both remembered the missing brother and told the other children about him. When Lex (Alexis) grew up she hired a detective to find her brother. She found him and came into his work and gave him the surprise of his life.

It's really strange to think that I was there when my dad met his mother, when my dad met most of his brothers and sisters. It crazy to think that all of my dad's brothers and sisters would never all be together under one roof even for a moment. My dad's oldest brother Nick, he would only see alive three times. During the one family gathering that everyone was in the same town, Kay, who lived at McMerdo station in Antarctica and now lives in Australia or New Zealand, showed up really late and only stayed for a twenty minutes. During the twenty minutes she was at the event, Penny had been gone to the store. When she got back she was so pissed off, I have never since seen her that upset.

Since then Nick and my grandma have died, Kay has distance herself from most of the family (for reasons unknown to me), and Lex now lives a block away from her brother and sees him almost every week.

Interesting facts about my family- Kay has a daughter named Jay. Penny used to work as a concierge for the jet set at lady luck hotel and was the inventor of the roving change carts you see at casinos now. She got the idea while getting a meal on a plane from a flight attendant. My dad has another brother named Dwight. His youngest and craziest sister is named Zendra, which stands for some weird way of saying no more kids.

I really feel cheated out of being on Oprah!


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 6th, 2004 07:48 am (UTC)
I am so confused!
Your family is as screwed up as mine! Nice to know more about you Monkey.


Jun. 9th, 2005 09:35 pm (UTC)
How funny. I was in my early teens when my family decided to tell me that I wasn't related to everyone in quite the ways that they had originally represented to me.

Mysterious new relatives didn't show up, though, until I was in my mid-20s. Heh. : )
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )