Thursday, July 16, 2009

Everyone comes from somewhere.

Most of us come from our mom and dad, or at least our mom. But some of us come from somewhere else. Sometimes we know where that somewhere else is - maybe our mother's sister who died young, or even sometimes our parent's daughter - but some of us lucky ones, we get to guess.

I have a birthday - just like my brother does, just like you do - but I also have a Gotcha Day. I came into the world on August 11, 1968, but I came into my family on September 13 that same year - Gotcha Day.

I've heard some stories as to how I came to be - the woman who I came from may have actually been a girl - 16 or so. She may have been from North (or South?) Dakota. She may have had an aunt (or cousin?) in Southeastern Michigan who she stayed with till I got where I was going. The man (or boy?) who helped her make me may have been French Canadian. I may have first been called Ruth.

But, if you know anything about my mom, you know that her words can't be trusted. It's not so much that she lies - I think that to be called a lie, it has to not be believed by the teller. It's more that she thinks something, and then it becomes true - at least for her. So, though Mom has told me these things, the only part I'm certain of is my birthday, and that's only because I have seen my birth certificate.

Mom and Dad have been together a crazy long time. Forty-five years and counting. Seems impossible, not only because of my own shattered marriage, but because I lived with them for a good part of that time and saw a relationship that still baffles me.

Mom is mean to Dad - really mean. They live in a house with pathways - there was never a sale she didn't feel compelled to attack. Dad escapes in a bottle with the TV as his backdrop. But, Dad always gets Mom undies for Christmas - even now. It's just a normal part of our holiday - Mom opens up the box, holds up some increasingly less skimpy and lacy panties for us all to see, and says something like, "Ooh - these are sexy!" He's always patting her on the butt, or telling her how beautiful she is. As I said, I'm baffled.

Andy, my little bro, does not have a Gotcha Day; somehow Mom and Dad managed to get him on their own. He doesn't much like to read, and isn't very good at it. But, he knows things that are pretty useful, like about cars and building stuff. He's a great liar, and is fully aware that he's doing it - usually to get me riled up.

My firm belief in nurture over nature is always called into question when presented with evidence concerning my self. I am nothing like them.

This is not bad. I love them. I know they love me.

I will likely never find where I came from, and the possibility of discovering I came from a place where things are different - where moms tell the real truth, dads give cozy slippers for Christmas, and little brothers look up to their sisters - is enough to keep me away.

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