Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sister "Hood"

I was coming down with a stomach flu the night Chastity called me to tell me I was going to be an aunt. I wasn't really in the mood to hear something like that, because as we all know, I don't take anything regarding reproduction and potentially screwing up other human beings' lives lightly.

"Who is the father?" I demanded.

I felt so nauseated.

"I don't know. Exactly. I mean, it's one of two guys. We had a threesome. One of the guys is bi. The other is my kind of like boyfriend or whatever and he doesn't want it. I told him and he took off and disappeared. The other guy -"

"The bi one?"

"Yeah. He said he would raise the baby as his, even though he thinks it's probably the other guy's."

"Is this a healthy way to raise a child?"

"Well, no of course not, but I want a baby."

"Do you think a baby would want you? How will you take care of it?"

"I don't know. I don't have any skills, I know. I could be a nanny and bring it with me or something."

"That's not realistic. What about adoption?"

"No way. I'm not carrying a baby just to give it to someone else. I want a family."

"So take your time, get your life in order and EARN a family. Find a nice guy, get married, make sure you can support yourselves and THEN have a family."

"I know. Should I get an abortion?"

Well yes, probably, but suddenly I just couldn't tell her to get an abortion. I couldn't do it. It was so weird. You think you believe one thing in theory but then when you're confronted with it and it's smacking you across the face, you might be surprised how you actually feel. That's what happened to me. I thought I wasn't affected by the Baptist brainwashing, but the only thing that came in my head was "Oh crap, if I tell this girl to get an abortion I am going to Hell." And it was a strong, shocking feeling to think that and to realize that fear still had a very strong grip on me and I hadn't even realized it.

Then I threw up until well into the next morning.

Chastity called me a couple days later.

"I need help. I think I want to have an abortion."

"Look, this has to be your decision alone. I will not tell you if you should or should not have an abortion. You got yourself pregnant. If you are grown enough to do that then you are grown enough to figure it out."

"Well fine. I'm getting an abortion."

"Well that is your choice and your choice is none of my business but I support you."

The next call I got, and you all have seen this coming, but I didn't, Chastity asked me for money to pay for the abortion.

"I'm so sorry, but I can't help you with that right now. I'm not financially in a position where I can do that because I'm in grad school."

"Then I'm going to have to wait and get a late term abortion then."

"I think you'll work it out."

A couple weeks pass and she calls me again to tell me that her life was in a bigger mess. Somehow miraculously, she'd raised the money, but her sister Charity had gone and told Ronald that Chastity was pregnant and he'd staged an intervention with people from the church to try to convince her to keep the baby and not murder his grandchild. She claims she told them all to shove it and went and had the abortion to spite them.

Here is where I started to call Bull. Shit.

I have an advanced technology BS detector. I'm like the freaking spy satellite that can spot a flea on a dog from outer space of bullshit detection. I should be a CIA interrogator.

I can't explain how I do it. It seems psychic, but it isn't. My theory on my superhuman bullshit detection is that I have just seen so damn much of it in my life that all of the subtle, tiny, nearly undetectable clues that people give off when they are engaging in some serious bullshitting have become imprinted on my subconscious, so now when I see them, something in me recognizes them and sends an alarm signal, which registers in me physically as an obvious "gut feeling." Or I'm psychic. Whatever.

I believe that Chastity had been telling me some truths about her background. I know because I experienced a lot of it and because other relatives had confirmed it. But some of it was bullshit.

I don't think she was a hooker. I don't think she was pregnant and I don't think was engaging in half the nonsense she said. The problem was that there was no one I could confirm her stories with because I didn't know anyone in that family.

I decide to keep Chastity at arm's length. I don't tell her when I visit and I relegate her to only the occasional phone conversation, email or Facebook chat now and then.

A year later she tells me she has her life in order. She's a nanny and she has a steady, hardworking boyfriend and they've moved in together.

The next call she's decided to rob the family she works for. The family went on vacation. She knew the alarm code. They didn't pay her enough, blah blah. She and the boyfriend break in and steal a bunch of jewelry and TVs and take it home. Once they get home, they feel guilty and keep all the stuff. She described a scene where the family came home and called her because she was such a comfort to them in times of crisis. She said she felt guiltier so she decided to go in the middle of the night and put all the stuff back in their yard so they'd find it in the morning.

BS detector going off again.

Allegedly this happens but it's not over because even though they have the stuff back, the case is still ongoing and they're closing in on her.

"What do I do?"

"Confess and turn yourself in."

Well, what else was I going to say?

The next phone call she tells me that she called the cops and told them and they said she and her boyfriend had to turn themselves in.

"So I was calling you because they're going to lock me up and I'll have to get bailed out and I was wondering if you could help me out with that."

"I'm really sorry again, but I am not in a position to do that."

"I really need your help."

"I didn't help you steal your employer's valuables, so I'm not helping bail you out."

"Dad will kill me."

"He already isn't speaking to you because you had an abortion and you know what, I'd kill you too if I were him."

I never thought I'd agree with Ronald on anything, but I had his back on this one.

I saw her at Pop's funeral and I held on to my purse. She had a friend drive her and she breezed in for the viewing and left immediately after the service and didn't come to the cemetery. I was really shocked at how she looked. Chastity is gorgeous. She's a blue eyed blonde, with Texas curls and a full figure. She's a bigger girl, but she looks more South Florida than North East. She looked like a hooker honestly.

I met Charity that day. Charity almost gave me a heart attack. She is the spitting image of Louise when Louise was young. I have never seen a child look so identical to her mother. It was disturbing how much Charity looks like Louise. But Charity seemed half normal. She was there with her boyfriend who was very normal and Charity was polite, though a little aloof. She added me on Facebook later, but we've never really talked and she didn't invite me to her wedding this past summer. I didn't expect her to. Apparently Chastity wanted her to and Charity told her that Ronald would hit the roof so she wanted to avoid drama. I get that. I didn't want to go anyway.

I went to Millpond in August and I went to Philadelphia to see Bella while I was there. Somehow I also ended up in New Jersey, but that's unrelated. Chastity got wind of my trip and wanted to get together. We were about an hour to an hour and a half away from each other and I told her I would meet her at a mall halfway because I needed a dress for my upcoming grand adventure to New Jersey. I get almost there when she calls to tell me that she can't make it because she had to get gas, tripped at the gas station and severely sprained her ankle. The BS detector went off again. The girl is just a mess. That was the last time I heard from her except for the occasional Facebook thumbs up. I sent her a Christmas card.

Last week she texted me that she was getting engaged but wasn't yet and not to tell anyone. I ignored it.

Last Saturday she texted me that now she was engaged and to call her. She ended up calling me and she told me that she was getting married in March and that she wanted me to be there so get my plane ticket. Coincidentally her marriage just so happens to be my Spring Break. I asked her how she was getting married so quickly and she gave me some cockamamie answer and I didn't promise to go.

For some reason, this dang BS detector will not stop sounding. What is it? Is it another set up for a big con? She's about due, since she asks me for money about once a year. You have to give her credit for both creativity and persistence and I haven't fallen for it yet.

It's gotten so bad that Bella (my cousin and best friend remember) and I just laugh over her tales.

This is what Bella and I concluded:

If Chastity is telling the truth, she is really, really messed up. If Chastity is lying, she is still equally messed up, just in a different way.

I also know she asked Mommom Jewell for money last year too and didn't get any, although Mommom doesn't know any of this stuff and honestly believes that Chastity is a good church girl still. Once Mommom told me that I was probably a little too wild for Chastity because even though I don't drink, I still do play cards. Yes people, you know my secret now. I play me some cards. I am a card player. Cards. Satan's paper rectangles. Jeez, my damned family never ceases to amaze me. Where did my grandmother come up with that one?

My husband thinks we should go to the wedding, because at least because it will be interesting. I think he has a hankering to go back to New Jersey or something.

"You can write about it," he says.

Like I don't have enough material.

Now excuse me while I go buck wild and play some cards. Uno cards no less.


Lunch Buckets said...

It breaks my heart to have to tell you this, but you just lost a reader. I mean it's one thing to have contraceptives in your HOME, and there's the whole secular book thing, but cards? Really? I am. so. disappointed. You probably dance and participate in mixed bathing as well.

Anonymous said...

I was raised in a very religious home much like what you've described-random mental and physical abuse disguised as "punishment", the belief that women need no more than a 6th grade education because they are just there to give birth, raise the children, homeschool them all, and be a good Prov. 31 wife(minus the selling goods outside the house because we all know that women are to be seen[in very modest clothing] and not heard.
I left at 18 because I didn't really feel like staying under my father's roof until some man from church asked my father if he could marry me, and I really didn't feel like filling anyone's quiver :) What's funny is that my leaving seemed to break the carefully constructed "story" that my father had created for the outside world, to the point that my mother was able to kick him out after a couple of years. Something you might be interested in(in a "oh my god, it's so horrible I can't look away" manner)
My dad thought they had the best ideas since abstinence sex ed.

Albany Jane said...

My gosh, UNO?!

No for real - I'd go if I had the extra cash, but it sounds like it could not happen at all, or be a huuuuge pain in the ass where everyone is hitting you up for favors.

Gloria P said...

Satan's paper rectangles. Amazing. I about died laughing.

Also, I'm going need you tone down on all that sinning. Uno--tisk tisk.

Anne said...

Make sure you keep your batteries fresh in your BS Detector...because you've got a looong road ahead of you with that one! Skip the wedding...even my BS Detector is going off on that one!

kerry said...

It's good that you've got such a
BS detector! So many people don't have a clue...

BeerPup said...

I imagine all her life she's been told a lot of horrible bullshit about you. She's coming up with scenarios she's been taught YOU would be in, and saying that she's in them, to gauge your reaction and see if they're true or not. Part of her wants them to be true, part of her wants them to not be.

And while she's at it, she's probably taking your words and twisting them to get a rise out of your dad: "WL said I should get an abortion!"

Next time she calls, tell her you can't make it because that's your night to attend Satanic church, and while God might forgive you for missing his church, the devil does NOT.

SkippyMom said...

Oh heck, go to the wedding. Just start a wild card game on the eve of it.

You will be the most popular guest there.

[For the love of everything, don't go - I swear she will line you up to PAY for everything. I know it]

Dayna said...

Lunch Buckets, sorry to see you go.
BeerPup is the smartest.

Wide Lawns said...

BeerPup I think is very, very right. Scary right.

Eric said...

Another great story WL. I have a really hard time picturing your poetry when I so deeply associated your voice with this great narrative.
Write a script, 10-14 pages Ill shoot it.

staticwarp said...

bs meter is right. after meeting so many pathological liars and drug addicts and combinations of the two over the years, i know exactly what you are talking about. it does kind of feel like a psychic power, to know when someone is lying their ass off.

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