A Grandma’s Son’s Wife is Having A Baby
My good friend, Kaye from childhood son’s (Gerald) wife (Tabitha) is having a baby in July. The sex of the fetus has been confirmed, it is a girl. When she first told me that her daughter- in-law was having a baby, the first thing I did in my head is the math. I know. I do feel guilty, but have not unearthed enough guilt to feel ashamed, –yet. Why did I do the math first? I don’t know, maybe it is internalized misogyny from patriarchal conditioning that I have yet to free myself from. Perhaps I did the math because I know since Gerald and Tabitha have been married, they have lived apart, supposedly not due to conflict, but because her people live in NC and he is in the Navy and ships out of VA. Their four-year marriage has been a series of meeting up, after, I believe, she lived with him at the beginning for a little bit.
How do you think I am aware of the math? Well, last August instead of coming to see me, Kaye went to see her son because he was about to ship out. It was around her birthday (the end of August), and actually, Gerald had told his mother that he would be leaving exactly on her birthday in the wee morning hours; therefore he would not be able to call her on that day. So, in my head I started counting, September, October, November, December, January, February, March, April, May, –May should be the due date, or if we were to stretch it late April or early June. However, the due date is late July. Now I took my cues from Kaye, when she relayed this story to me, there were no tongue cluckings or Hmmmm or what do you think?, so I did not mention anything either.
Kaye called me a few days later and said Fuckface (his official name because he does not deserve any better) is yapping on about how the baby cannot possibly be Gerald’s. Fuckface is Gerald’s father, Kaye’s ex-husband. He is an ex because he fucked anything that moved and probably a few things that didn’t move. Fuckface even called me in 1987 when we all lived a few apartments down from each other. Him and his fake Barry White voice trying to tell me what he could do for me. I told him that when I hung up the phone I would be calling Kaye and informing her of his call, and he said no I would not because I would not want to risk passing up on the great opportunity he was extending to me. I did call. She did not leave him instantly, but she did a few months later. Still, that is not what earned him the name of Fuckface. That name came years later when he fought the courts (on the grounds she did not have a job and was on welfare too long) and won custody of their two children, –including taking her to court later when she started working for child support. At that time, the children were on the other side of fourteen so essentially they took care of themselves. He became an official Fuckface when his sixteen-year-old daughter’s sixteen-year-old friend filed a complaint that he had raped her. Interestedly, by the time all of this came to a head, the children were older, sixteen and eighteen, and had to go back to their mother because the court decided that he could not be around underaged children, the mother (Kaye) still had to pay him child support (the rearage and the additional amount required until the younger one turned eighteen). Last week was her final payment, —and the children are now in their twenties.
Nevertheless, who cares what Fuckface thinks, when the girl is born, he (the paternal grandfather) legally cannot be around her anyway.
Later, Kaye asked me what I thought about the dates. To me, it is a tough situation, because as a feminist how can I answer without hurting a woman (Tabitha). I told her that maybe Gerald lied to her about when his ship left. Children are not always truthful to their parents. I know when I was in my twenties, I was not trying to tell my mother all of my business even if it was not damaging information. Maybe he did not want to tell her that he did not ship out until a month later so he could go and be with his wife longer. Sometimes, some men and women actually create emotional drama that requires the adult child to juggle the parent and the spouse. However, Kaye gave me the name of the ship and we discovered that it did sail on her birthday. Then I told her that maybe he went on leave (holiday) about six weeks into the cruise. Again, no. She called and talked to the Command Master Chief under some pretense and found out that only emergency leave was granted for the first few months and her son had no emergency during that time. Therefore, if Tabitha delivers in late July (perhaps even early August), in all probability the baby is not Gerald’s (thus, not biologically Kaye’s or Fuckface’s).
Kaye goes on to say she will still be going to tend to mother and child after the birth and then she will know. Yes, I know. I have witnessed more drama than I can remember from grandmothers (and older aunts) who claim they can tell if a baby belongs to their precious male relative just by looking at said child. I tell her that maybe Gerald knows it is not his baby and does not care. Regardless, they are legally married, so, unless he is willing to spend a lot of money to divorce Tabitha and prove otherwise, it IS his baby. Then I started thinking what if Gerald is like his father Fuckface. What if Gerald, knowing, or suspicious that it is not his child is willing to take the baby now, but then take revenge on it later, when the girl is older. Now, I am horrified at the potential situation and don’t think I will approach the topic again unless Kaye needs to.