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A Grandma’s Son’s Wife is Having A Baby

May 14, 2009

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.

12 Comments
  1. May 14, 2009 6:04 pm

    Oh lord, a military man too. Doesn’t bode well.

  2. atheistwoman permalink
    May 15, 2009 12:41 am

    Nevertheless, who cares what Fuckface thinks, when the girl is born, he (the paternal grandfather) legally cannot be around her anyway.

    And thank god for that small favor.

    I have no idea what to think of the situation, if it is Gerald’s or not, or why he is not saying anything. I do however, think the family should accept the child into the family even if she is biologically Gerald’s or not. Any other attitude would show a distinct obsession with the ownership of women. And it would also be a shaming of the child if people went around, suggesting she was not Gerald’s and Gerald and Tabitha stayed together. When I was very small I had white blonde hair, which people used to shame me with, as everyone else in the family, including my father, had black or dark brown hair. People would suggest to me, when I was very small, that I was not my father’s child but the child of the milkman, who had also been blonde, I suppose. And they all seemed to be forgetting that when my maternal grandmother, the only other living relative who did not have the genetics of my mother’s paternal grandmother, my maternal grandmother’s mother-in-law, had also been blond as a child, whose hair gradually darkened to brown as she aged, as mine did as well. And they were also forgetting that these are not the sort of jokes one makes to a five year old anyway.

    I am a bit confused though, who is the grandma you are referring to, is it yours?

    • May 15, 2009 12:45 am

      LOL, the grandma would be Kaye. Perhaps I need an article before grandma, as in A Grandma or The Grandma. I just like calling my friends grandma, because I cannot think of myself as one.

    • atheistwoman permalink
      May 15, 2009 12:50 am

      You heard it from me first (AW puts on town-crier cap)
      “AGEIST, AGEIST, AGEIST.”

    • May 15, 2009 12:55 am

      To be honest, I don’t call my friends anything to their face that they don’t call themselves. So, if she does not say grandma/grandmother, I don’t/won’t. (I just entertain the thought in my head, and here. LOL!) However, I did have a friend (a childhood friend), a man, who would not stop calling me granny after I told him I did not find it funny. It is not because I don’t want to be known as a grandmother, but something about the word granny creeps me out (Have you seen the Spongebob when Gary runs away and an old woman finds him and feeds him too much cookies and deviled eggs?). I’m no granny. If it is me being an ageist, then I will have to work through that. It is not as if I am denying that my child has had a child, it is just that I am stuck on what I’m called.

      But your town crying has been noted. 🙂

  3. atheistwoman permalink
    May 15, 2009 12:42 am

    And also lets really hope that Gerald does not revenge upon her later…

  4. May 15, 2009 12:52 am

    I taunted my youngest brother when he was little. He was born when I was six years old and I was highly disappointed that he was a boy. I would tell him he was found in a dumpster. Of course, I got in trouble for saying it, but I did keep saying it. And as soon as I was old enough to understand what whose the father meant I concluded that my father (which may or may not be my father) was in fact not his father. I still don’t believe my mother’s seven children have the same father. It would not be a big deal, but I grew up hearing her readily calling women whores and sluts, including her own daughters and granddaughters.

    • atheistwoman permalink
      May 15, 2009 1:06 am

      Aah, but it is different when it is a little girl saying it to her little brother. What this was with me, was adult men who had all at various times wanted to fuck my mother, and if not my mother, my mother’s friends, telling me that my mother had been fucked by the milkman, and not in fact by my father. And there is the added connotation that I as, female, am not really part of the family, though they, the adult men who are not at all related to anyone, would be. These were the same men who would later want to fuck me when I was no longer five but twelve…so there is an insidiousness to it that there is not in your situation with your brother.

    • May 15, 2009 1:19 am

      Yes, yes, forgive me I was too flippant. I am sorry. Of course, the situations are not the same. My guilt got the best of me and caused me to diminish your most valid complaint. I call what those men were doing, compulsory indoctrination, or I guess one could say compulsory heterosexuality, but I think there is enough of a nuance in the technique to branch out into a distinction. They want to fuck your mother. In their view, she is a whore already; you are the proof of that. Being married or not does not matter, she fucked before, thus, she is a whore. Without missing a beat, like an alcoholic procuring his next bottle, they turn to you, to ensure a future supply of whores, so, without thinking they ignite the psychological warfare. What better way to conquer than to damage the enemy’s psyche before she is old enough to enter the war. In other words, fuck them up as children and they will be ripe for the taking as adults. If the nasty bastards can even wait until adulthood. Too bad for them there are many many women who can persevere.

  5. atheistwoman permalink
    May 15, 2009 1:23 am

    Yes, you are very right. Though I did not think you were being flippant, I just do not particularly think that what you said to your brother was very bad at all.

  6. May 15, 2009 3:05 pm

    The subject of parentage is a sore one for me. My mother and I were ostracized from my father’s family because I was not his child. I didn’t know I wasn’t his child until I was quite a big girl, but his whole family did, of course, and they treated me and my mother horribly for it. Now, my sister, who is my father’s child, was never snubbed as badly as my mother and I were, but because she was shy, she was unwilling to join their welcoming embrace without me or mom close by; she essentially excluded herself by refusing to leave our side. She has no regrets, I am happy to learn, now that we are grown.

    It was all so strange, living through it because, of the two children in the house, I was actually the one who most resembled the man who was not my father. In public, people would say to me that I looked just like daddy, and to my sister they’d remark on her resemblance to my mother. But around my father’s family, it was always the opposite. “Sittin’ over there lookin’ just like your mama,” they’d sneer at me. Then, “Oh, look at daddy’s girl over there, with her cute self,” they’d say adoringly about my sister.

    I used to wish all the time that my mother had just taken me and run away, in that small window of time I don’t even recall from my own memories, when it was just my mom and me, before my dad and sister were there. I don’t know what ending it is I hope for, for your friend’s son’s wife and her child.

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