Dont Mince Words


The secret lives of mothers 0

Posted on November 15, 2017 by Marna

My brother rarely calls me. When he has to put me on speaker so his wife can hear me react, I know it’s going to be good.

“Some lady who is researching ancestry called and believes mom had a child in 1952 in northern Virginia,” he said.

I doubled over laughing. “HAHAH. No way. Well, I guess it’s possible. It kind of explains the way she treated me and would never let me date or go out,” I replied.

Barbara did not have an awesome childhood in rural North Carolina. The summer of her junior year in high school, she went to northern Virginia to stay with her aunt and uncle. She had told me that she was malnourished because the family was so poor and they had a hard time feeding everyone. After she completed high school, she returned to northern Virginia to live with the aunt and uncle and begin a career as a secretary. Or so I thought.

Prior to this phone call, this was all we knew about her early life. Now, thanks to DNA tests and ancestry.com, people can begin to understand their past. We had a “hit” because my mother’s sister, 15 years her junior, took the DNA test. The researcher was able to connect the dots…dates/ages and determine my mother was, most likely, the grandmother of the woman looking.

I volunteered to take the DNA test to confirm the linkage. While my saliva was in the lab, I went to an event in North Carolina. My ancestry aunt said there was no way my mother had a kid. “She would of had an abortion. Even back then she would of found a way.” True. Barbara was very pro-choice. But what happened between graduating in 1950 and having a child November 1952?

My mother’s other sister, who is only four years younger than her, was at the event. I explained the situation and asked her what she knew about my mother moving to northern Virginia. She said she was up there for a bit, but then moved to Richmond, Virginia to work at a department store. “I believe it was called Thalhimer’s,” she said. This was another interesting factoid my mother never mentioned. When I moved to Richmond for grad school, she never said she’d ever lived there. Why move to Richmond where there were the same department stores in downtown D.C.?

By the time I returned home, the results were in. I had a half-niece. The researcher passed on the emails and I contacted my new niece. She said her mother never cared to know who her biological mother was. She loved her adoptive parents. However, this woman really wanted to understand the family and medical history. I gave her some medical details and personality traits of Barbara and I haven’t heard from her since.

I was ready to unravel more of this story. I contacted an archivist for one of the homes for unwed mothers. I’d found someone who could research employee records for Thalhimer’s. Then I realized it just didn’t matter.

My life with Barbara started in 1966. What she experienced as a young woman in a large metro area is the secret she took to her grave. I will remember her as the mother who took me to Planned Parenthood and continuously said (even into my 30’s) “don’t you ever get pregnant.”

I kept that promise.

Ghost and hey boo 0

Posted on May 20, 2017 by Marna

You would think, at a certain age, men and women would figure out dating.

When Andy said he wanted to be exclusive, but his actions said otherwise, I didn’t hear from him and he never heard from me. Mutual ghosting. However, this is Richmond and the pool is small, so I figured he would circle back around.

He contacted me two months later through OKCupid inbox and asked if I’d like to go out. I told him I didn’t think, based on his actions, he was looking for a monogamous relationship which countered what he told me he wanted.

“I NEVER said I wanted to be exclusive,” he said.

“You did, actually, on Valentine’s Day. We had a pretty in-depth conversation about life and STDs. We don’t appear to want the same things now, so I wish you the best in your search,” I told him.

Was that the end of Andy?  No. Another two month cycle elapsed and he contacted me with a new screen name.

“Hey, you want to hook up?” he asked.

While no means no, when are 50 year old men going to realize that if I wanted a hookup, it would be with a hot, buff 30-something with a cougar complex.

NEXT.

Your one and only…not so much 0

Posted on March 20, 2017 by Marna

Andy and I never seemed to be able to connect. In the Fall, we met on Bumble then I guess we got distracted by the holidays. He resurfaced right after my birthday in January.

We hit it off on the phone and met for a drink. He seemed like a perfectly decent Mr. Right Now with growth potential. We were on date three or four when he asked me if I’d like to be exclusive. “I’m not interested in dating multiple people. It’s exhausting,” he admitted.

Great. Me either. So we had our dates. We talked about weekends away. We did couples shit.

Until. . .

Richmond is a small town. When you narrow it down to age-appropriate men, divorced, no kids in the house, educated, and tall, it’s a one-horse town. So, when I go out with someone, I always check in with my divorced girlfriend who also online dates to do an asshole check and to also ensure we don’t cross-pollinate. When I started dating Andy, I texted her with his online handle. She didn’t know him.

Imagine my surprise, a month into the relationship, when my girlfriend texted me to let me know TennisGuy423 was chatting her up. “What do you want me to do?” she asked. “Tell him Marna is home from CrossFit and he should call her.”

He immediately left the chat and, as you would imagine, I never heard from Andy again. I’m not sure what his operational definition of “exclusive” is. I’m just thankful I have good friends. The dating pool just got one man smaller, if you can call that a “man.”

 

  • About Marna

    Marna’s writing career started as a Pentagon intern. Early exposure to $500 toilet seat press releases made her appreciate creative nonfiction. Now she has more than 25 years of senior-level marketing and communications success working with Fortune 100 companies, government, nonprofits, small businesses, startups, and agencies.

    Stats: 374 Posts, 131 Comments

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