Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Cereal Aisle Gossip
I haven't seen her in about a decade .
She looks great, pretty much the same at 70 as she did at 60.
She and Fitz sold their home of 40 years and downsized to a patio home with no maintenance. Which explains why she was suddenly shopping in our neck of the woods.
After all the pleasantries and the usual question about how one's garden is doing in this drought she said,
" Fishy, do you remember my grand daughter Caitlyn? She is getting married today to a High-wa-yen".
Before I could put my tongue in park I said,
" As opposed to a Low- wa-yen?"
She laughed, generous as always in her forgiveness.
" No! Fishy she's marrying up with a boy from Hawaii "
" Then why on Earth are you standing here by the Fruit Loops? Shouldn't you be down at Adeles drinking mimosas and getting polished?"
She laughed again.
" Well Phyllis, you don't look sad about it so you must be a thoroughly modern Granny".
The truth is Phyllis and Fitz are allergic to weddings.
Caitlyns mother, Eryn. had a few difficulties in that area. She walked away from Caitlyns "donor dad" a few hours before the ceremony. She walked away from her second daughter's donor too. When the girls were 6 and 4, Eryn got reacquainted with, and then actually married, her high school sweetheart. She managed to stay put for almost a month before leaving. She forgot to take the girls with her so eventually Caitlyn called Phyllis and Fitz and asked if they would come and fetch she and her sister. Thing was Eryn was going to work everyday, talking on the phone to Phyllis regularly and just never got around to mentioning she'd left her new hubby and her daughters. When Phyllis confronted Eryn about this oversight she said, "Well, I knew you and Daddy would be fussed about this so I was trying to spare you til after all the bills had come in for the wedding. I'm real sorry to disappoint y'all. Again."
In the midst of this family drama is when I first met Phyllis. She and Fitz went on and remodeled their house and made sure the girls had a stable life. They added a separate suite above the garage for the times Eryn would be living there too. It all worked out. Just last year Eryn got married and stayed put.
Thinking back to what a lovely child Caitlyn was I asked Phyllis where they were registered.
She replied, " Well, they didn't do all that. They set up a website about ' their story' which they update every few days. There's a place on there where you can make a " donation to happiness" and then they post about what made them happy."
Very modern indeed.
Phyllis gave me a pat on the arm and said,
" I know Fishy, I know! It sure shocked me and Fitz too"
"Phyllis, have you met him?"
" We met him at Christmas time. He came home with her then to meet everybody. He's a little bitty thing. But he's real cute being a mix and all. His mother is Portuguese and his father is a native islander. He seems devoted to Caitlyn, but Fishy I have concerns because he says his religion is nature."
" Well maybe Caitlyn will be able to bring him into the fold".
" This all seems so different than anything I ever expected. You know Fitz and I came up with rules. You courted for a year, were engaged for 2 years, married for life. We've rarely missed a service or a bible study in all these years and we've gone on just about every marriage retreat the Presbyterian church has offered.
Times change. I guess Caitlyn has made a necessary choice by moving across the country and finding her own way so far from any family. Her High-wa-yen has a good education, a fine job, he's 29, never been married, hasn't fathered any children and doesn't have diseases. These days that's about all you can hope."
To hear something so bleak delivered with a smile and a laugh is ... disturbing.
Made me wish they were handing out mimosas instead of apple juice in the next aisle over.
I cannot begin to imagine what Blowfish would think if I came home to say I thought the pertinent criteria for a mate was no diseases, no donor children, no divorces, educated and employed.
I will never , ever understand women who spill their guts like that.
Telling every detail of everything they know.
I also offered up a prayer of hope that Phyllis's viewpoint of our current culture is an aberration not the norm.
But I think I heard a statistic recently which indicated only 50 percent of couples living together today are married. This disturbs on countless levels. It's even a bit frightening. Not because I am the parent of a 20 something daughter. No. It's about the speed at which our culture is changing. Like the other side took over the world while some of us had our heads down hoeing our rows, paying taxes and gratefully making it to our Sunday pews.