I suggest that you sit down before reading this letter. It contains both good news and bad. As you are more than aware, my life has not been traveling an easy path of late. Each time I think things can’t get any worse; they do, and with a vengeance. That is the position I find myself in at the moment.
As you may remember from my last letter, there was a major media event surrounding the return of Mr. Spindleleg. For more than a week, the press bandied about our relationship and most of the bandying put a lurid spin on it. Needless to say, it did not please me to be the fodder of such speculation. The consequences to Mr. Spindleleg were immediate and extreme, however they were minor compared to what happened after the missionary association dismissed him.
Every person he had ever had contact with was contacted by one or more members of the press for comments. As you can imagine, most of them were complementary, but a few were not. It seems that there is a radical right wing within the association that failed to find it in their hearts to be tolerant of the situation. The opinions they expressed ranged from "he should be excommunicated," (I know that is a catholic term, but I don't know the protestant equivalent of the action) to "It's too bad burning at the stake has been outlawed in this country." And, if that wasn't bad enough, several less than kind remarks have been made by the sleazier media about his "package" as they referred to his male attributes. You can imagine the embarrassment this has caused him. Under the circumstances, he had moved into a hotel. He feels the press might drop the story sooner if he is not living under the same roof as I am. I told him it was foolish, but he insisted. Unfortunately, he also insists that I marry him to recover my good name. As your grandfather put it, "Nice of him to want to make an honest woman of you." My dear son, I don't need to be made honest by anyone for any reason. I have done nothing wrong. Even if I had, it's no one's business but mine. I'm beginning to feel like a teenager caught in the back seat of a car before the petting started and being punished for what I didn't do yet.
I started this letter by saying I had good news and bad news, well, here's the good news. I no longer have any financial problems. Your grandfather has paid off all our debts, and deposited over a quarter of a million dollars in my account. I don't think you immediate reaction of "THAT'S GREAT, MOM" will live long after you find out where he got the money from. Please, don't panic, it was gotten legally. It seems that your grandfather, without consulting me, has accepted two offers for his life story. The first is a book deal for a major publishing conglomerate, and the second is a movie of the week deal for one of the cable networks. I have forbidden him from even mentioning you children in either project, and insisted that there would be no interviews give here at the house. I dread the backlash when the family finds out about this. I think this will be the final straw for most of them. I can already see the legal ramifications as every member of the family rushes to court to get injunctions against him naming them in the book or the movie. I can also see the years we will spend in courtrooms fighting libel and slander suits brought by family members. Of course, first to visit a lawyer will be Great Aunt Emerald. Oh, while we're on that subject, her son never did show up at the hospital to visit her, and to my knowledge, no one has seen him since. Your sister and Pietra insist that her banishing Moloch in the name of all that is holy that is responsible for his disappearance. I will refrain from comment on that issue.
I fear that for the next few weeks my home will not be my castle. Your grandfather has technicians coming in to install his new computer set up, and instructor coming in to teach him how to use in, and then there is the ghost writer who is "helping" him write the book. Add that to the potential visits from irate relatives and you have some idea of what my life is like at the moment. I know that "into each life a little rain must fall," but does mine always have to be cloudbursts and hurricanes.
I have given up writing in my journal. I found it very relaxing and useful, however, after the recent events, I think the less people know about me the better, and having a written record of my thoughts might be dangerous if it fell into the wrong hands, namely your grandfather's or his agents.
I fear that the last publicity blitz has forever damaged any chance of a loving reconciliation between your brother and me. He refuses to answer my calls, has changed his phone number, his email account, and quit his job. If you hear from him, tell him I still love him and that I'm sorry. Wait, scratch that last part, I don't have anything to be sorry for, I didn't do anything wrong unless you count being born into a crazy family.
I have to close now; Mr. Spindleleg has made an appointment for both of us with a marriage counselor. He thinks it might help me understand that it would be in my best interest to marry him and get away from the rest of the family. Little does he know that trying to force my hand by bringing others into the discussion is the quickest way out of my heart. Maybe I should give him your father’s phone number; he could use a little enlightening on my basic personality traits.
Love always, Mom
copyright 2003 Bobbi Duffy
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