No, I am not making that up; that was the name I was born with: Barrie Elizabeth…..or so my bio-mom tells me. For long time readers of this erstwhile blog, you know that I didn’t share genetic material with my toxic parent and he-who-shall-not-be-named. And before you ask, NO, I never had an itch to track down my bio-parents; Herself sort of ruined the idea of adding MORE family into the mix. But never say never.
I got a letter and then a phone call from Catholic Charities, I was being sought. In the backwards-ass way the church works, the ONE person who isn’t allowed to look for you is your mother, but my bio-dad’s, sister did get them to find me. In an interesting aside: she had zilch information on how to where to look, but she found an online post from my mother that handed her all that she needed to get started. So, separately they had no chance of finding me, but when combined it took very little time.
As it happens I took the call at work on Monday…..they had outdated contact information about my mother.. but when I got home, it only took me about 20 minutes online to find her contact information – hey I have stalked a few boyfriends in my time, this was literally child’s play…. I had everything, except her cell phone number…and being the impatient brat that I am…by about 6 o’clock I was sitting in my biomoms living room in Maine(!) having a gabfest with her and my new other mother – HEY, if they didn’t want someone to knock on the screen door saying ‘ I think you’re my mother’, they shouldn’t have moved to the same state – coincidence? I think not…..and as IF having ONE mother didn’t teach me a lesson, now I have TWO MORE!…yes, Joycey has two mommies…and two more birthdays to remember…and two more siblings..no four more siblings and I dunno, a few nieces and nephews..oy vey.
But wait, racefans…it gets better….the only reason I was in my biomoms living room on Monday is because my bioaunt didn’t answer her damn cellphone..otherwise the order of appearance would be reversed… my aunt and her hubby had been traveling through the Maine/NB corridor and had made it back to her daughter’s(my biocousin) home when I called her…”you know I can be there in about 90 minutes right? guess who’s coming to dinner?” So, 90 minutes later I was having ANOTHER chinwag on a deck in New Hampshire. They were flying back to FLA this morning so it was then or Skype and that isn’t very satisfying first contact is it? And along with the bioaunt comes a package deal of her hubby, and her kids- my biocousins and their kids…bio-somethings, I am really too old to start flowcharting family members.
On Monday morning I only had the voices in my head keeping me company, and by Wednesday morning my damn Christmas Card list was SRO! Do NOT assume that this is somehow emotional or traumatic FOR ME, it’s not, I don’t think teenagers should raise babies…..or even get car keys for that matter…. but I am finding it intellectually entertaining as all hell–the universe is a surprising place. But those two women had to wait 54 years for closure, and some folks like my biodad and his parents NEVER got any. For all they know the church could have pushed me down a mineshaft or sold me to a circus…wait, wait…now THERE’s an image…but seriously Herself was damaged goods, my Mad Men era dad died in ’66 taking all her dreams with her, no wonder her insecurities ran roughshod over everything in her path… but aside from that, I lived a comfortable white middle class lifestyle where I wanted for nothing. Pregnant teenagers had few choices in 1962 and I ended up being more fortunate with the results than others.
I am still not sure what I think of ‘Barrie’ as an actual NAME name…part of me thinks it maybe another reason teenagers shouldn’t name babies. No offense Ellen, whom I am sure is reading this along with Bettie and Fran….hmm…. damnit, now I won’t be able to talk about them on here. 8(