Saturday, April 3, 2010

Family Ties

Quick post today- what were we all thinking, starting this challenge on Easter weekend?! Too many people to see...

I love the NYT's Modern Love column. You can read the archives here.

This week's article is by a woman who found out in adulthood that her dad had two families- he was married to her mother, and also with another woman with whom he had two daughters.

Some of the story is expected- the second wife was his much-younger secretary, and she lived in Ecuador where he did much of his business (so there wasn't any real danger of overlapping). Other parts seemed strange- he drove the same car as he did in the author's childhood, had pictures of his other family on similar vacations to the ones he took the author and her sisters on. Rather than escaping his first family, it seemed like he just recreated it.

I'm sure the family dynamics differed, as did his private relationships with his wives. And perhaps his keeping so many things constant was just a skeezy way of making sure he didn't slip up- Remember the white Range Rover we had? being a question both women could answer.

Or perhaps he felt he could justify his behavior if he gave the families similar experiences. To have favored one family with a vacation and not the other would have been him choosing sides. In came "separate but equal"- a notion that we all know fails miserably every time. It did here, too- by making the author realize that her life was not only hers, but shared with 3 other people who she doesn't even know.


KC said...

This is a crazy story. I always wonder how people manage to pull things like this off.

How could I even manage to have a friend my husband didn't know about? Every waking second is devoted to keeping us afloat.