Ah, memories. When I was looking at photos to unearth from my dusty albums yesterday,I was reminded of the time the town thought I had a bastard child.
My father had remarried to somewhat reclusive 23 year old, mildly amusing OCD stepmother the previous May, and she bore him a son December 27th of that same year. Yes. You, too, can do maths.
Early in January, when the baby was only ten days old, the whole family moved from a bustling metropolis to the quiet resort town I was born in. I rather enjoyed being a big sister to a cute baby, and I took him with me everywhere but school. He was a social child, and the stepmother was somewhat reserved.
Here’s the image that brought it back to me.
Now look in the background, on the clothesline. See all those? They would be diapers. And onesies. And all sorts of baby thingies.*
Somehow it didn’t occur to me that people would not believe me when I insisted this child was not mine. He was a very smart and entertaining kid. Small town. Something fun to do, right?
It was quite a while before mildly amusing OCD stepmother ventured onto the streets of our quaint little town. And when she took the little professor in his stroller, he would recognize people and perk right up. That’s really how she got to know people there. Through the child that had already charmed half the populace.
First, she had to go through the gauntlet.
“Why, you’re taking witchypoo’s baby for a walk.”
“No. This is my son.”
“But he was only ten days old when she moved here with him.”
“When I moved here with my husband, son, and stepchildren.”
This happened so many times that she forayed out less and less. She couldn’t seem to take credit for this remarkable being.
What nobody would tell me is that my boyfriend was Horny McSlutty. I mean that he was doing just about every girl and woman for miles around. The guys really liked him, as he was charismatic, and the girls wouldn’t reveal their own part in him being such a slut. I was extremely naive, to say the least, but it would have been physically impossible for me to have given birth ten days before we moved. You know, the whole sex thing. Generally it’s necessary to get pregnant.
So it seemed natural that Horny McSlutty’s girlfriend had already produced a child out of wedlock. Turns out he had a few of them running around.
Want to know what was really funny?
My father was beyond strict with me. I had rigid curfews. My theory was that he remembered what he was like at that age.
When did he lift my curfews? When?
When I took up with Horny McSlutty.
The one all the guys, including my father, liked.
Irony? I think so.
* The image in the red jumpsuit with the child on my shoulders? That would be the little professor, the one who is in the Air Force today.