this reads like fiction, but this story is 100% true and about my former mentor who is a hometown hero.
Lately, the only way I hear of events unfolding at the Cabin0Mansion are through my mom, who hears bits and pieces of diluted information (+/- notable significance) from Shaun Minor. Hearing everything months after the fact, anachronistic with when they occurred is still better than knowing nothing. Though I must admit, hearing all that drama just enfeebles my psyche. I am better off the less I know about Kim and especially, Mary.
In November, I was devastated when I heard (months after it happened) that Mary had taken in a credulous child with the intension of adopting him. I had the presage that no good would come from that. It was a moment of alertness because both Kim and Mary had been emphatic that they did not ever want kids. I had heard it from both of them on multiple separate occasions, and as a unit. They were heedful of the fact they could not live their lives in the same (selfish, self-indulgent, spontaneous) way with a naive baby on board. I heard it from them when I was sixteen, up until I was 24–it was a fact neither of them were interested in raising their own young. The omen that this was a terrible decision on their part would not go away.
I couldn’t believe they were so incautious about adopting a child with all the problems in their relationship, and in their lives, especially since Kim had just told me in 2008 how Mary’s lesbian friends had broken up over an adopted kid that was a lot of trouble. Those friends had been together for a decade or more, and Kim said they blamed the boy on their problems. I had auspices of more of the same for Kim and Mary. This portent was based on the fact that I was still wary about how a child could survive their dysfunctional lifestyle, since I myself, had been crushed by their nonsense at aged 24. They had debilitated me to such an extent that I sometimes still cry over the scenario. It wasn’t a stretch of the mind to prophecies that a younger, more innocent child, who was already damaged would be affected negatively in the Cabin-Mansion.
I was also mindful that Mary has very little time or patience. More than a time or two, she had become irascible with me. And I was a very obedient, hard-working young adult. Mary had the capability to become irritable at small slights or indiscretions too. Also, she was downright ornery if you wronged her–in her mind, and she would play (power) games forever. If I were Kim, I would not have been so unaffected in this decision. I would have been prudent about the fact I was already doing all the cooking, taking care of the animals, and doing the grunt work at the hospital. Who did she think was going to do the dirty work of raising a child? Certainly not the prominently known Mary! But then, I am assuming Kim was consulted about this life-changing action of fostering a kid. It is a strong possibility she did not know a little kid was coming into her life, just as she had no idea I was moving to the Cabin-Mansion. If I were Kim, I would have been cantankerous and testy if I was made to be someone’s “bitch,” but Kim just took it obsequiously. Which is why, as soon as I heard the news, I was not happy, but circumspect about what would befall this 8 year old boy. . .
Mary’s motivations for adopting a child were very clear to me: She was getting Kim a friend–a friend that couldn’t leave her. Mary intended to appease Kim’s demands for her own friends and family in one, fell swoop. One of Kim’s big issues was her loneliness–it had enervated her to the point of alcohol additction. Mary had moved her away from family, and disallowed visits for the most part, she also vetoed friendships Kim formed at work. Mixing work with private life was too risky, and Mary didn’t want her secrets to become public knowledge. Mary also refused to let Kim meet bar or casino friends–for obvious reasons. Mary got someone who could comfort Kim, and pacify her needs while outstandingly social Mary was gallivanting around being important. What wasn’t so transparent was how the normally clever Mary had overlooked the consequences and commitment of raising a kid. I’m curious if Mary’s family had limpid insight to her sudden change of heart. They must have thought it was out of character for Mary to adopt a little boy.
From the start, Mary was probably disinterested in an elementary student. She had impassively gotten hold of a companion for Kim. I’m certain she was disinterested in the little guy’s plight or emotional welfare. After all, Mary is unconcerned about much of anything aside from herself. She displays a lack of emotion in all her relationships. I have seen her act phlegmatically time and again: She had been my mentor and friend for 7 years before coolly extricating me from her life. Her and Lana had been friends for 30-odd years when she indifferently got rid of that liability. And she had been married to Kim for over 13 years when she stolidly began cheating on her. Mary is obviously unresponsive to emotion and has a marked lack of sensitivity for other people.
On a different note, I remember reading in YM and Seventeen magazines about how babies never mitigate relationship problems, and end up exacerbating them. I figured it was common knowledge that kids do not mollify relationships. I guess Mary must have not read teen magazines as an adolescent. Instead of learning her lesson that bringing youth into the Cabin-Mansion does not temper problems, she blamed me as being the wrong type of youth. She had high hopes for me, because I was very compliant and servile when I worked for her during high school. But I came back more intractable and independent, and she hated that. She figured a younger male, more subservient and deferential would palliate the strife between her and Kim. Also, Mary didn’t pay attention to the tribulations of her lesbian friends who had adopted. She must have been unaware of the fact he did not alleviate their stress. I think Mary expected that little boy to moderate Kim’s loneliness, lighten Kim’s drinking, and assuage the hole in their quickly deteriorating marriage. Why else would Mary bring a child into that house–if he wasn’t supposed to somehow provide enough distraction to assuage Kim’s growing resentment?
Who could know Kim’s beloved grandma would die during that time period? She had to take an unexpected trip to Missouri. I’m sure the situation left Mary with the dilemma of being short-staffed at the vet hospital. It also gave her a taste of what it would be like to be the sole provider for a young man. In Missouri, surrounded by greiving family, and faced with the finality of life, I’m sure Kim had time to reflect upon the ambiguity in her daily life. She had been dithering around for years: She was sort of married, kind of had a job, and almost settled into Dayton–but not really. I’ll bet the incongruity in what Kim had expected and the reality of the situation were pressing. Did Kim finally realize that all she had been doing for the past 5 years (or more) was wavering? Seeing all the family there to extol her grandmother may have prompted Kim to quit hesitating and take action. Surprisingly, after three-plus years of waiting for things to improve, Kim stopped waffling, got back to Dayton after the eulogy only to tell Mary that she was leaving–for good. And I laud her for finally making that decision.
I am glad Kim became more lucid. Maybe her grandma’s death showed her life is too short and it prompted her to be more pellucid. Mary had a hand in making Kim more impure through the years. She isolated her then debased her by bullying her. Maybe Kim just had enough of all of Mary’s adulteration. It is possible Kim finally saw through Mary’s chicanery and realized she was never going to change. I know for a fact, Kim was tired of Mary’s duplicitous paradoxic life. And who could keep up such artifice, save for Mary herself? All of Mary’s cheating and deceit and trickery had to get old sometime. I guess a death really made it apparent. I do not think Kim sees Mary for the conniving selfish, and heartless mass of homophobia she is, but I’m glad she got tired of being alone with the daily responsibilities. After hearing the news, Mary did not falter at all. Kim’s leaving must have sapped Mary’s reserves, because she abruptly made some huge decisions of her own. From the indiscretion that resulted, it must have been Mary’s nadir.
Without fanfare and certainly no vacillating, Mary pulled the kid out of school on a random Thursday. No one recognized it as a rash decision, because Mary never tells anyone around her anything. She didn’t inform the school or his teacher that this was permanent. She had impulsively wrecked this little kid’s life. Mary had misrepresented herself–she did not actually want to raise a child. In true Mary style, she planned to hastily and clandestinely requite the little boy back to the foster system. The Minor family had to have an argument with her to convince her a goodbye dinner between the boy and her extended family was necessary, because she wanted him gone in a hurry. Just like every other person that she considered a liability in the past. And she had refuted that notion of a family goodbye dinner so much, her mother and siblings, and in-laws had to get harsh with her in order for her to do the right thing.
The logistics of the matter were polemic as well. Never-mind Mary had signed a six month contract to foster the kid–she had fibbed about wanting to adopt. After Kim left, she promptly decided that she no longer wanted him. When the agency told Mary she had to forget this impetuous prevarication and honor her contact, she found a friend (of course) that worked in foster care to help her beat the system. The friend did not like this sudden untruth, but Mary was adamant that she returning the little boy back–now. She hurried the system, and gave him back. No time for the boy or anyone else to say goodbye, and no time for anyone to lament all that was lost.
Nothing could soothe the hurt of that little boy. My mom was saying the kid had 8 siblings, and each of them were sent to live with extended family members back East. He was the only one who was not placed with a relative. The poor little guy was probably in the pit of depression, heart-broken. Nothing will ever ease his pain. Then, here comes along some relief in the form of Mary promising to adopt him. Mary has a large, caring family who reached out immediately. He gets to live in a big house, on a roomy ranch with a lot of animals. He is placed in school and makes friends and anticipates having some security and staying somewhere constant. Everything is finally looking up, and life isn’t nearly as unpleasant. How could he know it was all a lie?
I don’t think I am unjustly criticizing Mary for what she did to that little kid. It is not a peccadillo offense to lewdly screw up an innocent person for life. Maybe the blame for marital strife between Mary and Kim can be equally assigned. The failing was the fault of both of those adult parties. They signed up for the situation, had full control over their behaviors and lapses in good judgement, and had control of what they were willing to tolerate from each other. And at 24 years old, I had the tools to cope with the sins at the Cabin-Mansion and the freedom to extricate myself. I also had my own missteps and wanton and moments, but was able to dictate my feelings and actions toawrd Kim, Mary, the hairdresser, “Bill,” and everyone else to some extent. This orphan child? He was guileless and unsophisticated. He had no chance. At just 8 years old, he was completely dependent on Mary, innocent in his own actions, and she showed her cold heart–again.
But this time Dayton is sure to notice. The little guy’s teacher is not keeping quiet. She is in the process of denunciating Mary’s immorality to whomever will listen. It’s about time, I say. Mary’s salient family, who have always known Mary’s faults through bit and pieces of information and personal experience, are also confronted with this most licentious of misbehavior. I think they are having to look at Mary as less entitled and innocently self-serving and more of a deviant for sure.