Thursday, June 8, 2017

Ch 1 Monday I get the scoop about Primo’s brothers, whom Sly and Doris are careful to call “half-brothers,” which is weird to me, as I have half-cousins and step-cousins and adopted cousins but they are all my cousins and all my family, period, without any qualification

Of course he has mentioned his brothers before, but it’s not something we talk about a lot. What? Did you think that they might be important to this story? Would you like to know more?

OK! Here is the dirty truth about Primo’s half-brothers, who, in a normal world would be referred to as simply “brothers” but apparently that is not how Sly and Doris roll.

Primo: My dad was married to another woman when he met my mom. He left his first wife for her.

Me: How old were your brothers?

Primo: They were little. Not even in kindergarten yet.

Me: And he left them?

Primo: He and his first wife had married too young. They’d had problems. She was an alcoholic.

Me: Wait! Your dad abandoned his little boys to an alcoholic mother?

Primo: He thought he was going to get custody. He and my mom tried for years to get them. He said he couldn’t live with his ex anymore because of her drinking. He had to leave. And he really did think he was going to get custody.

Fathers didn’t get custody in the early 60s. They didn’t even get it in the late 70s. Didn’t he see Kramer vs. Kramer?[1]

Me: How did it happen? With your mom, I mean? How do you abandon your little boys and your wife for another woman?

Primo: He met my mom at church, where they were both singing in the choir.

Me: They met at church? Your dad abandoned his wife and children for a woman he met at church? Are you seeing some inappropriateness here? Not that this sort of thing doesn’t happen, but I don’t know how you maintain the high moral ground after something like that.

Primo: No! I mean, yes. They didn’t belong to the church – they just sang there. They’re atheists.

Me: Why were atheists even in a church?

Primo: They sang there. In the choir.

Me: They are atheists but they still supported religion by singing in a place that they totally disagreed with?

Primo: They like to sing. And they were paid.

Me: Not that principled about their atheism, then.

Primo: Whatever. My dad asked my mom out and she told him she wouldn’t date a married man.

Me: Good for her.

Primo: He moved out from his first wife and started seeing my mom. As soon as he was divorced, he and my mom got married. Then I was born.

Me: Your mom knew he was married. She knew he had little kids. And she was cool with your dad abandoning them for her?

Primo: My dad’s ex-wife was an alcoholic and not a good person.

Me: Uh huh. I’m sure that’s the story that helps your parents sleep at night. If the first wife was so bad, though, why did your dad marry her in the first place?

Primo: I don’t know! This is what they’ve told me!

Me: And your dad was the good guy in all of this? Leaving his little boys to someone so alcoholic that he couldn’t live with her?

Primo: That’s what he thinks.

Me: Nice.

[1] I am realizing that I get a lot of my understanding of the world from movies. Is that wrong?


  1. My mum left my dad leaving me (age 5), my brother and sister (aged 6 and 8 respectively) in the care of our dad. She didn't want custody and moved to a city over 1000km away and promptly met another man, married and had more children (who I consider my brothers and sisters, none of this half-sibling stuff). It was 1975, the year no fault divorce was introduced in Australia, so thankfully there was no need for them to try and blame each other or manufacture reasons for the break down of their marriage (too young, too poor, too many children). Even though my father wanted custody and my mother didn't, the judge was very apprehensive about granting sole custody to Dad - it just wasn't done for children so young to be raised by their father (especially one who was working class) - but he persisted and in the end the judge gave in, provided Dad signed an agreement to eventually remarry to provide us with a 'mother'. He never did and was both mother and father to us. We are forever grateful that he pushed and pushed and eventually won custody.

    1. Whoa! What a story! And the part about promising to re-marry? That judge was really concerned! I am glad it all worked out well.

  2. The idea that family courts favor mothers is actually a myth. When fathers want custody, they usually get it. The reason moms usually have custody is because dads don't want it.

    So either Sly was lying about trying to get custody of the kids (probable: this is something guys usually tell their new GFs so they can look like good dads) or Sly's ex wasn't so bad and Sly was an obvious, awful shitbag in court. I think option 1 is more likely, though.

    Sly's story also sounds like the kind of sob story that men tell women when they want to have an affair.


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