Of all the myriad ways in which siblings will give each other shit, perhaps none is as timeworn and tested as the bid to de-legitimize one another by telling you that you’re adopted. My sense is that the ‘stigma’ of adoption, if there still is one, is a holdover from the days of primogenitor, when the adopted child stood to inherit less (if anything) than their siblings. In this more advanced age, adoption seems to have become so commonplace that the idea of any negative connotations seems laughable. Just my opinion, I have no data. (I would state that I have no experience, but I was raised by two wonderful and loving parents who to this day tell me I was not adopted. In my heart, though, I am certain that I was the bastard love child of John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe – what else could explain my charisma, talent, and good looks?)
Before we get to the rest of the story, a little background is required.
- None of our children were adopted. (By us. We’re accepting bids, though.)
- Number One Son looks so much like me that it’s scary.
- The Reigning Queen of Pink was born with a rare genetic disorder called Incontinentia Pigmenti. It’s a random genetic whoopsie, not life threatening, but making her nevertheless complicated; at 7 yrs old, her medical chart is twice the size of mine at 40, and she’s had more “procedures” than I’ve had. She’s been diagnosed as “interesting” in our pediatrician’s office. When they close the shop and sit around and talk, they talk about her. (We know this. They’ve called.)
Back to our story. The Reigning Queen of Pink, who has the innate sense of primogenitor and privilege so common to the aristocracy, decided she should convince Number One Son that he’s adopted. This does not actually take much effort, since she’s the youngest – he knows where she came from, but he can’t really remember where he came from. At 9 yrs old, he’s not gullible so much as suggestible.
“You were adopted!”
“No, YOU were adopted.”
“No, I was the only one to come out of Mommy’s belly, you and (the Human Tape Recorder) were adopted!”
Mind you, this is all at top volume (any point worth making is worth making really loud), and right in front of me and SOBUMD. Deciding I didn’t really want to (A) deal with Number One Son getting all spun up, nor (B) go into a lengthy explanation of adoption and/or their birth stories, I stole a classic line from Calvin and Hobbes, and announced that none of them were adopted.
“Your brother was NOT adopted, we bought him from Sears.”
(SOBUMD choked on her wine at this point.) The Reigning Queen of Pink thought that this was the most wonderful thing she could think of, and laughed marvelously while repeating it.
Not wanting to let her get too full of her pink self, I told her not to laugh, since we’d purchased HER at K-Mart as a Blue-light special. Now they’re all laughing, and I hear the Human Tape Recorder muttering something in the next room. “What was that, Nordstrom-Girl?” I yelled, thinking this would have been a logical progression: Full price for the first one, Sears for the value discount once we saw what we’d gotten for the money, and finally the bargain hunting.
Number One Daughter gives me The Look, as only an 11-yr-old can: “I said I’ll bet you’re wishing you’d paid more for her now.”
Oh, snap! I mean, just… Damn.