The Dangling Conversation

If you have read my blog posts in the past you may have followed my interest in digging into my family tree. A few months in I realized it was more of a life long interest and not a temporary project, so I convinced myself to take a break. I have also been run off my feet with my living relatives especially the little one, who has no idea she has third cousins thrice removed who died in 1897 and lead a life full of intrigue. For Eva, Mommy, Daddy and Auntie Zoe are the most important people in the world and despite a few friends and her grandparents she is not sure why anyone else matters. Her biggest problem is that her mother, me, finds everything fascinating.

When my parents received a phone message from a long lost relative we had never met, I was eager to call the person back. As soon as my mother listened to the message she gladly passed it on to me, check that box! But I did not have a chance to call her until 7:30pm when Daddy came home from work and was playing with Eva.

The woman I called will be henceforth referred to as Shirley, which is not her real name in order to protect the guilty.

I dialed the number, she had said she was staying with some friends: let’s call them the Haywards.

I dial the number.

“Hello, is this the Hayward residence?”

A long mumbly pause.

“Hello.”

“Oh, um… Yeeeeeeesssssss.”

“May I speak to Shirley who I believe is staying with you?”

“Well, my dear, I am SHHHHIRLLLEYYY.”

“Oh” I say surprised that she would answer the phone so nonchalantly when it was not her home.

“You called and left a message for my parents Rick and Jane Spurling wanting to ask about the Davis family, I am their daughter and I am calling you back.”

“Oh, wow you called me back.”

“Yes.”

A long mumbly pause

“Hello???”

“Oh yes Oh yes, now who are you again?”

“Lucinda Spurling.”

“Who are your parent’s”

“Rick and Jane Spurling.”

“Why did you call me?”

“I called you because you called them?”

“Oh, I did?”

“Yes, this morning.

“What did I want?”

“You were looking into the Davis family. My great grandmother was May Davis Gurr.”

“Oh, and you are?”

“Lucinda.”

“Oh yes Lucinda Davis, I think we have met.”

“No we haven’t and it is Lucinda Spurling.”

“Who was your father?”

“My father is Rick Spurling, his mother, my grandmother was Marion Gurr, the

daughter of May Davis Gurr.”

“Huh?”

“May Davis married Frank Gurr, and their daughter Marion is my grandmother.”

“Who is your husband?”

“It does not matter, my husband is British, and I kept my maiden name- Spurling.”

“Yes, Lucinda Davis.”

“No Lucinda Spurling.”

“Whatever, well what I want to know is to look into the Davis side of the family.”

“We don’t know much about that side.” I say trying to discourage her.

“Well I am really serious! “

“I can tell.”

“I have been here two weeks and I am finally starting to call around. Did I call you or did you call me?”

“I called you back.”

I hear something that sounds very much like a swig.

“I am from New Mexico.”

“Oh that is nice.”

“Who is your husband?”

“It does not matter, he is British and I kept my maiden name.”

“Oh My husband thinks he is Bermudian.”

She giggles, “ I am from ALBUQUERQUE NEW MEXICO.”

“I know, you told me.”

“Did I call you or did you call me?”

“I called you back.”

“No one ever calls me back, you are so SWEEEET.”

So is that cocktail you are swigging I think.

“Do you know Bill Davis?”

“Yes”

“Bill Davis is going to help me; he is quite elderly.”

“Yes he is now.”

“Are you related to the Shelly Bay Davis’s or the Bailey’s Bay Davis’s’”

“Shelly Bay.”

“Well, we are related to both sides.” She says giggling again.

“Oh really, that is interesting.” By now I am wondering how to put myself out of this misery.

“I am 73.”

“Oh good for you, I am 38.”

“Is your name Ann?”

“No, Ann is my aunt.”

“Oh COOOOLLLL, I spoke to her today.”

“Oh you did, then you know everything you need to know.”

“Ann is a COOL lady.”

“Yes she is.”

“Ann was a Davis, what did Ann tell me, I can’t remember now.”

“Oh well,” I say sighing.

“ My mother, Kate married Harry Davis, Kate was a Barnes so I am related to everybody.”

“Everybody?”

“Everybody! So what is your mother’s maiden name?”

“Youngblood.”

“What is your father’s maiden name?”

“He doesn’t have one.”

“I want to ask you something, as I put my life together, can you help me put my life together?”

“Yes” enormous sigh from me.

“What is your number.”

“297-0221?” I gave her my old number that was disconnected many years ago.

“I am really serious about this, I will call you.”

“Okay.”

“So Who did you say was your husband?”

“It doesn’t matter, he is not Bermudian.”

“Did you call me or did I call you?”

“I called you back.”

“ No one ever calls me back.”

“I really have to go now, I have a two year old I need to put to bed.”

“Oh a two year old, I don’t have any of those anymore.”

“Okay, goodbye.”

“Goodbye, you will hear from me again- I am serious.”

CLICK.

The first thing I did was laugh, call Ann, and wonder what I would have done with those twenty minutes if I had not been on the phone with “Shirley.” Ann and I agreed that the drinking gene in all of our convening family lines, had many expressions and one of them was Shirley.

I have to admit that this is the first time I have given out a fake number to a drunk grandmother, which made me perversely nostalgic for the days I gave out fake names and numbers to hoodlums who tried to sleaze up to me- I guess I have lost my touch, or maybe just my youth. I also realized the danger of having years of dinnertime, bath time, and story time and then when the babies fly the nest replacing those activities with cocktail hour – even at age 73. Maybe I won’t wish for an empty nest so quickly.

Xx Derelict Mom.

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