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Note - most stories are fictional and do not refer to anyone in particular living or dead. True stories will say they are true!
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Lottie was almost four and we
were leaving for home in a few days. We had packing to do and I was sending my
sketches to the art dealer in New York
City. I had
sent several to him before and they have all been sold.
The seniors wanted to make
one more trip into Paris
and visit their favorite places.
I asked Lesley if she should
go along with the grandmas to keep them out of trouble and she said they will
have more fun without me tagging along.
That afternoon they called and
said they were having fun and were going to spend the night in town.
The grandpas went their way
and also called and said the same thing.
That afternoon our daughter Lottie
had to say goodbye to the friends she had made while playing at the villa. Several
youngsters around the villa would come over when Lottie was home and they would
play for hours.
Lottie learned to speak
French from them along with what Lesley had taught her. They talked in French to
one another when they were alone playing.
I had learned to speak a
little French but not much.
It looked like there was just
the three of us this evening and that was a relief for the grand parents were
wanting to do something that involved me and I relished the time when they were
out on their own.
Lottie spent the evening
entertaining me mostly by sitting on my lap and jabbering away about going home
She was pretty small when we left the USA, and I wondered if she really
remembered the stuff she was talking about.
Lesley said it was time for
her to go to bed and took her off my hands. She came back and had a glint in
her eyes I was accustomed to and said, “Let’s talk.”
That surprised me for I
thought she had something else in mind. I was a little disappointed but never
let on and said, “Okay… let’s talk.”
She said, “Lottie is almost
four and if you remember I said I wanted to enjoy Lottie for the first few
years before we had another child, perhaps a boy.”
I said, “Yes I remember it
well,” and waited to see what she had in mind. She went on and said, “Well she
has grown up and is becoming a young lady now and I think it is time to
consider having another young’un.”
“What brings this on?” I
She said, “I don’t want there
to be too much difference in the kids ages otherwise they will be too
independent of each other and beside I miss not having a little baby in my
arms. Lottie is getting too big to carry and besides she doesn’t want me to
I said, “When do you want to
have it and she said about nine months from right now.”
I said … “Okay in mine months
I must say it was a most
interesting and enjoyable evening. The whole thing reminded me of the animal
husbandry films I had watched while in school where a cow was brought to the
bull to be bred. I remembered that the bull never objected to the whole
procedure but cooperated through the whole event.
I woke the next morning with
Lottie pounding on the bed. She wanted to go out and do some sketches with me.
I finally awoke and went out
with her but not before she insisted I bring my sketch pad.
She said, “Let’s do each
I said, “I’m too tired to do
She said, “I’ll take what I
Her renditions of me reminded
me of the works of Picasso and others of the modernist ilk. I must say I wasn’t
up to my best efforts either.
This year has passed more
quickly than I imagined.We did some
preliminary packing because the men were coming to ship our stuff home tomorrow.
I would have stayed at home for most of
it but Lesley insisted that I go with her to see all the tourist’s traps. That
was how I felt about most of the things that attracted tourists.
Lesley visited several of the
dress making shops for she caught the yen to do some designing of baby clothes.
I told her she would be going up against the best in the designing field but
she seemed to be oblivious to any competition she might need to deal with.
By the afternoon we were all
crated up and our parents were also ready to ship things home. We received a
call from the grandmas saying they were going to stay overnight at a hotel.
I was thinking I hope they hadn’t
decided to hook up with one of the gigolos they had met during our stay. After
a few glasses of wine inhibitions can go out the window and excitement sets in.
They said they were going to
meet up with the grandpas later on and have dinner which made me feel a bit
The next day early on the
transfer men came and picked up our crates and they were off to the airport.
Around eleven the
grandparents came home and there was some door slamming going on. Later it was
apparent that they weren’t speaking to each. Lesley, Lottie and I were the only
ones at the lunch table and I had experienced about enough of this foolishness
for we were leaving this evening for home.
Sometime after two one by one
they showed up but it was obvious that they were still put out with each other.
I just left them alone while
we finished putting things in order. The cleaners had finished and left so the
place was as it was when we moved in.
Lottie wanted to make the
rounds and say goodbye to her friends and leave them a gift. After that task
was taken care of I was ready to depart.
A transit bus was on its way
so I figured I should check on the folks to see if they were ready to go.
Then I noticed something
strange. Lesley’s mother was off in a corner talking to my dad and my mother
was doing the same thing with Lesley’s father.
I didn’t have time to
investigate what was going on, because our ride was here; however the same seating
arraignment was on the bus to the airport.
We were too busy checking in
to discuss anything but my mother sat with Lesley’s father all the way home. It
finally dawned on me that the ladies had a falling out and this was their way
of handling it. That made perfect sense and it wouldn’t be long before it was in
They sat that way until we
arrived home and then rejoined their mates and took a taxi home together.
I figured things would be
back to normal by tomorrow. Night time
works marvels in solving spats.
We never heard from them the
next week and because we were so busy we never contacted them.
Ester has been overseeing our
home while we were gone. She was Lottie’s nanny and was like one of the family.
The place was immaculate and far better than we imagined it would be.
Lesley was three months
pregnant and we were looking forward to the new addition to the family.
After two weeks my mother
came by unannounced she wanted to talk to us privately. She didn’t want Ester
or Lottie to hear what she had to say.
She said, “It has been a long time
coming but I’m getting a divorce. Don’t try to get me to change my mind for I
have already filed.”
I had to ask, “Did it have
something to do with the upset before we left France?”
She said, “That and other
She went on and said, “Lesley
you might as well know your father has filed for divorce also and we are
planning to be married as soon as it is final.”
This was the one announcement
that I never saw coming.
Lesley was visibly upset and
had to sit down.
I was angry about this news
and I told my mom so. I further told her, “I didn’t want any of them around
Lottie so don’t call or come over, ever.”
She said she understood and
would comply with our wishes. She continued,
“It will all come out someday but it had to do with some mixed up keys,” and
then she left.
I didn’t want to hear
anything about mixed up keys.
“Another thing you might as
well know is my husband is marrying Lesley’s mother as soon as the quickie
divorce is final. She is planning to move in as soon as I move out which will
be tomorrow. My stuff is in storage and I will move in as soon as Lesley’s
mother is out.”
Swapping mates, has been done
before but I couldn’t get a hold of a reason for them to do this.
This upset Lesley so much she
went to bed for a couple of days and didn’t want to discuss it which was
alright with me.
I didn’t know how to explain
this to a four year old so I decided to just answer her questions about why the
grandparents didn’t come over anymore.
My main concern was for Lesley
since she had a few months to go.
The next week I noticed her
and Ester gabbing away about something and a few days later she told me that
she wanted me to do some sketches for her.
I said, “Sure I would do that
for her.” I was thinking that maybe it would stop her from brooding over the double
She had me get my sketch pad
and she started describing some baby clothing. She wanted to have sketches to
show to some dress makers.
After she had a dozen sketches she wanted me to help
work on patterns for them.
I was thinking this is a long
way from designing and developing small communities as I had been doing before
the company I was working for sold out.