Thursday, May 8, 2014

An Open Letter to Governor Chris Christie

Dear Governor Christie,

Hey there!  Just wanted to thank you for signing that bill into law, you know, the one that will unseal confidential birth records and vilify the girls and women who suffered catastrophic, unwanted pregnancies and had the nerve to think they could keep that kind of thing secret.  Thank you for exposing us to the public.  I realize now that it’s for our own good.  We’re pretty weak and we cry a lot, so we need a male with a strong arm to put us in our place.  For a lot of us that’s what got us in the predicament originally.  We’re accustomed to cowering.

At first, Governor, I admit I was a little upset at you and your people for all the fist-pumping over the passage of this bill.  I have always regarded celebrating a win at the expense of another’s agony as low-class, ignorant behavior.  I see now that I must lighten up.  I take life much too seriously.  I must develop a better sense of humor for the absurd.  I’m working on it. 

Which brings me to lemonade and one of your colleagues and how informed and eloquent she came off when she chastised impregnated rape victims that they will just have to make lemonade out of lemons.  I assume she was chastising any girl or woman impregnated against her will, not just rape victims.  Believe it or not, I do find humor in this.  Same goes for your comments that—and I’m paraphrasing here—every pregnancy is a blessing.  I’m coming to appreciate your comedic skills.  Clearly those who call you a know-it-all bully are wrong.  You’re just witty, as all politicians must be.  Back in the days before rape was a crime, politicians used to joke that (potential) rape victims should just lie there and enjoy it.  I laughed at that one, too.

As an obedient, private citizen of the State of New Jersey, please allow me the honor of becoming the very first woman who endured a catastrophic pregnancy and was rescued by the confidential adoption process and promised anonymity to submit to your authority and confess all my secrets.  I promise I will lie still and try to enjoy it.  Even as a young girl I realized when I was beaten.  Onto the lemonade.

It’s a sad fact of my life that nobody wants to listen to me whine about my illnesses, aches and pains, general malaise, and obsessions, or rants about estranged family members, or complaints about my past.  But now that I have you and your people who actually want to listen to my list of problems and grievances, my sadness has miraculously lifted.  It’s a wonderful life when you can make lemonade out of rotten lemons.  Thank you for this opportunity, Governor.

First, about my personal history.  I’ve already written the book, Woman In Hiding, A True Tale of Backdoor Abuse, Dark Secrets and Other Evil Deeds.  The title says it all, but I’ll send it to you anyway.  This will save all of us time so I can move on to the good stuff which is my fascinating family history you and your people are so obsessed with. 

I’m really excited about forking over the skinny on my family heritage for public consumption.  Never before have I had the opportunity to air all this dirty laundry to such attentive ears.  Again, thank you.  I know you and your people will be impressed that I am related to rapists, a pornographer, a pedophile lesbian, drunkards (sorry, politically incorrect term for alcoholics), drug addicts, sex addicts, thieves, con-artists, kidnappers, child abusers, sex abusers, physical abusers, elder abusers, regular run-of-the-mill abusers, predators, stalkers, pathological liars, and a would-be-murder (unfortunately, the two attempts failed).  It would take too much space to go into full detail here.  But do send your people by.  I’ll be delighted to provide them with full names and complete addresses and in the case of the deceased, directions to their final resting places.  I think, as you do, that every skeleton must be dug up.  Plus, I could use the psychological counseling you’ve offered.  Ever since I worked at a state-run mental institution I’ve been overjoyed by the competence of state social workers.  Of course, it took me a while to get over my fox-in-the-henhouse worry, but then I started thinking about lemonade and decided that I can trust you and your people.  I think the Valium helped. 

Anyway enough about my relatives and more about ME! and my problems.  I confess that I think I might have Multiple Sclerosis.  But it could be Guillain-Barre Syndrome.  I’m not sure if I inherited either of these conditions, so I thought I should mention them.  I consulted Reader’s Digest about my symptoms and confirmed them on the internet.  The numbness in my foot has nothing to do with the fact that a board fell on it and the fact that I did not receive proper attention and sympathy for my pain.  I am glad that you and your people take me seriously.  I am sure I am suffering from a dread disease and not just a bruise.

Also, I am an old lady.  I’ve suffered many diseases over my life.  Cancer.  Gout.  Diabetes.  Heart Disease.  Chronic Fatigue.  And Polio, just to name a few.  I think just to be sure, you and your people should check “all of the above” on my official medical records.  That all of these maladies were figments of my over-active imagination do not make them any less scary.  Reader’s Digest and the internet are trusted diagnostic tools.  I use them frequently.  Recently I had a rash.  I was sure it was skin cancer.  But I got top-notch advice from one of those medical websites.  Gnat bites!  Who knew?  But one can never be too careful. 

Currently I am dealing with occasional headaches.  According to Reader’s Digest I probably have a brain tumor.  Or maybe migraines.  Or an allergy to milk chocolate.  Or sensitivity to pollen.  But they might be due to aggravation caused by the aforementioned relatives.  I haven’t had a chance to verify anything on the internet yet.  I’ll let you know for sure.  But if the brain tumor thing ends the way I think it will, my husband will contact you so you can update my records.  I wouldn’t want to cheat you and your people out of my five year check in.

Forgive me Governor, because I am so embarrassed to tell you and your people this, but I realize that I am obligated.  I suffer from low estrogen.  Which probably explains the mustache.  And the limp.  But not the harelip.  According to my family the harelip is a genetic deformity passed down by imbeciles.  Again, sorry about the politically incorrect term, but that’s what my family calls the deformed imbeciles they keep locked-up in their attics.  I blame flimsy locks for all the inbreeding.  

What has me confused, though, are my crossed eyes.  I have no idea where they came from.  Not that there aren’t advantages to being cross-eyed.  If we were to meet, Governor, I’d see two of you.  How great is that?

As long as I’m giving an official confession, I better tell you this: I see ghosts.  I always thought I was nuts.  But according to reality TV, I’m just psychic.  I don’t want to cause you and your people any trouble or force you to do something you hadn’t planned on, but could you create a slot on your official forms for this sort of thing?  I understand if you can’t.  If you have to, just list me as nuts.  It fits in pretty well with the rest of my relatives.

One more thing, Governor.  I’m genetically disposed to fat.  I feel so close to you because I know we have this in common.  I know my being a fat lady had nothing to do with cupcakes and bread.  That fat gene was a direct deposit from the rapist side of my ancestry.  Oh, did I tell you that I’m adopted?  That I’m a spawn of a rapist?  Those darn rapists ruin everything, don’t they?  At least my Rapist Daddy could’ve had the decency to be skinny.

About my Rapist Daddy.  Now that you’ve unsealed those pesky confidential records, I think I might do some sleuthing around.  My Rapist Daddy is probably…what?...ninety now?  I better hurry if I’m gonna’ find out where all my fat came from, not to mention my crossed eyes.  I’m sure the old man and his old, fat, cross-eyed children will be thrilled to hear from me.  I can’t wait to tell those kids that our daddy is a rapist.

Good luck to you, Governor.  Congrats on your courage in signing that bill.  Don’t worry about all those old ladies hanging out there twisting in the wind.  They’re half dead anyway.  Trust me—like I trust you and your people—they’ll never know what hit them. 

I’ll keep in touch!
Kathleen Hoy Foley