Posted in Writing Prompts

FSS #2- Who We Are

This week’s teaser is:

To be clear, what you’re saying is that…

Jenna turned 55 years old and found out she was adopted all in one week. To her, the whole world was now upside down.
In one way, everything made more sense and, in another way, she felt as if her identity was completely erased!
She called her best friend’s cellphone in a panic.
“Hey girl! What’s up?” Natalie answered.
Between sobs, Jenna related the devastating news in a ten minute monologue. Natalie let her go on until a natural pause.
“To be clear, what you’re saying is that you are no longer ‘you’?”
Jenna replied, “I’m erased! All those years, and I haven’t a clue who I am!”.
“Wait, wait, wait, Jenna. I know the news is unnerving but take a breath. You are exactly the woman you were yesterday, Lady! You’re kind… you love your family… you’re my best friend, for God’s sake! Get a grip.”
Natalie then listed a large number of Jenna’s talents and accomplishments. Her lineage didn’t need to be perfect to realize who she is. It had obviously had no impact on how her life unfolded, even blossomed. In fact, Natalie explained, if Jenna had found out sooner, and enthusiastically dwelled upon her birth family history, she may have missed many opportunities that she’d already been blessed to have.
“Jenna. Remember that Critical Race seminar we sat through last Fall? You and I couldn’t understand what the useful possible purpose in it was? Other than to criticize unknown people and our country for nothing that truly defined them, we couldn’t imagine any. What defines us is who we all ARE, and how we lead our lives, not some lineage or transgressions of people we look like. You thought it was HORRIBLE! And now, you’re doing just that to yourself. Stop it!”
After a long silence, Jenna started to giggle.
“You’re so right, girl! That’s exactly what I’m doing. It was all nonsense. GEEZ!”
“You want to get together soon?”
“Absolutely! Gosh, I’m so lucky to know you! Oh, this weekend’s out though. There’s a mandatory White Fragility forum at the University. I’m bringing my headphones because there’s an audio book I can’t wait to finish.”
<Laughter on both ends>

Fandango’s Story Starter #2 – This, That, and The Other (


I love a well told story. If it makes me laugh, all the better.

One thought on “FSS #2- Who We Are

  1. Natalie was very comforting to her friend. That was pleasant reading. Somehow, though, while finding out my parents weren’t my birth parents would make me wonder about a lot of thing… imagining a lineage of American white supremacy (or whatever brand of uber-alles) wouldn’t cross my mind (unless I had solid specifics or noticeable subtext delivered by the informing [adoptive] parent(s) already). I do, actually, feel significant identity from being associated with the heritage of my dad’s and my mom’s families. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t teeter in a panic. (I take the good with the bad as it is — for instance having learned recently that my mom’s dad’s family had a Union soldier and my mom’s mom’s family had a “confederate” fighter — and would be realistic for the most part regardless of what came up.) I do think I would be disappointed to be told my dad wasn’t my dad, mainly because of the added implications about my mother (which wouldn’t mean a whole lot anyway if I didn’t already know things about her originating from after I was born); it wouldn’t be about me per se. Yet, I would rethink things generally.

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