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The China Adventures Of Arielle Gabriel

The Canada Adventures of Arielle Gabriel

May: My Dad's Girlfriend

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I wonder if there is sometimes something wrong in y inability to feel anger, are my adrenal glands broken perhaps?

I took a keen interest in May, my father's girlfriend, and studied all the details of her appearance, her personality, and her domestic habits.

She was to have a disastrous affect upon all our lives, and this affair caused innumerable losses:

loss of home
loss of income
loss of friends
loss of city
loss of schools
loss of education
loss of physical health
loss of mental health

It began rather quickly, my father was giving a public speech, in a town in Southern Ontario.  He did community work for the Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club, and many other respectable groups.  Laughably, it might have even been a speech on World Peace.

Sparks flew right away betwen Dad and May, and we later found out, it was Sex on the First Date.  Which was the first night they talked to one another, and it was not really a date. Those sort of sparks flew quite readily for my father, as Mom later discovered, when he foolishly began discussing all his history with her. To relieve his guilt.

I was turning thirteen, my brother nine, and my baby sister four. We had just upgraded our homes to a beautiful house on Beaconsfield Boulevard, and thought we were a very Happy Family.

The illicit sex attraction lay like a dynamite ticking underneath all our lives, waiting to explode two years later, when a Court Order to leave our home arrived, because my father wanted to sell our house, causing my mom to want to return 3000 miles away to her native British Columbia.

Too many stories here.

So what was May like to me?

May was a Career Woman.  Like my Aunt Cathy in Toronto.  May took a keener interest in men, and was a married woman, to boot.  Her husband was a First Nations man, handsome and serving in the Canadian military over in London during World War 11.  Poor May, ambitious in her career as a pattern designer for Mary Maxim sweaters, saddled with a nice guy who never went further than being a short order cook in a small city in Southern Ontario.

Along came my father.  Forgive me for my moral judgements, but this was not exactly a poetic or spiritual attraction.

Due to the frequency of marital arguments between mom and dad, I blamed the ensuing divorce on personality issues. I saw very small parts of the picture at that age.

May was not as beautiful as my mother, though her skin was thicker, and less lined.  She had a pug nose, and a cheerful, competent personality. My mom foolishly made the error of allowing my brother and me to socialize with May when she and my father met half way in Cornwall, Ontario, for small holidays.

"Let him get this out of his system," she said.  Her first reaction was much sorrow and grief. A few months later, she wanted to be alone in our home, minding just my baby sister.

May had better linger than Mom.

Her nightgowns matched her dressing gowns, and were pastel blue, with no fraying at the cuffs and collars, from too much washing in the washing machine.

She paid for her own two bedroom in Manhasset, Long Island, New York, to meet with her American bosses, decorated tastefully with many displays of her own needlework, cushion and pillows and paintings and tapestries. She was extremely talented with needlework, and held a degree from a Royal College in London.

I did not dislike her.

Her bathroom cabinets and cupboards too held more expensive cosmetics than my mom ever bought.  No Maybelline nor Tangee, signs of women who bought hastily at five and dime stores after a gruelling day on their feet, slinging hash.
I noted L'Oreal and Elizabeth Arden approvingly, a teenage snob already.

Like the trvellers on the Titanic, I did not see the tip of the iceberg hinting at what lay underneath, or what was soon to come.  Lawyers who drained our college savings money provided at least an accurate history of the shipwreck of our family history.

One letter from May to Dad:
"Your children don't really need university education money, Ross.  We could use that money ourselves."

And as Dad was a Canadian Government employee, he received taxpayer subsidized stand-by free airline tickets.
In the first year that May and Dad lived together, court records showed that he obtained 75 free airline tickets for his girlfriend May, who was not yet his wife.  Tickets used for her career advancement, against the rules technically, but hey!

What wss that loss, compared to so many others?

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Lamma Island * Lantau Island * Cheung Chau Island
Hong Kong * Mui Wo * Peng Chau Island
Tung Chung * Shenzhen * Nanning * Hunan Province
Bobcaygeon * Pointe Claire * Montreal
Peterborough * Lake Sturgeon * Ontario
Vancouver * Richmond * British Columbia

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The China Adventures Of Arielle Gabriel

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