By “Wicked Wednesday” we don’t necessarily mean ‘wicked’ as in evil. We also mean wickedly truthful, wickedly outrageous or wickedly interesting. We want to keep it real! On “Wicked Wednesdays” we will talk about people, situations or things that you just have to hear about. The good, the bad, and the ugly!
I’m convinced I was switched at birth. Should I tell my biological family?
I learned a few years ago, after both of my parents had passed on, why I had a different blood type than everyone else in my family. I was not adopted—it would have been easier to learn the truth if I had been. I was born in a really crummy hospital that shut down long ago. Someone at that hospital switched me with another newborn; there were only two baby girls born that day, and they mixed us up. It took a lot of research and a cross-country journey, but I tracked down the woman who got “my” family. Since “her” family is very close and means everything to her, I didn’t tell her what I knew. I was writing a college paper at the time; the assignment was to find someone who was born on your birthday and interview them, so I interviewed her. She and her children look exactly like the family who raised me, and when I saw her family pictures, I knew beyond a doubt; I look exactly like my birth mother. All four parents went to their graves never knowing they’d raised someone else’s child. It turns out that I have several birth siblings. I’d really like to contact them, but I have a couple of friends who tell me, “Let it go” and “Don’t mess up someone else’s life.” But my parents never gave me up! What would be a graceful way to approach this family, who has never known of my existence? I would like to help my “switchee” meet her birth family, too. She may need to know certain things about her genetic history. And I’d like to know my birth family’s medical history for the sake of my children, if nothing else.
—Someone Else’s Child
Dear Someone Else’s
Perhaps you have incontrovertible evidence for your theory of what happened to you, but it is not presented in your letter. As you can see from this chart, it’s perfectly possible for your parents and siblings to have A or B blood, for you to have O blood, and for you all to be related. If both your parents had O blood, and you have A or B, then, yes, at least one of your parents is not your biological parent—which happens more often than switched babies. After your rather creepy cover mission to scope out this woman, you make no mention of her even commenting on the strange coincidence that not only were you two born at the same hospital on the same day but you also were a carbon copy of her mother. I believe in the rights of people to have access to information about themselves. I’ve been consistently in favor of adoptees who choose to find out about their biological origins. (And they also need to be prepared that their search might be painful and disruptive.) But in this case, I have to side with your friends. There is no “graceful” way to disturb this family with your story. All the parents involved are dead, and there is too much pain and not enough benefit to saying a terrible error was committed. As for the need to get medical histories: It is rare they reveal startling and crucial genetic news. For the sake of your children, teach them good health habits, and bury this story.
This seems to be the hot dating craze in the U.K. They say they got it from America.
Let’s be honest – however funny, bright and eloquent the stranger talking to us may sound, if we don’t feel an instant magnetic attraction to their looks it’s unlikely we’ll take things any further.
Which is a shame, because relationships based purely on physical attraction tend to burn out fast, whereas bonds formed by a shared sense of humour and liking someone’s personality are said to last a lot longer. With that in mind, allow me to introduce Dinner in the Dark.
It’s the new dating craze which has come over from America and looks set to take this country by storm.
Dinner in the Dark is the ultimate blind date. Dozens of single men and women sit around tables and eat a five-course mystery meal in pitch black darkness, and are encouraged to chat and get to know each other.
Online dating service Yahoo! Personals recently held its first Dinner in the Dark event in Bristol at The Glassboat restaurant in Welsh Back.
I must admit, alarm bells started ringing in my head when I was first asked to cover this event. Questions flashed through my mind – what if someone tries to manhandle me in the dark? What if being in pitch black darkness freaks us all out and there’s a frantic stampede to find the exit, with me getting trampled under-foot? What if I get stuck talking to a real bore and can’t escape? What if someone swipes my mobile phone and wallet from my bag under the cover of darkness?
I managed to silence my fears, took the plunge and stepped gingerly onto The Glassboat ready to dine in the dark.
But my anxiety soared sharply as soon as I walked through the door.
I was asked to sign “a simple disclaimer”, in which I apparently absolved Yahoo! from responsibility for everything from any allergic reactions to the food I was served to “emotional distress” caused by anyone I met during the event. “Great,” I thought, “I’m going to pick up an attractive rash and a crazed stalker …”
We all checked in our bags and coats and were given a ticket to reclaim them after the meal.
Before we went into the dark room there was a drinks reception for the 30 diners. It was an even split of men and women, ranging in age from early 20s to mid-30s. People of all degrees of beauty were there – from hot to hobbit – and many had brought along a friend for support.
Some of them got chatting, many stood nervously on their own, shifting from foot to foot, while others calmed their nerves by gulping down free cocktails.
Despite the “blind” nature of this dating event, it became clear that at this stage many of the diners were trying to find out people’s names so that later on they’d know who they were talking to in the dark and how fanciable or unfanciable they were. Sneaky? Yes.
Cheating? Absolutely. But very tempting.
After a quick brief from the Yahoo! Personals bods – stick one arm up if you want to go to the loo and two arms up if you want to be moved to another seat – we were led into the dark dining room one by one.
I was one of the last to go in, and far from the awkward silence I was expecting, the other diners were already chatting noisily.
A waiter wearing night-vision goggles took me by the hand and led me to my seat. It was pitch black – so dark I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. This was a weird sensation. I edged through a completely dark room, able to hear people but not see them.
I had to completely trust my waiter, who tried to reassure me with every step. He led me to my seat, which was incredibly disorientating, and put one of my hands on my plate and the other on my glasses of water and wine.
I could hear the noise of general chat but I couldn’t tell whether there was anybody else sitting next to me. Until I heard a voice at my left shoulder, which made me jump.
It was Steve. He started chatting to me and introduced me to Tom who was opposite me and Suzy who was diagonally to my left. Automatically I offered a hand to shake before realising how stupid this was as nobody could see it, so I was stunned when it connected with another outstretched hand.
We all laughed about how mad the situation was, which broke the ice. Even though I couldn’t see them and they couldn’t see me, I found myself looking towards the voice, trying to make eye-contact, and automatically gesticulating.
It was during one of these gesticulations that I put my hand right in my first course. I have no idea what it was, but it felt slimy. Laughing at my clumsiness, I started to eat the food off my hand, but then smeared some over my cheek and became totally paranoid that when the lights came on I’d have a huge oh-so-attractive smear of food on my face.
There were no thin shafts of light and you couldn’t even make out people’s outlines. The only thing I could see were tiny red and green lights darting all around the room, which was the waiters’ night vision goggles.
Just as I was getting used to the dark and chatting into the ether, suddenly something wet doused my shoulder and leg. By the smell and feel of it, it was a full large glass of white wine. Wearing my expensive, brand new, dry-clean-only silk top had been a mistake.
More wine and conversation flowed and our nerves gradually calmed. I’m naturally chatty and so were the people next to me, which made conversation easy.
Usually, when you talk to somebody new, you can’t help but look at their clothes, their hair and their expressions to form your impression of them, but in the dark you can only concentrate on their voice, so you really have to listen.
Instead of nodding while someone was talking to show I was listening, I realised I had to make encouraging noises as they couldn’t see me.
Not knowing what you’re eating is deeply odd. You don’t want to take a big bite as you don’t know whether you’ll like it. But textures and flavours seemed more intense in the dark.
At one point when people around me were having conversations with each other I struggled to join in. You can’t make eye-contact as if to say “let me in” so I sat there silent for a while until one of the waiters gently prodded me into voice.
I was happy chatting to Steve, Tom and Suzy but for the sake of variety I decided to move, so a waiter guided me to another table. My new table-mates quickly introduced themselves and I realised I was sitting next to Nick, Emmy and Jon, whom I’d met at the reception earlier.
With every sip of wine, the chat flowed more easily. By this time I’d got used to the dark. I couldn’t see a thing, but I didn’t care anymore.
As we all know, if you want someone to know you like them, you move ever-so-gradually closer until something inoffensive, such as a knee or a foot, is gently touching them. This gives them the option to shift away, signalling a clear but unsaid “no”‘. If they don’t move away, though, the next step is an arm creeping around the shoulder as you lean in to speak, deliberately lowering the volume of your voice to give an excuse to get closer.
If this is unwanted attention, diners in the dark can secretly put up both their hands and be swiftly and silently whisked away without explanation.
But if there’s chemistry, this is exciting enough in the light, so in the dark it’s absolutely electric. All your other senses are heightened, so you can smell his aftershave more strongly and feel the heat from your blushing cheeks.
We were warned beforehand that the waiters would bring out candles during the dessert course to give the diners a romantically-lit first glimpse of the singletons with whom they’d been talking. But instead, before the candles there was a sudden bright flash of light as a neon Yahoo! sign was switched on, making everybody squint. A rather abrupt, clumsy ending to the darkness.
After we all got used to the light again, everyone went back to the bar for a few drinks.
I saw a few couples getting quite close, exchanging mobile numbers. But I also saw some fake-smiling and fleeing from over-enthusiastic diners who they’d been happily chatting to in the dark but wanted to avoid now the lights were on.
And as for me? Well, obviously I was there in my capacity as a journalist. But I’m also single. And I did get a phone number…
Do you have a story about the regional press? Ring 0116 227 3122/3121, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
A man comes home and wife is having sex in the driveway with another man. He gets jealous and starts shooting and then his wife yells rape so she won’t get shot.
An Arlington woman accused of causing the death of her lover by telling her husband that she was being raped did so out of fear, her attorney said. Tracy Roberson, was having an affair with Devin LaSalle. Ms. Roberson, who had been married nearly two decades at the time, met Mr. LaSalle because their children attended the same school.
When Ms. Roberson’s husband came home from a gambling trip to Dallas the night of Dec. 11, 2006, he found the two of them together in Mr. LaSalle’s truck, Ms. Roberson panicked, her attorney told a Tarrant County jury.
Darrell Roberson “immediately jumps out of his SUV and starts firing,” Ms. Davis said. “He’s aiming to shoot anyone because he’s angry and jealous. She hasn’t said anything about rape yet. She could have been hit. Darrell didn’t care who got it.” “She tells the police there was a knock at her door and this man takes her out of the house and rapes her. She stays on the story, ‘I was being raped.’ … She denies even knowing Devin LaSalle.”
Even though the husband started shooting BEFORE she yelled rape, he is off the hook and it is the wife’s fault the lover was killed.
Should the husband stay a free man or should he spend some time behind bars? After all, she yelled rape AFTER he started shooting, not before.