I got an e-mail from my cousin John this weekend. I hadn’t heard from him in ages.
Sad too, because we used to be so close. He’s just two years older and that always meant crazy fun playing together at family gatherings. We’d always get into so much trouble.
But he went off to college in New York when I was still a Junior in High School. I rarely saw him, much less heard from him after that. But he called eight years ago to tell me he was getting married to a woman he’d met while attending Columbia. Her name was Ellen.
We met her at Thanksgiving two months later.
Gee, what can I say about Ellen? Well, she had a personality like starch. Know what I mean by that? She was stiff, cold, aloof–emotionally withholding. Rude. She made snide comments under her breath and rolled her eyes incessantly. To make matters worse, she was so anal and preppie tailored that I swear even her vagina was buttoned down.
Can you imagine the ad for that???? Pudendum by Savile Row.
She wasn’t nice. She regarded us with undiluted disdain. Texas and Texans were beneath her New England, new-moneyed sensibilities.
But Texans, especially Texas women are nothing, if not gracious and accommodating and would never make anyone feel unwelcome, regardless how much of a big old mean, bitch Ellen happened to be.
We were lovely; generous. The epitome of decorum. She wasn’t, but none of that mattered. John was blood–kinfolk. We loved him and he was taken with her.
And we were delighted the minute he took her out of our midst that Thanksgiving.
After that hellish weekend, we were convinced her real last name was Baskerville.
Anyway, John and Ellen married the next summer and somehow, my cousin managed to stay with involved with her connubially for just over six years.
That was a miracle, really! I sincerely hope the Vatican is investigating THAT one.
When their divorce was final a few months ago, John called to tell everyone but he never offered any explanation. He didn’t need to explain—we knew.
Ellen was not a nice person. In time, John saw her true colors.
So, when I saw I first saw his e-mail in my inbox, I felt sure it would be an in depth message from John perhaps explaining one or two of the 6,897 reasons why he left her.
That wasn’t the subject at all.
The e-mail stated that Ellen had started taking flying lessons in the months before they separated. She got her pilot’s license right after the divorce was final and by the way, the divorce wasn’t pretty. On top of being mean and cold, Ellen is also greedy.
Well, as it turned out, Ellen was out flying the other morning and narrowly escaped injury in the particular aircraft she was piloting. Apparently, she was forced to make an emergency semi-crash landing in Delaware . .
The NTSB issued a preliminary report, citing pilot error. She miscalculated something, somewhere along her journey.
Investigators say the absence of a post-crash fire was likely due to insufficient fuel on board. Fortunately, no one on the ground was injured.
The NTSB photographed the crash site to document the extent of damage to Ellen’s aircraft.
It’s obvious that she was very, very lucky.
Very lucky indeed.