Chapter 9: A New Life
Ray's Baby and Wife
At each stage, I am in the presence of one of the 'families.' I am never alone. I never provide my own transportation and I never pay for a damned thing!
I returned, from the Philippines, eight and one half months pregnant. I was delivered to my putative husband Ray, who was now 15 years of age. The homecoming was sweet and genuine. Ray and I had been in contact the entire time. He knew from the sonograms that we were probably having a girl as there was no evidence of a penis. We had been going back and forth in email and IM about the name. That was still not resolved.
While I waited for the birth, I reviewed my fieldwork and came to a conclusion that I had failed to find a micro-economic factor. I was dealing with the prevailing economic factors of a society and an innovative, unique response to it. Not to suggest that is not a minor thing. It is a minor adjustment, but it wasn't what I was looking for.
Yes there were micro-factors influencing cultural/religious beliefs. And there was the establishment of immediate new normative behavior. Limiting micro-factors included the number of participants, the unusual but limted educational adjustments, and a limited class of potential placement candidates. This would never be applicable to a large group. There were far too many points for exclusion. Too many boxes needed to be checked. It is just that it was as I saw it a social rather than economic factors.
I wrote that all out in a long detailed, annotated and footnoted letter to Cornie (my advisor) and suggested that I probably had to withdraw my thesis proposal. It was true that cultural and religious values had been directly influenced and dramatically changed. And the cause had been an understanding of both human nature and economic need. I had proved that completely. I had also shown that normative behavior was completely remapped through the process.
It wasn't that I had disproved anything in my thesis. I just was investigating the wrong thing.
I did note that what I had investigated was not a cult, as much as it was a cabal organized and run mostly by women, for women, successfully taking advantages of the natural weaknesses of men.
Cornie wrote back two days before I gave birth to Lily (7 lb, 3 oz.) that I had a microeconomic response to a macro pressure. The response was highly successful but constrained due to self-limiting factors. He saw no reason to walk away from the thesis and urged me to complete what I had sent him along with the rest of my underlying supporting interviews and documents. I did that, but before I sent it off, I submitted it to a selected group of highly educated and professional individuals within the group. They asked for a few inconsequential (to the thesis) changes that tightened their anonymity, to which I readily agreed.
Lily is a beauty! A mestizo and a happy one. Ray is a proud papa. He helps me with Lily far more than his mother or sister think is appropriate. Filipino men are not normally as involved with infants.
When Lily was six months old, I was awarded my Doctorate. We all went to the ceremony. Lily was in my arms as I walked up to get the diploma. Ray, Samatha, Jacque, Alysa and Henry attended the ceremony. Following the graduation, we visited another Jake family for the weekend before heading home. And yes, it is home now.
Lily belongs to Ray as much as she belongs to me. I can use my doctorate in San Diego to teach here. I don't have to go anywhere else. I am part of a world that is self-supporting and, it is very hard to leave. Ray and I are planning the next child for when he turns seventeen. I have access to Alysa and Sammie and so my female needs are nicely met. Henry, dear Henry would cut off his hand before he would touch anyone other than his two women. Go figure.
I have been given full access to the website and am now accepted as part of the group with Jake's and Joy's urging and support. Joy told me that they had read what I had written and she wished to apologize. I accepted with the proviso that the next time we meet we can sleep together one night. She accepted my proposal. I am looking forward to tasting the boss lady!
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