I'm writing because I'm very upset with my sister. I've recently been blessed by two wonderful events: I've given birth to my first child, and I've been honored with a very prestigious award. I'll be heading to Stockholm soon with my husband and child (I'm breastfeeding), and feel that it would really be wisest to break up the trip with a stopover in London. The award comes with a substantial stipend, but until I get it, money is tight. I thought the perfect solution was staying a night with my sister, a former showgirl who married an English Lord and lives in a large townhouse in London. Not only would I get to see my sister, who rarely deigns to slum it in the US with her family, but I would save some money (hotels in London are very pricey -- see penuriousness above), and would give her a chance to meet her new niece, who bears my sister's name. I had even expected to ask my sister to be my daughter's godmother, and had some hopes that she could find a way for us to squeeze in a christening on either leg of the trip.
Well, imagine my surprise when, after refusing to take my hints, my sister refused an outright reequest for hospitality, saying that she couldn't bear the thought of being kept awake by my screaming baby (as if she would even hear anything with the baby tucked away in the nursery under the eaves). I told her how disappointed I was that she was being so unsisterly, and she replied that she didn't really feel much like a sister to me since she found out from our grandmother that my father is not the man who raised me, but instead, our milkman (I mean, my biological father is the milkman, not that I was raised by the milkman)!
As you can imagine, I was stunned by this news. My sister explained that our (well, her) grandmother announced this to her when our grandfather (well, her grandfather) died. He was afflicted with a rare genetic disease, so grandmother thought it best to tell my sister that she should have herself screened for it. My sister asked our grandmother if she had told me yet, and our grandmother told her that there was no need for me to know, since I couldn't be carrying the gene. My sister quickly got our grandmother to spill the full can of dairy-fresh beans, and has been ruminating on this news for months. I think she was only too happy to have this incredible news as a pretext for selfishly protecting her own comfort.
Having learned this, I better understand a recent bit of unpleasantness involving my ex-husband, a total creep whose violence during our divorce led to me getting a restraining order, the non-respect of which led to him doing hard time. I now understand what he was referring to when, upon learning I was to remarry, he started a slanderous campaign of posters in my neighborhood accusing me of being a bastard. Obviously my blabbermouth grandmother had decided to share her secret with her favorite ex-grandson-in-law.
I would like to keep this news about my parentage a secret, but I'm wondering whether that's the best plan. I happen to work at an educational institution where my father worked for many years of his distinguished career. People are always insinuating that I benefited from preferential treatment as his daughter, so I'm now inclined to throw back in their faces that I'm not really his daughter.
My question, Prudie, is whether I should let the cat out of the bag by an email blast or some good old-fashioned mimeographers flyers stapled onto telephone poles around campus. Which has the best effectiveness/environmental impact ratio?