I’ve been thinking about incest a lot recently, and before you jump to conclusions about what that says about me, please let me explain.
First, a couple of weeks ago one of my Facebook friends posted a list of the kind or men she would not date. One of the items on the list were Men Whose Last Name Is Jones. Naturally, I thought that was an odd inclusion, so I asked her what that was about. She told me that her biological father’s last name is Jones. She uses a different last name (she’s divorced) and has no connection to him, but she says he was a known “player” with several illegitimate children by several different woman, she doesn’t even know how many. Therefor she figured any man named Jones could be related to her, so she didn’t want to risk messing with one (although she did say she’d make an exception for rapper NAS aka Nasir Jones).
It’s funny, although there is logic to that. And it got me thinking. This sort of thing probably does happen, right? People meeting, and dating, having sex with, even getting married and having children with, people whom they are unknowingly biologically related to? A cousin, or even a sibling. I also have another Facebook friend, whom I’ve never met in person but have “known” since the Myspace days, and I’ve joked a few times over the years that she and her husband look like brother and sister to me. She’s Thai, and he’s Black plus something, I’m not sure, so it’s unlikely, but they have the same brown skin-tone, same smile, same straight black hair. She thinks that’s funny, and I am just joking, but…what if?
When you think of all the broken homes out there, the scattered families, re-marriages and name changes, then add in things like adultery and paternity fraud where some people may not even know who their real father is, or think they know but are wrong, not to mention anonymous sperm donation for artificial insemination, and closed adoptions, and many of us likely have close relatives that we don’t know, and possibly even siblings. I read this story: Twin Toddlers Turn Out to Have Different Dads. That can’t be the only time something like that has happened, it’s just most of the time no one would even think to test the twins for different fathers.
So it’s not so impossible to imagine that you could meet some random stranger and feel some instant spark of attraction and it turns out it’s because they’re your sibling. Over the years I’ve seen plenty of stories in the news about people suddenly discovering long lost siblings that they didn’t know they had. And, sure enough, just as I did a google search to add a link about that to this post, I came across this article: 10 Amazing Coincidences Involving Long-Lost Family Members. 9 of the stories are all about incidents where people discovered that people they knew or had some connection to, turned out to be their sibling (like a 71 year old man who had been adopted, finding out he a had a brother who turned out to be someone he went to elementary school with). But one of those stories is about a couple who were more than friends…
Unfortunately, not all family reunions have a particularly normal ending. One such example is Adriana and Leandro from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Adriana had been looking for her mother, Maria, after being abandoned by her 38 years earlier when she was just one year old. In August 2014, Adriana went on the radio program The Time Is Now, which is a show that specializes in reconnecting long-lost relatives. On the show, she talked to her estranged mother, Maria, and Maria mentioned that she’d also had a son, whom she had also abandoned. He was a year younger than Adriana, and his name was Leandro.
The amazing and unfortunate coincidence in this case was that Adriana’s husband of 10 years, with whom she had a daughter, was a man who was a year younger than her and who had a mother named Maria who’d abandoned him. And yes, his name was Leandro. The two siblings had married each other without either of them knowing that they were brother and sister.
After the revelation, the couple decided to stay together.
Oh. Em. Gee.
I can’t even begin to imagine what they went through when they found out. And the concern that they must have had for their daughter. But, at that point, what do you do? I mean, the “damage” is already done, they’ve been married for ten years, and likely together for at least a couple of years before that. I know all those years of feelings wouldn’t just disappear as soon as they found out the truth, but it must have some affect on them.
I also found that in Iceland, with it’s relatively small population, accidental incest is such a big problem that someone actually invented an app to avoid this: Iceland’s Incest-Prevention App Gets People to Bump Their Phones Before Bumping in Bed. Although I’m not completely sure if that article is a joke or not, but it is still an interesting topic.
Something to think about next time you’re ready to jump into bed with a stranger, eh?