By Elizabeth Stephens
“Give Your Children to the Buddha”
James wanted to meet my family. I tried to explain he did not understand who they were and what he was getting himself into. I had always kept up on the family’s whereabouts and always had their phone number. From time to time over the years I would even call but Selma would always answer and I would hang up. James thought no one could act that badly. Nevertheless, one night, James picked up the phone and dialed the number. Selma answered and James asked to speak to David. I was amazed that David came to the phone. David would have customers calling for construction jobs so Selma probably thought this was work related. For several minutes I listened to the conversation. It was the normal introduction of the caller stating who he was and his business. James told David he was going to marry his daughter and they were invited to the wedding. David was shocked and stunned. James suggested we all meet at a restaurant in Beverly Hills.
Apparently Selma had gotten wind of the conversation and either got on an extension or started yelling. She was so mad her face must have turned red. As soon as she could she ended the conversation and the proposed meeting never took place. A letter was sent that stated to give your children to the Buddha. That was meant to be a curse, but that was what we were planning to do anyway. For a long time I did not know what happened to that letter, I thought James’ dad threw it away as he said it had bad vibrations. However I did find it years later and here it is:
Although I told James they wouldn’t show, we did make the effort to meet them at a restaurant on Wilshire, but they never showed. We received the letter a couple of days later. While Selma no longer had control over my life, she hadn’t lost her way with words! Later, I found out that David had no hand in writing the letter. Selma had been up to her old tricks. She reminded me on the back of the envelope: “Don’t call again.”
James wasn’t the least bit phased. We loved one another and the wedding plans continued to unfold without missing a beat.