Khloé, Kenny, and Me

When we’re young, many of us feel like we were born into the wrong family. Some people are saying that Khloé Kardashian actually was. My nine-year-old self is so jealous.

When I was young, I had elaborate fantasies.

Some not-so-typical: sitting in the bathtub and making a fake commercial about saving water starring me and imaginary Mario Lopez,1 because I loved the earth so very much and really, really wanted to meet AC Slater. Some typical: that the boy who tortured me with constant name calling and challenges to my sexuality got hit by the school bus.2 Most of my fantasies were short-lived. I mean, once SBTB went off the air and Elon Burns grew up to be decent looking (but still a dick), I moved on to other things.

However, there was one childhood fantasy which I held onto. The fantasy that I was adopted.

Now, I know what you’re thinking and you’re right: a lot of people fantasize about being adopted. I think that it’s pretty common, as a young person, to feel like your family is a group of people who seem to know–and even be related to–each other but have no connection to you. “Who are these people, and why are they all expecting me to like NASCAR?”

But I, being a childhood contender for Best Performance by an Actress in a Drama, took it further. I wrote letters to my “real parents.”

Now, my mother changed several times, in the course of growing up; sometimes she was Dolly Parton (a recurring favorite), sometimes she was Carole King (I had a musical bent), at one point she was Karen Grassle (thanks in no small part to Caroline Ingalls, the character she played on Little House on the Prairie). But, my father, well, my father never changed. There was only one person on earth that could have sired this young girl: Kenny Rogers.

I can’t explain how I knew that Kenny Rogers was my real father, I just did. I would see him on television, or in a magazine, or on an album cover and get the feeling that I sprung from his loins. Forget the fact that he was already in high school by the time my parents were even born, these were the days before Google and we were all afforded ignorant bliss.3 I only cared that he was the one person who would understand what I was going through. If only I could let him know that I, a child born out of wedlock and the realm of reality, even existed.

I wrote letters to Kenny in my diary, fully intending to transcribe them onto the nice stationary that my parents had given me for Christmas and send them–once I got my hands on his home address. But that never happened. Instead, I ended up with a book of scribbled notes about my parents’ problems, my struggles at school, my unrequited crushes, and my body issues.

— ∮∮∮ —

File under “The One Internet Rumor I Hadn’t Heard,” but according to People magazine, Robert Kardashian’s former wives (in addition to television brood-spawning Kris Jenner) are claiming that Robert, at some point, revealed to each of them that he is not Khloé’s biological father.

Kris, in as much of a mama bear move as she can pull, struck back, saying “I was there, I gave birth. I know who the dad was, everything’s good. We’re all good. Don’t worry about it. Get a life.”

Someone should give Kris a lesson in biology, since she doesn’t seem to know paternity is something that’s established before one actually gives birth. Like, 40 or so weeks before.

Now, while finding out I am not really a Kardashian sounds like a dream to me, the girl who longed to discover that she was not a Wright, this–regardless of the facts–could be a hurtful allegation to make. Khloé doesn’t look a lot like her sisters (but does resemble, quite strikingly, her supposedly not-biological father) and never has, which had to be difficult growing up. Also, the three Ks and one R (their brother, Robert, escaped that ugly name thing, and is named after his dad) lost their father in 2003. Who wants to hear that the man you loved and have been mourning and missing might not be the one who created you?

And I have to question the motives of the women making this claim. To what end, ladies? The die is cast, the Kardashians are a thing, okay? None of them are taking from you (not any more than they are taking from the rest of the world by just existing vapidly) by being famous. Are you trying to get on the fame train by claiming to know a secret about them? Well, one of them stars in an explicit sex tape with a subpar hip-hop artist, one of them is pregnant with her second child by an emotionally abusive jerk, one has been arrested for DUI, and there are rumors that their clothing line is produced in sweat shops.4 In short, their secrets are pretty much out (and closely resemble some of my own), so I suggest you scurry back to your bitter little not-famous hovels and live your own lives.

I eventually found peace with the fact that I was stuck with the family into which I’d been born. After all, I turned out to be the spitting image of my dad’s double chin and my mom’s weak ankles. But I still really wish I could find my old diary of letters to Kenny. I’d love to send him the whole thing, after making copies for my next one woman show “Dear, Kenny Rogers.”

And Khloé, stay strong, friend. You are exactly as bad as your sisters. Don’t let anyone tell you any different.

— ∮∮∮ —


  1. Hey, it was the height of the Saved By The Bell craze, if there ever was such a thing. 
  2. I said “typical”, not “healthy.” 
  3. Remember a time when you actually wondered about things? And maybe asked someone or even visited a library? 
  4. I suggested they spin the story by adopting the brand motto “Made By Chinese Children For American Idiots” but was shot down…in my head. 
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The Checkout Girl

The Checkout Girl is Jennifer Lemons. She’s a storyteller, comedian, and musician. If you don’t see her sitting behind her laptop, check the streets of Richmond for a dark-haired girl with a big smile running very, very slowly.

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