Saturday, November 07, 2009

Tsk, Tsk, Tina

Today's headlines in the not-so-local rag contain yet another juicy story about Tina Pray, the current undisputed poster girl for the Town of Greenwich wild child. Well, at 46 she's not that much of a child anymore, despite her colorist's valiant efforts, but her behavior is still pretty jejune.

Tina has long been known for her, shall we say, unorthodox deportment. When she tired of her first husband, local attorney Eric Grayson, she went off to a singles party. Jof Amiot, himself single at the time, warned her not to go in, but she blew right past him. There she met Pierre Gagne, whom she invited back to her house on Round Hill Road to join her in the marital bed. When Eric arrived home later that evening, it was immediately clear that Tina had come up with a novel way of announcing that their marriage was over.

One hears that her deposition at the subsequent divorce proceedings was smoking-hot. Her father basically disowned her, which did not stop her, they say, from trying to sell the Round Hill Road house out from under him. Apparently Tina has a serious streak of larceny deep inside her.

And now it has come to the surface again, as she has been arrested for trying to scam an insurance company for a "lost" painting that she is alleged to have surreptitiously removed from her mother's house and then sold at Sotheby's. When her stepfather, Dick Ford, called the police this past May at Tina's insistence to report the painting as "missing" (Dick has a life interest in the house, originally owned by Tina's mother), he told the police that Tina was "a shady character who had stolen from the home in the past, squandered money, and is always in need of more." No love lost there, apparently.

With such a sterling character reference from her stepfather, a multiple-arrest record of her own, and the well-known estrangement from her father, always a generous supporter of police and other charities in Town, Tina was soon called in for questioning. She lied like a trooper, of course, saying she had not seen the painting in question since 2005. When confronted with evidence that she had sold it at auction in 2007, Tina said she was utterly "baffled" and claimed to have "no recollection of that," offering to swear to her innocence on a Bible. Since, of course, Bibles are somewhat scarce in the local cop shop, she did not get an opportunity to do this, thus perhaps avoiding, or at least postponing, an eventual reckoning with St. Peter.

When your scribe first knew Tina back in her younger days, when she and her mother were running Amfit, he and she always hit it off well together. She was fun to be around, easy on the eyes, and seemed to be a reasonably squared-away young lady. But things never "clicked" between us. Looking back, your scribe is unsure whether to be sad or glad of that fact. Perhaps, let's say, a little of both. Sad, because both our lives might have moved in different directions from the ones they took instead, and perhaps Tina would not be in such a pickle right now. Glad, because if these are her true colors shining through in today's headlines, it would not have been a happy relationship.

Tina, here's a word of advice from an erstwhile friend: Use your Bible for something else other than as a false prop to your obvious lack of innocence. Own up to the truth, apologize for what you have done, and turn over a new leaf. Read the story of the Prodigal Son, and think how your father must feel about his prodigal daughter. The lesson of Luke's parable is that it's never too late to make a change, and perhaps the best time of all to do so is when you have hit bottom.

"I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy [daughter]....'"

You know what happened next in the story, Tina. Perhaps it might happen in your own story, as well.


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