Wednesday, January 12, 2011

You may want to avert your eyes...

Warning: this post shows a whole lot of ripples and nipples.  I started a post on this subject some time ago but never could bring myself to publish it.  A recent incident brought it all up to the surface again so here goes.

I ran into a co-worker the other night that I don't work with often.  I caught up on how her day-time teaching job was going and and somehow we got onto the subject of my two kids at BYU.  She was kind of shocked by this.  She knew about my oldest being gay (the famous Halloween visit of Fank N. Furter got around even to those that weren't working that night) but she had no idea about the whole Mormon thing. (I'm rather flattered at the fact that she had no clue I have any Mormon connection.)  She asked if my husband's influeunce was the reason for the TBM kids.  Not wanting to get into my role in raising them to be righteous Mormons and then changing my mind, I said yes, it was his influence.  Because at this point, it is.  Then she asked the question that had me gawping like a fish.  "So are you guys still...together?" I'm sure she noticed the few seconds it took for me to figure how what the hell to say.  Are we together?  Hmmm.  Let me think about this...

I do not believe he and I will ever see eye-to-eye about the church again.  To be fair, when we got engaged he was following his patriarchal blessing's admonition to "choose from among the daughters of Zion" and I was there at BYU milling around among them.  I guess I fooled him.  I tried, I really tried, but I'm done trying to believe and to fit in.  Packer's talk last General Conference put the final nail in the coffin of my testimony.

During one of our rare discussions on the whole gay issue he told me he believed that Lot's wife was turned into a pillar of salt because she turned back to look at her gay children she left behind .  Just call me Salty and damn proud of it..

His goal in life is to serve missions after retirement.  I'd rather have a lobotomy.

My daughter noticed my  lack of garments before he did.  (Yep.)  When he did notice he said absolutely nothing  even when I asked him if he had any questions about the reason.  I told him very plainly that if he doesn't ask it means he doesn't care.  It's been over a year now and still no questions. 

The reason he didn't notice the big change of underwear for weeks?   He has had his own bedroom for over 10 years.  (His choice, not mine.  But it makes is so damn easy to come home stinking drunk and he never knows.)

We live in the same house.  We talk politely about money and how-was-your-day and schedules.    But are we together?  After those few seconds of standing with my mouth hanging open, I just said yes.  Because, technically, we are.   Right?


  1. I'm not sure what to say. First and foremost is that I'm sorry. And then, I guess I'm wondering why you stay. I hope that doesn't come across the wrong way--I'm truly wondering if there's still something in the marriage that makes you stay.

  2. I'm curious (and you don't have to answer) - what attracted you to him in the first place? You seem like such an open-minded and caring individual, and (obviously this is a first impression based on this one story, and so could be completely inaccurate) he seems to not be at all.

  3. Brandi, I didn't want this to come across as "poor me". I think there are a lot of marriages in the church similar to mine but the wife just suffers in silence.

    There are several reasons for staying at the moment--my youngest is still in high school. How could I leave her? My lack of education would make it very difficult to support myself, let alone her too. And I've never lived alone and it scares the shit out of me.

    Carla, he was a tall RM who wanted to marry me. I was an 18-year-old BYU co-ed. Isn't that the celestial pairing that Young Women's taught us to aspire to? It's all supposed to be happily ever after when you do.

  4. JZ, first off, congratulations for not looking like a Mormon to your friend. I remember how happy I was -- still am -- when people are incredulous over my connection to the church.

    As a BYU alum, I remember well how that place threw together sometimes the most mismatched people. I shudder to think of the boyfriend I almost got engaged to there, and the fact that I managed to end up with a good one I can only attribute to shear luck.

    As for your husband, his reasoning about Lot's wife made me want to punch out my computer screen.

    Sending cyber hugs your way.

  5. "To be fair, when we got engaged he was following his patriarchal blessing's admonition to 'choose from among the daughters of Zion' and I was there at BYU milling around among them."

    Every damn one of your posts has something (like that gem above) that makes me snort and chortle. Have you ever had beer go up your nostrils? It hurts, man.

    Okay. Now I'm gonna get all up in your business (stop reading now if you don't want me to go there ... and I usually don't, but ...). Write a damn book. About what? That's your call but you are an awesome read. You are entertaining, deep, funny, poignant, and all that, and you do it without trying -- it's just you which is probably why you do it so well. If you wanted to and it was cool with him you could write an awesome book about being a Mormon mother of a gay son and being forced to choose between your child and your church. Just one suggestion. Again, it's gotta be your call.

    Then if you haven't already, open your own damn super secret bank account so you have somewhere to put all that royalty money. You may want to talk to a lawyer at some point about setting up some kind of entity the assets of which only you control.

    I've seen these Mormon marriages where the spouses end up sleeping in separate rooms.

    Pardon me for being so blunt, but you're not married, my dear. You have a thankless job working for the unfeeling ass you live with. You deserve better and I don't think it's a bad thing for your kids to see that either.

    I've totally violated all kinds of boundaries but, whew. I'll shut up now.

  6. So, now that CD has violated all the boundaries I'm going to, too. She's right--I think you're doing your daughter (and all your children) a disservice by letting her think you're O.K. with the state of your marriage. (Unless, of course, you ARE O.K. with it. But it doesn't sound like you are.)

    Financially I think you'd be just fine if you were to stop paying your children's rents. (See, violating more boundaries!) I don't know the reason that you're paying them, but you probably should stop. If they are old enough to live on their own, they are old enough to support themselves. The vast majority of the world manages to live on their own without mom and dad paying the rent. When we have children, we agree to sacrifice for them, but it's O.K. to stop that once they have left. You have raised them, and you love them, and now that needs to be enough. Now it's your turn to be happy. If you can afford two rents, surely you could afford a small place for just you and your daughter. I'm not saying it wouldn't be a drastic downgrade from what your current home probably is, but when you're comparing square footage to freedom and happiness, square footage seems less important.

    O.K., so I just reread this and it's coming across as harsh. That's not what I intended. Obviously I only know a teeny tiny fraction of the story and I'm spouting unsolicited advice about situations I've never experienced. So, it's completely O.K. for you to tell me to go to hell and mind my own business.

  7. If I hadn't been ready for some constructive criticism I never would have decided to post this. I am glad, CD, that you didn't mince words. There are no boundaries here. It's ripples and nipples, baby. But the book thing? Wow. I've never written anything but a grocery list until I started this blog. The fact that you like my writing is high praise because you are a supurb writer.

    And Brandi, I didn't read yours as harsh. In fact, you didn't say anything I haven't already thought about many, many times before. I guess I've been hoping for an epiphany. Just, BOOM, a sign showing the way I should go that would hurt my kids the least. But I know that's not gonna happen so I have to be a big girl and make those decisions for myself. I've never done that before. Scary.