Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Hooting Owl

Although, I am often up early and writing or reading online, there is such a thing as being up too early when you haven't slept well to begin with. I just realized i could hear hooting owls and lonesome trains as they pull through town blasting their electronic quasi-foghorn whistles. I read Samantha's blog often who also suffers from PTSD. The last few weeks, I've been off my anti-depressant and I had another terrible nightmare. Since they are usually truly chilling, this one wasn't as gory and murderous as the worst but who knows what is up on deck next, I think it is once again, time to admit that I still have my own PTSD issues. I definitely had triggering events yesterday and the insomnia that follows the nightmares is no fun either.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Three Strikes and They are Not Out . . .

and still the only one who thinks he might be gay. So the Kid is having second thoughts about going to the prom with Chaucer. But, wait, it is not what you might think. He is worried that Chaucer, like his other two "friends" might decide that he is straight after going out with the Kid. That would make three guys he basically convinced they were not gay after all-apparently not good for the young wanna be gay guy's self image.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Update on Two Guys and a Prom

The kid told me that Chaucer called the other day and that today they would hang out after church and figure out the details for the event. I was glad that Chaucer was still interested. As the kid mentioned the Constance McMillen case, I asked him if he thought that had anything to do with Chaucer, he said no, that the agreement to go was long before Constance McMillen became a news item. He said that he knew that if he went and petitioned the school board for permission to go it might stir up a little frenzy, but that he is certain that if he and Chaucer just went, no one will care.

Last year the Song family tuxedo went to prom on a woman with her same sex date. I knew that. But as I mentioned in the Truth is Stranger than fiction post, I had forgotten that Girl Song had also went to the winter formal with another girl. I told the kid about this. He did not remember. This was eleven years ago. The kid thinks just about anyone can take their same sex date to a prom without it necessarily being a federal case-although he did ask us about how we felt as you will recall from the earlier Two guys and a prom posts.

I asked him if gay kids he knew were surprised that being from a Mormon family this had been relatively painless for him to arrange with his parents knowledge. He just dismissed us as being "liberals." Nice, I guess. I don't feel as though it is quite that simple. You know his "kind of a Homo" Mom would actually, if given the chance, still select a girl for him to go to do high school dances with. Which is strange because, if someone asked me to arrange a marriage for him, I do not know which sex I would choose, because I now have some pretty big questions as to just what his sexuality is and whether or not he could maintain a mixed orientation marriage or same sex marriage with or without a testimony. One night is not eternity, although I am surely certain for a teenager a bad prom night can seem like eternity.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

It Takes One to Know One or Birds of a Feather Flock Together

Recently, friend from my ward shared that their transperson child had said that I was the only person in the ward they could possibly talk to about the church and sexuality. I rather doubt that the friend has shared what they know about my own sexual anomalies with their child, but I wasn't at all surprised that a transperson could identify a commonality with me. At a later time, I'll blog about my early teenage desires to be male-I think it has a lot to do with societal expectations of beauty for women and with my fear I had then of domestic violence.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sister Piss and Vinegar

No, I am not blogging about offensive, blasphemous, modern art. I'm blogging about the unkind, mouthy people that exist in some wards-a minority in my experience. The ward I met Sister Piss and Vinegar in was broken and saddled with literally 20-30 times the social problems that surrounding wards had. We got extra missionaries, but little other consideration of the special needs of our congregation from the institutional church. This was a time in my life where many things were not going well and I wound up living on the wrong side of the tracks so to speak. It's terrible when you are treated poorly just for the perception others may have of your poverty based on a mere address.

Sister Piss and Vinegar went out of her way to be unkind, most notably in terms of my calling, humble as it was, of scheduling the missionaries meals. Our bishop did not want the missionaries eating with the stalwart active families, he wanted them with the shut ins, the less fortunate, the part member families and others. Thus, I scheduled the meals with these folks, when a family couldn't afford the meal, I would cook or get other sisters to contribute and the missionaries would carry it over. Sister Piss and Vinegar just never did get over me taking away her weekly dinner from the missionaries and was quite vociferously nasty every opportunity she had.

The funny thing was, that after a while it no longer bothered me and I even began to feel a bit of tender mercy toward her constant ascerbic behavior. Towards the end of my tenure in that ward, her husband lost his employment and I could palpably feel her fear about that situation. And, surprisingly, I felt compassion for her. That was one of my turning points in dealing with offensive remarks by offensive people at church. I think it was a blessing of truly magnifying that calling to handle the missionary dinner calendar that has carried me a long way over the years.

However, lest you conclude I have deemed myself lifted above others, I shall forever refer to her as Sister Piss and Vinegar-unrepentantly.

Friday, March 19, 2010

More Truth is Stranger than Fiction from the Song Family

I'm back for a brief blog before hitting the road again. Thank God I bounce.

Grandchildren are a blast. I am now "Mumzy" which means that noncommittal on the grandparent name game DH is now by default "Popzy." Like it or not dear, here we come. Baby Bam Bam is so cute. And such a big boy.

While looking at Girl Song's photo albums, I realized that she went to winter formal with another girl. I now remember. Girl Song's date for winter formal just happens to be the tender subject of my "Will You Be Ready?" Post. I wasn't stressed out at the time, because never in my wildest dreams did I even contemplate one or the other could be gay. I have not told Questioning Song aka The Kid about this, although he may remember this on his own anyway.

Ok, so I've actually done this before, why on earth was I so weirded out by Two Guys and a Prom? It must be the potential for kissing and ooooh something more. Or just the Kid's flagrant, at times, obsession on occassion with things flaming.

Before leaving for distant shores DH and I had a conversation which he initiated wherein he explained to me that yes, it's true I'm really not much like other women and that fact is hammered home to him in all his work dealings. He likes this about me, but also finds it challenging in some ways. Then DH once again explains to me how he himself is rather lacking in so-called masculine traits such as "mechanical ability." I cannot begin to number the times he has proclaimed that he really has a female brain over the years. I hate this OGT stereotyping crap. Hold this thought and we will come back to this potential MOM squared (thank you Curies) line of reasoning DH was following.

Back at distant shores, Girl Song's friend picked me up from the airport. Girl Song later explained that said friend is a gay woman and having a terrible time meeting other gay women. Girl Song's friend is not LDS and really cannot stand gay bars. I worry for the Kid, because he hopes to meet someone during college to settle down with and have a whole passle of children with. I have read several Moho blogs where the authors bemoaned the difficulty of finding potential partners. This also led to a conversation about Number One Song, who is getting a little long in the tooth maritally speaking and what a great guy he is and why he can't get past first dates. From there we went to the topic of arranged marriages and ultimately concluded that gay or straight if parents had to make the choice the most risk free matter of handling the issue would be to find someone who already had a good track record, i.e. polygamy.

We also had a cute conversation with dear Son in Law (SIL) about why he married Girl Song, she was fun, interesting, unusual and he would have the opportunity to travel. SIL is by no means perfect (not LDS, smokes and drinks) but he is filled with common sense and genuine love for people and he treats Girl Song like the princess she is. Girl Song said he was the best man she ever met. And she knew a lot of LDS men of the card carrying type. I think THAT indicates a failure in how we LDS parents are raising our young LDS men.

My current staff is male, and I heard Elder asking Younger if he looked or acted gay, because elder had been asked for his phone number so many times by men. Younger assured him no, but I was quietly thinking about all the OGT's Elder does have even though I hate those stereotypes. Both Elder and Younger are straight. Yesterday, I asked Younger to take care of something at my home and The Kid had to send me a text telling me Younger was "Hot." Yes, so was Meatloaf in his own 80's rocker way.

When I shared with DH that The Kid was scamming on Younger, DH shared that Cervantes, deceased BIL's partner had invited DH to come alone to visit him in beautiful seaside community my head began to spin. Remember BIL thought DH was missing out on life having never been kissed by a man. DH assures me that he is still straight and will not be visiting Cervantes "alone." Apparently, DH is a little flattered by Cervantes offer. So no MOM squared marriage here after all, but . . . .

Weird enough yet? Oh, the brave new world, I am not ready for it.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Journeys to Distant Shores

I will be taking a blog break for about a month.

I'd like to quit blogging altogether. God Knows I have other things to do for an hour each day. But, I NEED this outlet.

I'm less conflicted than when I started, but still conflicted.

I'm still something more than straight but less than Gay and not thoroughly bisexual.

I'm still on the journey of a parent with a gay or questioning child.

My testimony is strong and I'm in a place of peace with things religious and all the seemingly irreconciliable differences that spring forth from that well.

I can't fix the world, nor would I even know how.

I made a good online friend, thanks slp.

I've endured a little bit of ribbing from my family members for blogging in this community of "hohos," "mormoes," and been asked by DH on at least one occasion, "How are your mormon fags today?"

So to all you hohos out there, I'll be back. . .Someday.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Wacky Taffy that Resulted in the Formation of my Inner Homophobe-Part 2

Let me preface this post by saying a few things: First, I do know wonderful LGBT people. Second, I think this is, in an odd way, part of my grieving process for my Drama Mama. And, Third, part of the reason why I'd rather see my kids not involved in some of this activity (including the heterosexual equivalents)-let's face it, it IS downright weird.

The Professor Prefers Men

When I returned from my sojourn in the city of my grandmother, I briefly went to a four year college for two quarters. I didn't have enough money, Drama Mama would call me every Friday morning weeping because her marriage to wicked stepfather was falling apart (appropriately so) and I just didn't know how to solve certain problems I was having. I can't remember what I did then-I am getting so old. This had to have been when I worked in a garment factory-that too, is a tale for another blog. By this time Drama Mama had moved to another state.

I decided to go to community college. DH was there, we were not publicly engaged, but very obviously a couple. The final semester I was taking a science class from a very old, but very GQ professor who had never married. DH had been his lab assistant at some time in the past. Anyway, he and DH were friends. The professor asked a question in class and I raised my hand and gave an answer based on what I had learned the previous year at the four year university.

He then started ridiculing me in front of the full class and when I asked him what he believed the answer to be, he told me to leave physically threatened me and came toward me like he was going to throw me out of the class. At the doorway, I turned around and told the professor that I thought his behavior was very unprofessional and that I would be reporting it. I went immediately to counseling where they told me that this professor had a long history of being unable to deal with women and harassing his female students.

Believe it or not, I did go onto finish the course in this man's class and did get a suitable grade from him. He retired that June, under pressure, I understand. His then current lab assistant explained it to me, the professor was gay, he was jealous of the relationship that DH had formed with me. I heard this over and over in the community. And, then I remembered, the professor lived down the street from me and I HAD seen a constant stream of young men going to his house when I lived there, but never thought much about it. DH claimed the professor never approached him or did anything inappropriate, but the then current lab assistant said that he had had a talk with the professor about ceasing inappropriate and too frequent butt patting.

My Dearly Beloved Brother in Law the Early Years

When my Brother in Law (BIL) came out, I tried to be especially supportive. Remember, I was a card carrying Mormon with two young children. BIL was a social maladroit before coming out and although DH loved him (he died young of a heart attack), and he was a good person at the core, he had issues. Anyway, BIL lived in the same town we did, and we spent a lot of time with BIL. BIL was with us when our first child was born taking pictures.

One day BIL, DH and I were sitting in my living room, my children were napping and we all comfortably settled in just to relax. DH stretched out on the couch, I was sitting in the chair on the opposite side of the room, and BIL was leaning up against the couch while sitting on the floor right in front of DH's knees. DH fell asleep while BIL and I were having a conversation. I can't remember the topic, but it must have had something to do with gay issues, because BIL suddenly got on all fours and crawled up close to DH's face and said, "Poor DH he has never been kissed by a man, shall I kiss him now?"

Somehow, I managed to croak "No." Lucky was BIL that I was both young and so shocked as to be nearly speechless. BIL was not joking, nor was he drunk or on any kind of drug. Had this happened any time in the last twenty years, I would have so torn his sorry fanny to pieces over that it would be unrecognizable. Needless to say, in spite of my youth, that incident began a vast distancing for me in trying to be supportive of BIL's issues surrounding his coming out. Luckily for BIL and for us, he soon met the love of his life, Cervantes, and that gave BIL someone else to fantasize about kissing other than my DH.

La Conquistadora

DH's first job out of college involved route work. He was trained by La Conquistadora who was a butch lesbian who was very good at what she did. She also took pains to educate DH about her prowess with females. She was especially proud of her "conversion" stories. These were straight women that she had shown the way to happy lesbianism. It was interesting to hear of the Harley riding La Conquistadora and when I met her, she wasn't quite as Butch as one might have expected.

But, La Conquistadora wasn't just about the stories. No, she was determined to show DH the results of her handiwork, so she made a lunch appointment with one of her conquests for her and DH to have lunch at this woman's house. DH went and had lunch. La Conquistadora told him all about how she had persuaded this woman to start dating her, the woman left her husband, and although she and La Conquistadora were not a couple, they were still good friends.

At the time I thought this was quite weird. DH was both fascinated and weirded out. In retrospect, I wonder if this wasn't a serious recruitment attempt of DH for fun and games. Thank God for DH's commitment to our relationship is all I can say looking back. DH changed jobs shortly after that.

Oh, the Things You Can Do With a Salami

We were living in the Bay Area by this time and DH was in managment. One of his sales people became a good friend of the family. George had originally moved to San Francisco from the East Coast because he thought he might be gay following the break up of his long time marriage. After unloading the U haul and settling down into a garden apartment in the Mission District, George ventured out onto the gay scene. He was quietly sitting in a gay bar, hoping to strike up a conversation, when a man in a superman suit jumped up on the bar and started dancing. Stuffed down the leg and strategically positioned was one of the long rolls of salami that can be bought in most Bay Area supermarkets.

George said he knew without a doubt that he was NOT gay after this incident. By the time we met him, he was a happy promiscuous lad with a rash . . . This being the Bay Area, we also met the lovely lady who gave him the rash . . . Ah, the eighties, so memorable for their excesses in every way: Joe Montana, Huey Lewis and big hair.

My Dearly Beloved Brother in Law the Later Years

After several years in a relationship with Cervantes, a bout with cancer, and a failed attempt to launch a career, BIL became obsessed with a new social movement and became a part of the childfree subculture. Yep, these are the people who basically demean breeders, those of us who reproduce. BIL and Cervantes were not interested in having a family of their own. As BIL put it in a letter to me, Gay men could not have children together (this was only twelve years ago and I was expecting my fourth child, baby song-my how times have changed). He was pretty darn nasty about the whole thing and asked not to be named our children's guardian. Yes, we card carrying Mormons had at one time named the weird gay uncle to be the financial guardian of our children with my Drama Mama as the guardian they would stay with. I digress, but as you might expect BIL and Drama Mama actually got along quite well.

Cervantes was the one bright light in all this. I think BIL was spiralling downward into the pits of despair. BIL was lucky to find him. To this day Cervantes is our friend and he and DH still correspond. Thankfully, Cervantes is a good counterpoint to what BIL was.


So these are the highlights of the baggage that I carry around even as a person who has been attracted to both sexes and these are the things that spark the fears I have as a parent of a child who will be going out shortly into the rainbow world of gaydom. Will he go for the Wacky Taffy or will he choose something more substantive? Let's get real it's scary for any parent's inner homophobe, even for one who is "something more than straight" and not from the most traditional LDS family origins.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Alberts Wacky Taffy Rainbow 48ct.

Alberts Wacky Taffy Rainbow 48ct.

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The Wacky Taffy that Resulted in the Formation of my Inner Homophobe-Part 1

Let me preface this post by saying a few things: First, I do know wonderful LGBT people. Second, I think this is, in an odd way, part of my grieving process for my Drama Mama. And, Third, part of the reason why I'd rather see my kids not involved in some of this activity (including the heterosexual equivalents)-let's face it, it IS downright weird.

Drama Mama and her Scene

My earliest experiences in life were with my Drama Mama's family, her brothers, her mother and our landlord. The second phase of my life that I recall, included lots of wonderful activities with my little Sis, grandmother and Drama Mama's friend "Penny." Drama Mama met Penny in nursing school before she was kicked out and the two became best female friends forever until distance of four states separated them. When I see the two lesbians on Evolving Lesbian's blog banner, I always think of Drama Mama and Penny with Drama Mama being the voluptuous brunette and penny being the perky, shorter blonde tomboy.

I do not think that Drama Mama and Penny ever sexually experimented with their very close and endearing friendship, although modern observers might reach the conclusion they were lesbians. I also do not recall Penny ever drinking. Had Penny been a drinker, too, I am sure anything was possible. At any rate, Penny was the closest thing I ever had to a real Aunt and she was basically a good role model of an independent career woman (having completed her nursing degree and working all her life as an RN) with some common sense.

Penny was always heavy set, while Drama Mama could and did set most Men's teeth on edge physically and enjoyed doing so. The Betty Page hair cut would be a topic for another blog discussion I suppose. I recall overhearing two conversations between Drama Mama and Penny.

The first was regarding the size of the previous night's conquest's ***ahem***. Scratch another notch in the bedpost, girl. Penny wanted to know, but before Drama Mama would answer she noticed I was listening and asked me if I knew what that word was. I don't remember anymore of the conversation,and, I think I ran off into another room.

The second conversation occurred at least a year later and involved Penny and Drama Mama discussing a series of disturbing harassing phone calls Drama Mama was receiving from another woman who was making sexual overtures involving "rubber gloves and baby bumpers." Drama Mama was trying to figure out at which "party" she had met this person at and who she was. Even as a young child, remember I was well acquainted with Drama Mama's parade of Male visitor's and what they did with Drama Mama, even if I didn't understand it.

To give her a little credit, I think she had started to make a bigger effort not to conduct these activities at home when we were around (thus, we spent alot of time with my beloved Grandma). It was pretty clear to me that this caller wanted to have sex with my mother and was attempting to invite her to something really taboo. Drama Mama expressed her revulsion to this. I think this was my first exposure to the LGBT "community" so to speak and it apparently involved what we would call the leather segment of the community today.

Uncle Doc and his Mini-me

I think it was a few months later that we went to visit Drama Mama's younger brother, Doc, back home. His "roommate" was a little person (midget was the term Drama Mama and Doc used to describe him). I think his name was Dale and I remember that Dale had a really cool car with extended foot pedals. I remember Dale falling asleep at dinner and my uncle, Doc, rushing to catch him before he toppled from his stack of phone books onto the floor. I also remember Dale walking around in his briefs during this visit which really ticked Drama Mama off. Dale and Doc had porn all over the house and Drama Mama cautioned us several times not to pick any of it up.

I remember Drama Mama and Doc having a conversation where she asked him if he was in a relationship with Dale. Doc denied this but then picked up a thick sheaf of papers which was a report from a pyschiatrist he had been seeing and told Drama Mama that this report explained why he was the way he was and it was because of the family member that had exploited Grandma, Drama Mama and her brothers. However, Doc has always denied being sexually abused by this person and in later life claimed to be interested in women.

Two Lesbians, a Baby, a Few Dogs, Many Cats and a Racoon.

I inherited a house cleaning job from another Mia Maid and she told me she thought the clients were lesbians. I said what's that? She explained and I took the job and really didn't think a lot about it except how to wonder how they got the baby. I still don't know for sure if they were lesbians and this would be the time when people were still very closeted. They also left when I came to clean, which was a very good think because this was one of the three filthiest living environments I have ever seen. These two women were both RN's working in another city in nursing management at their institution. They never, ever did dishes. I did them once a week when I came in and I can assure you they did not eat out much. There were 3 or 4 dogs, and, as I recall, thirteen cats and a racoon. One of the women also had a son who was a toddler.

They maintained separate bedrooms, one of which the bed was always made. At the time, I assumed it was because that lady was cleaner. I now think it was because she never actually slept there, it was for show when they had guests or relatives. As you might have already deduced, when I did have an interaction with them they were weird. I had a conflict come up one day and couldn't call and they called and fired me. This did not bother me.

I was always rather creeped out by the idea that I could wind up in a hospital under the care of nursing staff with such utter lack of concern for basic hygiene. Despite whatever elso abnormalities in my growing up there may have been, my trailer trash people kept a clean house and I found the utter filth of the lesbians house hard to take. I now also understand that they were classic animal hoarders and that this in and of itself is a psychiatric problem.

Two Guys, Drag Queens and the Invitation to Turn a Trick or Two

One of the cities that I spent time in as a child was know for its Gay prostitution according to Drama Mama. Grandma lived there and I went to stay with her and work for a few months. Grandma lived right downtown in the pit of hell so to speak. I did find work in a fast food restaurant and took a brief trade school course during the day so I could get started in the world of work before starting school the next January in another state. Across the street from my restaurant was a bar called "Two Guys." Most of the clientele were just regular guys who most likely were gay. I do remember some rather aggressive hitting on my manager taking place by the manager of another famous restaurant in town. We had two regulars who were drag queens and prostitutes. The white guy was obviously male. However, his black companion seriously managed to elevate this to an art form and it was difficult to tell she wasn't female.

On several occassions another customer had offered me money for sex on the street. When I saw him with the drag queens one night, I realized that they were prostitutes and remembered what my Drama Mama had said, that a woman prostitute couldn't make it in that town because of the gay male prostitutes. Not that I was interested anyway in prostitution or any kind of sex work although I often wondered if one could successfully pull off escort work without getting sucked into prostitution and had concluded it was not possible.

Stay tuned for more Wacky Taffy tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Schoolgirl's Pedigree

Drama Mama always resented that her mother never had more education. Grandma lamented that she never had more education. She was born in 1909 into the household of a man who farmed for shares. Her parents were "Dunkers" at one time. Religious folk who worked hard and didn't see education as practical. You had to pay for books back then and help with the upkeep of the teacher.

Grandma finished eighth grade, but then came home to help with a younger sister who was disabled and to assist a mother who had used a cane as long as she could remember. Grandma told me she had more schooling than any other child in her very large family, but that she really wanted to become a school teacher, but her father would not pay for more education.

Please understand that in this day, most country schools only went to eighth grade anyway. If a community was lucky the teacher might have enough training beyond the first level teaching certificate to teach part of the high school curriculum. I haven't went back to research what the opportunities were in Grandma's community, but I know that where I live now, some of the early school teachers had to ride long distances horseback, take a train and board with other people, or drive quite a way (which wasn't always too easy in the snow with an early vintage automobile) to get that "advanced" education.

When Grandma was eighteen she met two Soldiers. One swept her off her feet and she agreed to marry him. His friend tried to warn her that his buddy was already married, but she dismissed him as being jealous. Her husband moved her to another city and their first year of marriage was happy. One day he never came home. She heard he had transferred to Texas. When I was interviewing her as an old lady she still didn't want to talk much about the specifics.

I do not know how she got home, but she did. She began taking in laundry and would do laundry for the single men of the community. When she was 25 she was able to get her divorce from the soldier. Some time after that she became pregnant. Very shortly after that she married my grandfather who was forty years older than her. I do not know if he was the father of her first child, but I think he was.

When I asked her about this she said, "How else was I ever going to have a home of my own." I'll let you, dear reader, draw your own conclusions as to what may have transpired between these two. This would still be the era when married women could not teach school, so it's unlikely that even if she had had a teaching certificate, that it would have helped her much as far as finding employment. I do not know how divorced women faired in finding teaching positions in those days.

Grandma, truth be told was not entirely happy in this 7 year marriage, but at least she had her family that she so desired. Her husband was crippled from a work injury, pretty hard to get along with, and did not like the second child who was a daughter,Drama Mama. Things got really hard after he died and they became truly terrible for Drama Mama.

Grandma did the best she could but people and the community were not easy on her. There was a series of unfortunate events which result in the exploitation of her and her children by another family member for financial gain. This person also used this opportunity to sexually exploit Drama Mama. The four of them did eventually escape and with the two oldest teenager's earnings from their jobs were able to make their own way. Drama Mama resented it very much when her older brother joined the military and wasn't at home to help anymore.

Grandma was insistent that Drama Mama go to college and forced her rebellious teenage daughter to apply for scholarships. Drama Mama was already dating married men and going to roadhouses by this time as well as working, going to high school, and as I recall, playing high school basketball. I suppose much to Drama Mama's surprise, she received a full ride scholarship to a catholic nursing school. I think Drama Mama's older brother graduated high school but the younger one did not.

I do not know how long Drama Mama went to nursing school before being asked to leave. I've blogged about all the reasons that might have triggered that request. After, several stints waitressing and bartending, Drama Mama did take a secretarial course. She "augmented" her secretarial work with different kinds of moonlighting ranging from barmaid work to numerous sexual trysts where men would buy her clothing and take her on interesting trips. She was always very clear she wasn't a prostitute, you know, doing "it" for money. In kind was fine, though.

I think my readers will agree that it is truly miraculous that Drama Mama finally met a Mormon serviceman in a bar, who she thought was kind of cute and went home to sleep with that night. For whatever crazy reason, he took her and us kids to church the next day. We spent a lot of time with him over the next two weeks. He shipped off to Germany and he was gone. She told one of the card carrying mormon guys at work, who had been very carefully avoiding her, that she'd gone to the mormon church for the last few weeks. This fine gentleman arranged for Drama Mama and I to take the lessons and the rest is history as they say.

After joining the church and becoming a very skilled geneaologist, Drama Mama began to lament her peoples lack of respect for education. It's quite odd that she never acknowledged her own failures in this department or understood just how much Grandma did to try to set her on the right path or how Grandma's education was at least average if not greater for her time. Drama Mama had discovered that one of Grandma's male second cousins had done quite well for himself and risen to a high governmental position. She was very jealous of his education and blamed her grandparents for their lack of commitment to education.

As it turned out, I became the first member of my family on Drama Mama's side to graduate from college. I remember trying to convince Drama Mama to take an IT degree tailored expressly for reentry women from a state institution when she divorced from wicked stepfather, but she refused. Eventually she did get a bachelor's degree from a college which later closed its doors. This didn't help her much without a trade certification which she started to acquire and then gave up on.

Of my four female siblings, the three of us who were most committed to living an LDS lifestyle are the ones who also solidly maintained progress on our educations. One of us has a trade and has never stopped working in the trade. One of us is on the Mormon mommy track. And I have had the opportunity or curse depending on your outlook to combine all three and a graduate degree.

The two who have the most difficulty living the gospel are the two who, like Drama Mama, squandered the most educational opportunities. One was accepted to five major universities with partial scholarships and instead chose a prolonged period of riotous living. The other could not apply herself and gave up her athletic scholarship and married soon afterwards and stayed home for a while. Both of these women ultimately found a suitable trade and both are now working on associates degrees in their thirties.

Girl Song, my daughter, was also rebellious, but in a hyper religious way. He path to education was quite convoluted but she kept at it. Her straying from the church also correspondended with straying from education, a series of unhealthy work situations and even a brief stint of homelessness. She has gotten back on track with education and will soon have a graduate degree.

My point in all this is that if you look at this family's experience, it has not been religion that caused our women to deviate from the educational track it has been something else. If anything, our association with the LDS church has actually helped those of us who have the most education attain that education in a relatively short time frame. So, when I read that the Church keeps women from having career and educational attainment, I wonder where does this come from? Certainly, that hasn't been the experience in this family. In fact, strong commitment to the ideals and involvement with the Church seems to be a strong indicator for educational success.