Cross-posted from Fiddley.com
Back in 1969, my grandfather was the Bishop in the Monument Park Stake on the very exclusive, very Mormon, east bench of Salt Lake City, Utah. This was at a time where there were only, believe it or not, eight stakes in the Salt Lake valley. In other words, everybody knew the family. They were high-profile and well-respected. To this day, I often meet people whom I’ve never met who know my grandfather and refer to him as “Bishop”.
My mother was 19 at the time. My father, just a bit older. Of course, they weren’t my mom and dad then. They were just two crazy kids in love… in love with sex. As a result, late in 1969, my older brother was conceived. There was just one thing missing… the ring.
Yep, my brother is a bastard. Well, except that in February 1970, my parents were rushed into an ill-fated marriage in order to save face for my mother’s family among their friends, ward members, and colleagues. To this day, when my dad hears the word shotgun, he ducks.
I had no idea about any of this until, in the fifth grade, I was writing a report on my family for a school assignment.
“Mom, when is your wedding anniversary?”
“Feb. 5, 1970”
“1970? That’s not right… Erik was born in August of 1970. That’s only… 6 months.”
-long, awkward pause-
“Yeah. We were married in 1970.”
I was a math prodigy and this equation wasn’t that difficult. Suddenly, so much of the life around me made sense. No wonder my dad felt trapped in our family. He was. No wonder my mother acted as if she were married to a man she didn’t love. She was.
This memory came flooding back a few nights ago when I was quizzing Megan about her MSN Messenger buddy list.
“Who’s on your list?”
“A bunch of friends.”
“Did you meet them all in real life before you knew them online?”
“Yes, dad. They are all my friends.”
“I don’t know punkyprincess96. Who is she?”
“Dad, she’s fine. She’s the Bishop’s daughter. It’s not like she’s going to get into any trouble.”