Sunday, April 29, 2007

New Bed

Yesterday I bought a metal bed frame at Goodwill for five dollars. This means that the mattress and box spring provided by my landlords no longer have to sit on the floor, which will make me feel more like a real person as opposed to a poor college student. I also bought twin-size flat and fitted sheets for $1.50 each; these will replace the queen-size sheets I've been using on my twin-size bed, which will also make me feel more like a real person. I also raided the supply of various and sundry used bed parts in the house above me and traded my springy box spring for a springless wooden base. The first time I sat down on my less-than-firm mattress atop those old and lifeless springs, I felt like I was out at sea and knew that I would need to make a change; after two weeks of wavy sleep I finally took the opportunity yesterday to make that change.

I haven't tried out my new bed yet because S-Boogie and Little Dude get the bedroom when they're over and I'd rather sleep on the couch than try to sleep in the same room as S-Boogie, who talks and cries and sings in her sleep. Tonight, though, I will sleep in my new bed. I'm looking forward to it.

Friday, April 27, 2007

In and Out, Out and In

When I moved to Seattle, I more or less went back in the closet. This wasn't a conscious decision; it just happened. Thanks to the internet, Dialogue, and the local media, everyone in Utah knows I'm gay. In Seattle, though, my fame is not exactly widespread. Telling people here that I'm gay would have required just that--telling them--and the truth is that I haven't done that in years. To write an essay or a blog post and let people read it or not read it as they see fit is much more passive and therefore more my style than forcing an "I'm gay" into casual conversation. And casually mentioning it would have required me to explain that yes, I am married, but no, I'm not some over-repressed religious zealot out to protect "traditional" marriage.

You'd think that it would be easier to slip it in now that I'm getting divorced.

"Oh, I'm sorry to hear about your divorce. Why are you getting divorced?"

"Because I'm gay."

The reality, though, is that no one would be so rude as to ask why I'm getting divorced. It's sort of a personal question and most people respect those kinds of social boundaries. I've had several opportunities in the last couple days to come out to various friends, but I have a hard time doing it.

"Wow, you didn't have your first kiss until you were 21? Were you really shy?"

No, I could have said, I just wasn't particularly interested in girls, and boys weren't an option because I was Mormon. Instead, I shrugged and said, "I guess."

"It'll be interesting to see how your kids react when and if you remarry, if your new wife wants to have more kids."

Yes, I could have said, I'm not sure whether I want to have more kids, but if I remarry that's something my husband and I will have to work out. Instead I made a strange guttural noise and a funny face.

The problem is that I have two conflicting values here: the first is that I really do want my friends to know that I'm gay. No, it's not who I am, but it's an important part of who I am and I'd like for my friends to know me well enough to know the important parts. On the other hand, I don't want to force the important parts of me onto my friends. I don't want to force myself on anyone. And at the same time, I don't want my sexuality to appear as important to me as it probably really it is.

I think I just need a t-shirt that says HI, I'M GAY, and I'll wear it to school and work for a week or two until everyone knows without me having to tell them.

Master Fob Kicks Butt and Takes Names

Well, actually, I didn't take any names, but it wasn't necessary. If it were, I would have.

On Wednesday I got a paycheck instead of direct deposit because I just opened a new bank account and it takes a while to change the direct deposit. So I picked up the check and went to an ATM to deposit it. I understood that ATM deposits made in the early evening don't get posted until the next day, but when I came home and checked my online banking, it showed that the available balance was a hundred dollars more than it had been the day before. I wondered why that was, but didn't worry about it too much. I'd been wanting to transfer the bulk of what I had in checking into savings, so I transfered most of my available balance--the transfer amount was twenty dollars more than Tuesday's ending balance, but I figured if the bank let me make the transfer and it was less than the available balance, there shouldn't be a problem.

Yesterday I checked my account and it showed Balance: -$20.oo and Available Balance: $80.00. The negative balance worried me, but the available balance was positive and I knew my deposited check should be going through, so I didn't worry too much.

This morning I checked and the deposit showed, but a $20.00 overdraft fee also showed. I was quite upset. I considered complaining through the online customer service form, but decided I needed a more immediate resolution than that. I ignored my aversion to phone conversations, particularly potentially confrontational phone conversations, and called. The customer service representative explained that although the bank lets you use a hundred dollars of a deposit made after the daily cut-off, you can't actually use it do immediate things like making transfers. I pointed out that if this was the case then the online banking program shouldn't have allowed me to make the transfer. She said the overdraft fee was non-refundable. I said this was unacceptable.

Another ten times or so she explained that there was nothing that she could do and I explained that I would not accept that answer. Finally she agreed to let me talk to a supervisor. The supervisor said politely that I was the one in the wrong but since I was being a crybaby they'd give me my money back, just this once. I said politely that the bank was indeed the one in the wrong, but I didn't need her to acknowledge that so long as I got my money back. She thanked me for choosing Bank of [country name removed to protect the bank] and told me to have a nice day.

I am proud of myself. I was not mean or rude, but I was firm. I refused to be ignored, and I got the service I demanded. If you don't realize how significant this is, you don't know me very well. This new, assertive Master Fob is a development of recent years and has only shown his face a handful of times so far.

I think I like him.

Under Construction

Not sold on the new look? Don't worry, neither am I. It may take a while to refine, though, so bear with me. It may also take a while to get all the sidebar links back on track. Your absence does not mean that I hate you. "Gay Mormon Fobs" will likely go, but those of you who comment here will make your way into the Honorary Fob list.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Interview With the Vampires

Because I don't publicly reveal enough intimate details about myself on a regular basis, my friends Theric and Tolkien Boy have teamed up to expose the skeletons in Master Fob's closet.

Th.: Once upon a time there was a ... well, there were a lot of things. Which one did you have in mind exactly?

MF: I was thinking of something along the lines of a souffle.

TB: You've just written the great American novel. What happens in the seventh chapter?

MF: Really, TB, you should know me and my writing well enough to answer that question yourself. The same thing happens in the seventh chapter as happened in the first, second, third, fifth, and sixth: The protagonist stares at another guy's back while thinking angsty self-reflective thoughts. Chapter Four is a flashback to his angsty childhood.

Th.: Between you and me, how come you've never invested in the daisy business?

MF: It just seems so, I don't know, invasive. I mean, really, even cows deserve some personal space.

, you said daiSy. Hm. More or less the same reason, I'd have to say.

TB: Shakespeare once wrote: "And we all know security is mortal's chiefest enemy." Some variations on this might include "And we all know dexterity is teenagers' temerity" and "And we all know that piety is just holy anxiety." Given all this, what is fobbery, and how do you justify that?

MF: Well, we all know fobbery is a fob's fobbest fobby. That's justification enough, isn't it?

Th.: I'm of the strict opinion that seventy-five is seventy-five is seventy-five. But this one stumps me (maybe you can help): What's seventy-six?

MF: The bicentennial? Your birth year?

TB: Boots are made for walking--but is that all they can do? What are your five favorite non-walking uses for boots?

MF: Ooh, a list!
  1. As flower pots.
  2. Kicking.
  3. Keeping one's feet dry.
  4. Hiking.
  5. Accompanying fishnet stockings to a nightclub in Spain.
(Please note that #s 1 and 3 are mutually exclusive.)

Th.: Pleated pants, yes or no? Defend your answer.

MF: I'm offended that you would ask such a thing.

TB: You board a bus only to discover that it's travelling in time rather than space. At what stops do you categorically refuse to get off? And when I say "get off" I mean "disembark."

MF: (Thank you for the clarification.) I pretty much refuse to get off (by which I mean disembark) at any point before the present. The past is so yesterday. I'm all about the future. I might make an exception for the sixties. I won't go to San Francisco, though, unless I'm wearing some flowers in my hair.

Th.: If God were to call up this evening and say he was sick and tired of all these ridiculous hiccup cures and he wants to settle on just one ridiculous hiccup cure--one that'll work every time--and he wants you to choose that cure, what will you tell him?

MF: If God were to call up this evening there are a lot of things I would tell him, and probably more things that I would ask him. As for the hiccup cure, I'd suggest to him that he's being too narrrow-minded and that really, there is no one-size-fits-all solution but that he should adopt a more relativistic view of the universe; all ridiculous hiccup cures lead to happiness.

TB: You wake up one morning to discover that your past life has been a dream and you are, in fact, a playboy millionaire movie star. Who are you, and can you explain why you're not wearing any pajamas to the interested press?

MF: I have enough money that no explanations are necessary. Please, now, let me be--all this questioning tires me.

Having been exposed, I am now ready to expose others. Let me know if you want to be interviewed and I'll send five questions your way. Be warned, though, that if you ask for the questions and then don't answer them on your blog, you'll anger the chain-blogging gods and they will bring their electronic wrath down upon you.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Things That Make Me Happy

1. Avocado on saltines with just a touch of salt.

2. Chocolate milk.

3. 1 & 2 together.

4. New music.

5. Comic books from the library.

6. MARC records.

7. Authority files.

8. Blog comments.

9. The internet.

10. Cap'n Crunch.

11. Lists.

Things I Obsess Over That Will Never Happen As Long As I Continue to Obsess Over Them

1. While holding my son near a rail on a balcony or bridge I will accidentally drop him. Or he will jump out of my arms while I'm not holding tight enough.

2. I will accidentally make an obscenely crude sexual comment in a very inappropriate situation to do so, like when talking to a library patron. An elderly and delicate library patron.

3. I will make an inadvertently racist comment while talking to a Black person. And then try to apologize for it and explain that really I'm not a racist at all, but only manage to dig myself into a deeper hole.

4. I will give into the frequent impulse I have to touch people in inappropriate places. Women more than men, really--it's not sexual at all, just an irrational impulse.

5. I will end a phone conversation with a library patron--or worse, with a potential employer--with "I love you."

6. I will make an incoherent comment in class when I have been nodding in and out of sleep.

7. I will call someone I should know better than I do by the wrong name. (I actually have done this one before.)

8. I will accidentally step on a small child's head and crush it.

9. I will accidentally stab someone--probably a small child and probably in the face--while carrying a knife across the kitchen.

10. I will walk out the door without my pants on and not realize it until I get to work.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Post About Tolkien Boy

Tolkien Boy mentioned last week that few blog posts have been written solely about him. He recognized this notable exception, but apparently that's not good enough for him. So this is a post about Tolkien Boy.

For more than two years now Tolkien Boy has been my best friend (which is in no way a slight to other best friends). In those two years he has motivated me to go to the gym regularly, he has provided consistently valuable feedback on my writing, and he has on countless occasions given me a shoulder to cry on, both figuratively and literally. I think it's safe to say that I have done all those things for him as well, which is one of the many things I value about our friendship: we are equals. At times the balance may shift to one side or another--lately, for example, I've felt rather needy--but over the past two years we have each had our moments of giving and receiving.

As most of my friends over the past five years have learned, Master Fob is a package deal. Befriending me means befriending my family, and Tolkien Boy has done just that since the moment Melyngoch introduced us. He is as good to FoxyJ, S-Boogie, and Little Dude as he is to me, and that is hugely important to me. It delights me to see the people I love love each other.

Despite the fact that TB knew more than most about the almost constant state of turmoil I was in, he was always supportive of my marriage up until the point I decided to end it. In the midst of all this, TB recognized that ultimately I wouldn't listen to whatever advice he or anyone else gave me, even if I solicited such advice, and that his unconditional friendship was needed more than his opinion. He was right, and I'm thankful to know I can process my thoughts with him without fear of judgment.

In summary, Tolkien Boy is a good person. If you aren't already his friend, you should be. The waiting list may be long, as he's quite the popular fellow, but don't worry--you can read his 200 or so blog posts, which are all as witty and insightful as they are lengthy, while you wait.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Brilliant Idea

I just had one: massage-therapists (notice the hyphen). You lie down on a table and talk about your problems while they give you a full Swedish massage. Why has no one thought of this before? They could even start dual degree programs in order to circumvent the extra years of schooling that would otherwise be involved. I'm a genius!

Sunday, April 22, 2007


The problem with publicizing one's neuroses is that doing so tends to invite solutions, either explicit or implied, that seem logical to the prescribers but in fact are not very helpful.

Master Fob: Instant messaging scares me.

Concerned Friend 1: What's to be scared of? I'm not scared. Just do it and you'll love it!

MF: Although I acknowledge that Person/Institution X has every right to act in the way he/she/it acted, I am still angry at him/her/it.

CF2: I don't understand why you're angry. He/She/It has every right to do what he/she/it did. Get over yourself.

MF: I know I should take things one day at a time because otherwise life can be overwhelming, but I can't help worrying about where I will be five years from now.

CF3: I think you should stop worrying about the future. Take things one day at a time, man.

Yes, I realize my neuroses are irrational. That's kind of the point.

Thank you, though, for your concern. Really. Thank you. Because now I'm paranoid that you'll think I'm ungrateful. Even though I know I shouldn't worry about what other people think.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Yet Another Reason I'm a Bad Person

(Though, when all is said and done, one of the lesser ones.)

My new apartment is in the basement of a house. In the house live five or six graduate students, most of them foreign. One of the students upstairs has a wireless router for which the monthly bill is split between those who use it. He invited me to join in, so I went out and bought a wireless card for my PC and the other night he came down and entered the code I needed to access the network.

My first mistake was to not write that code down. My second mistake was to shut off my computer this evening, not having written the code down. My third mistake was the worst:

Having realized that I now had no internet connection and feeling somewhat panicked by that fact, I went upstairs to ask Wireless Guy for the code. He wasn't there. His girlfriend said he wouldn't be back until late. I tried the cell phone number he'd written down for me the other day, but one of the numbers was indecipherable and as it turns out you need all seven to complete a call. So I went back upstairs to take a look at the wireless router and figure out if the code was written somewhere on it. It wasn't, but there was a Secure Easy Setup button that matched the Secure Easy Setup button on the software that came with my wireless card. I thought that maybe pressing this button would send a signal to my computer telling it what the secret code was. This was not quite the case; rather, pressing that button reset the code, then sent said new code to my computer. So now my internet works fine, but if anyone upstairs is trying to get online tonight, they're out of luck.

I don't really know any of the people upstairs, and I certainly don't know which of them might be using the internet tonight. I don't even know which of them are home, as everyone tends to stay in his or her own room with the door shut and locked. And I would feel rather silly knocking on every door in the house to explain that hi, I'm the new guy downstairs and I accidentally changed the access code and I'm sorry, but here's the new code which will only help you tonight because surely tomorrow morning the Wireless Guy will reset it again when he realizes what happened. Especially considering that most if not all of these people speak English as a second language, so all they might get from my longwinded and confusing apology is "Hi, I'm Master Fob, and I'm a big jerk. I broke your internet."

So instead I'm letting half a dozen people be frustrated tonight that their internet connection doesn't work and hoping that tomorrow morning Wireless Guy will fix everything, and that maybe he'll give me the new new code when he re-resets it.

In the meantime, I got what I wanted--I'm connected tonight--albeit at the expense of others. That seems to be a recurring theme around here.


Not five minutes after the Qwest guy got my phone service working this evening, the phone rang. It was my sister. "How are you doing?" she asked.


"Okay," she said. "What does that mean?"

There have been times when I would have been annoyed at such probing. Tonight was not one of those times. In fact, lately I have been all too glad to tell people how I'm really feeling if I sense they really want to know. I'm glad my sister knows me well enough to not accept what I say at face value and cares enough to push me to say what I mean. Sisters are good for that kind of thing.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


After a few days without, I have an internet connection again. I'm in my new apartment, which is filled with furniture provided by the landlord, housewares and supplies provided by the thrift stores of Seattle, and all the stuff that FoxyJ and I decided belongs to me, which Tolkien Boy and I managed to fit into Simon and the Fobmobile on Monday night. Foxy, S-Boogie, and Little Dude came over for dinner tonight. The kids are going to come again on Friday and stay until Sunday morning, which for the near future at least will be the weekly routine. I'm excited to spend a couple days with them and happy that my schedule and Foxy permit me to do so. I'm also glad that Foxy will get a couple days off every week, as I know taking care of the kids by herself all day every day is a lot. And by "a lot" I mean a lot.

My goal tonight is to do the dishes, get a few more things unpacked, do my homework, and get in bed at a reasonable time. In order to do that, I need to stop celebrating the reinstatement of my internet connection and get off this chair.

Which I am going to do... right... now.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


It seems Edgy is concerned that I never listen to his opinion after asking for it. (He should note, though, that I did take the advice he offered in response to half of this poll.) So, ever concerned with pleasing my friends, I've decided to finally listen to what Edgy tells me to do. This is what Edgy told me to do:

"So you may as well go and sign the lease for Option A tomorrow."

Which I've done. Ultimately, I decided that I value convenience and time over quality and size. I'll be moving in next week.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Housing Poll

Option A:
Distance from campus=10-minute walk
Washer & dryer=shared with other apartments in house

Option B:
Distance from campus=30-minute bus ride
Size=Two-bedroom plus (shared) yard
Washer & dryer=just for me

Both have decent-sized (but not large) living rooms and kitchens. Both are available more or less immediately. Option B feels more homey while Option A feels more studenty--it's just north of the part of town where all the undergrads live and party in their frat houses (and, by the way, shoot and mug each other on a monthly basis). I'll probably have the kids over one or two nights a week (we haven't worked out those details yet) and it would be nice for them to have their own room, but I'm not sure it's worth the extra commuting which ultimately means less flexibility in my schedule. The big unknown is where FoxyJ will be living--if she's north of Seattle Option B will be much closer to her but if she's south it will be much farther.

Your votes will be taken into account but your reasoning will be even more useful.

Hope Was Here

Besides us, I know of another mixed-orientation couple that is divorcing, and another that is separating. A good friend of mine is breaking up with his boyfriend of over two years. I might conclude that gay people are not equipped to be in relationships of any sort, but another close friend of mine, a straight man in a long-term straight relationship, is also breaking up with his girlfriend.

When I look into my future I would like to see myself in a happy long-term relationship, but I see a lot of things that scare me. I see a lot of gay men who (a) aren't interested in long-term relationships, (b) I wouldn't want to be with, (c) wouldn't want to be with me, or (d) some combination of the above. I see the Pandora's box I'm opening by accepting the premise that commitments can be broken, by acknowledging that divorce is possible. I fear this will make future commitments that much more difficult to keep, that much more difficult to trust they will be kept.

I would like to think that FoxyJ has better chances than I, being that Mormons are almost inherently interested in committed relationships. I wonder how many good Mormon men are available, though, and how many of them can even pretend to be in her intellectual ballpark (all I've ever done is pretend, and for the most part it's worked). Part of this concern is selfish, of course, because I don't want to be responsible for her being alone for the rest of her life, but when I allow myself to see past my narcissism I really am concerned for her happiness.

Last year when I was applying for job after job I came up with the following catch phrase to describe my greatest strength: "I am optimistic enough to believe anything is possible, and stubborn enough to make it so." Problems would surely arise, I acknowledged, but I would deal with them as I had always done. I liked seeing myself this way. I'm afraid I'm losing that naive optimism, though.

There are some things I cannot do, some things that no amount of optimism or stubbornness can control. I can choose to stay married, but I cannot choose the consequences of that decision--I cannot force myself to be happy by telling myself and everyone else how happy I am and I cannot make FoxyJ happy with a relationship from which I am emotionally withdrawn because I don't want her to see how unhappy I am. On the other hand, I cannot choose the consequences of divorce.

I would like to end this post with my usual And that's why I don't really suck and you don't suck and let's all hug, or at least something along the lines of I may not be as naive as I once was, but that doesn't mean I have to give up hope, but honestly I don't see a lot of hope lately.

Chat Reference

I've started doing chat reference for the library. The nice thing about this is that I can sign up for an hour and work from home. I can get paid to sit in front of my computer in my jammies. The bad thing is that I need to overcome my chat anxiety. This might be easier to do if someone had actually asked a question during the hour I was watching.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Divorce Thus Far, From S-Boogie's Perspective

They say that kids perceive things that adults might not notice, and these things tend to affect them. For the past month or so, things have been a little tense here in the Fob household, and I think S-Boogie has noticed.

There is no screaming at each other, no throwing of household objects (except once, long after the kids were in bed, and it was done very courteously, out the patio door so as not to make noise or hurt anyone), and really very little arguing. Jokes are made, games are played, and family trips to the store or library are as frequent as ever. Mealtime has been unusually quiet, as Daddy wonders how upset Mommy is with him at the moment but doesn't ask because he doesn't want to have that conversation in front of the children. Both Mommy and Daddy are a bit on edge, and Daddy in particular completely abandons his Lenten vow to not yell at his children, a fact he is not particularly proud of.

Four weeks ago today, the Fob family loads up the car and heads out on a trip. As they are leaving, Daddy tells S-Boogie to say goodbye to their apartment, as she might not see it again. She cheerily says bye-bye and talks about how they'll find a new home in Utah and a moving truck will come and bring all their stuff. Several days of travel ensue, spending long hours in the car, one night in a hotel, four nights at the Thteeds, and another night in a hotel.

First sign of distress: S-Boogie is excited to arrive in Utah and stay at Auntie Lika's house. That night, though, the Fob family is headed to a party at editorgirl's house. Daddy reminds her that editorgirl's house is where S-Boogie spent the night when Little Dude was born. "No," S-Boogie breaks down and cries, "I don't want to sleep at editorgirl's house. I want to sleep at Lika's!" Daddy explains that they are just going to editorgirl's for a party, and they will return to Lika's to sleep. S-Boogie has fun at the party, but at 8:30 declares that she is "very very tired" and wants to go home, which is highly unusual for her.

Things settle down a bit now that the Fob family is at Lika's house for a while. That weekend Mommy leaves with Little Dude and Grandma and Grandpa to attend a funeral in Wyoming while S-Boogie stays at Lika's with Daddy. The next day Daddy leaves on an airplane while S-Boogie goes to Auntie Marshmallow's house to spend the night with Cousin Baninga. This doesn't seem to bother S-Boogie, as she loves her cousin and has spent many nights there before. The next day Mommy picks S-Boogie up and they return to Auntie Lika's.

Second sign of distress: After several days, S-Boogie starts talking about how she misses Daddy. Occasionally, she cries. She talks with him on the phone, but that's not quite the same. For the first time in a couple months, S-Boogie has an accident. And then another. And another. And another, all within a couple days. Mommy buys Pull-Ups for nighttime and spends a day of one-on-one time with S-Boogie while Little Dude hangs out with Lika. This seems to help.

Daddy returns and everything appears to be okay. Mommy explains that we will be returning to our Seattle home, after all. We load up the car and hit the road again. Another two days of traveling and another night in a hotel. Finally, we are back home.

Back home, though, the tension seems higher than before. After two weeks of separation, the divorce is more of a reality and the jokes and casual conversation are sparser. Daddy is more keenly aware of the pain he's causing everyone and what he is giving up, and Mommy is stressed about finding a job. Mommy is still a little on edge and Daddy gets angry at S-Boogie about the stupidest things. Daddy is sleeping in the living room.

Third sign of distress: Yesterday while playing on the slide, S-Boogie has another accident. Daddy's assurances that it's okay, that even grown-ups have accidents sometimes, don't alleviate her trauma at having wet her pants again. Then again, at 4 this morning, S-Boogie wakes up with wet jammies and a wet bed.

Sigh. If regression in potty training is the extent of S-Boogie's problems we'll consider ourselves blessed, but the problem is that wetting her pants is most likely an outward sign of much worse things going on inside.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Bad Combination

Baby who wakes up at every little noise and toddler who talks in her sleep.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Back in Utah (Again)

Though it was ten o'clock when FoxyJ picked me up from the airport tonight and both S-Boogie and Little Dude have been sick so they need their sleep, I secretly hoped they would be awake when we got to my sister's house so I could see them tonight. It's been two weeks. So when Little Dude started crying while I was making a bedtime snack, I happily ran downstairs to get him. The room was dark, so I couldn't see him very well, but he certainly felt two weeks heavier. He freaked out a bit because he hadn't seen me in two weeks and I wasn't his mom, but eventually I got him to calm down and go to sleep. His soft baby skin felt so nice against my face.

When I set him back down in his bed he woke up and started crying, and it took me a good ten minutes of patting his back and shushing to get him to stay asleep. On the way out of the room I gave S-Boogie, who was sleeping soundly, a kiss on the cheek.

Saturday morning we're going to load up the car and drive back to Seattle, where Foxy will look for a job and an apartment (our current apartment is student family housing, so since she's not a student staying isn't an option). She had been thinking of staying in Utah, and if she had we would've made it work with me making flights out every other weekend, but I'm so glad she's decided to come back to Washington so I don't have to be so far away from my children. As frustrating as sleepless babies can be, they are without a doubt better than no babies.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

My Marriage, Oversimplified in Four Lists

Reasons I Married FoxyJ
  1. She is an amazing person. I loved her, I enjoyed spending time with her, I wanted to share my life with her.
  2. I believed--most of the time, at least--in the LDS Church, which teaches that homosexual relationships are sinful. As far as I was concerned, marrying a woman was my only option, and I could not imagine being happily married to any woman besides FoxyJ.
  3. When I considered ending the engagement because I was unsure if I could commit to the marriage, I couldn't bear the thought of hurting FoxyJ.
  4. I prayed about it and felt that getting married was the right thing to do.
Reasons I Stayed Married for Five Years Despite Recurring Doubts
  1. She is an amazing person. I loved her, I enjoyed spending time with her, I wanted to share my life with her.
  2. Even when I no longer believed in the LDS Church, I believed in the commitment I'd made to her. A change in religion does not automatically absolve one of responsibility to the promises one made while under the influence of that religion.
  3. When I considered ending the marriage, I couldn't bear the thought of hurting FoxyJ, and later S-Boogie, and later Little Dude.
  4. I prayed about it and felt that staying married was the right thing to do.
Reasons I Have Chosen to End the Marriage
  1. She is an amazing person. I love her, I enjoy spending time with her, I would like to share my life with her, but as much as all those things are true they don't take away from the constant desire to share my life with a man or the emptiness I've felt for years. Despite frequent moments of joy, overall I was unhappy with my life. My unhappiness, as much as I tried to mask it, hurt FoxyJ.
  2. Once I no longer believed in the LDS Church and the option of a homosexual relationship became at least theoretically possible, it became increasingly difficult for me to convince myself that I could be happy without pursuing that option. I spent more time convincing myself that I should stay married than I did simply being married, even before I left the LDS faith.
  3. When I considered ending the marriage, I couldn't bear the thought of hurting FoxyJ, S-Boogie, and Little Dude, but nor could I bear the thought of hurting them over the coming years as I continued in the pattern of silent discontent, expressed doubt, and guilt-induced recommitment to stay. Looking into the future, it became clear to me that the marriage was not sustainable, and as much as it hurts everyone now, divorce would only hurt more after we have invested even more of our lives into the marriage and the children are older.
  4. I will not say that I prayed about it and felt that divorce was the right thing to do. I will not blame God for this decision--the responsibility is mine. Choosing to get married and later stay married not because I really wanted to but because it was the right thing to do did not lead to my happiness or to FoxyJ's. I will say, though, that I have prayed about this decision a lot, and I feel at peace with it.
Reasons Ending the Marriage Hurts
  1. She is an amazing person. If you have any doubts, consider the fact that she and I took a week-long road trip together after the plans for divorce had been set in motion, after I had hurt her so profoundly. We visited family and friends--some who knew and some who didn't--and we had a lot of fun together. FoxyJ has every reason to be angry at me, and I'm sure she is to some degree or another (depending on the day, I imagine), but she treats me with the same love and concern that she always has.
  2. In doing this I am making a significant break from the LDS faith I grew up with and that many of the people I love still hold. I am also breaking a serious commitment I made to someone I love dearly, and I fear the consequences for everyone affected by this decision.
  3. I cannot bear the thought of hurting FoxyJ, S-Boogie, or Little Dude, and yet here I am doing it. I will do everything I can to ease that pain and especially to ensure that my children always know that they have two parents who love them, but I do not fool myself into believing that anything I do will make this completely right for them.
  4. The peace I mentioned above has come only after a lot of internal anguish and frustration. I have felt angry at myself for the decisions I've made, angry at the LDS Church for the role it's played in my decisions, and angry at God by association. My relationship with the Church is best left alone for now, I think, and I'm at peace with it to that extent, but healing my self-image and my relationship with God is a work in progress and I imagine it will be for some time.

A note on comments:

You may notice that I've removed the option of commenting anonymously. If you're going to comment, I want to know at least your chosen pseudonym.

Comments expressing empathy, love, kindness, encouragement, or anything along those lines are welcome.

Comments expressing judgment, contempt, mockery, self-righteousness, or anything along those lines are not welcome. As FoxyJ said this morning, the decision has been made. You will not succeed in convincing me to change my mind. You will not succeed in proving to anyone that you are a better person than I. You will not succeed in showing the world what a clever person you are. You will only succeed in hurting me, and if your intention is to hurt people then perhaps you should stop for a moment and ask yourself why no one likes to talk to you at parties. I will not delete comments that hurt me because by that point the damage will have been done. I will delete comments that may potentially hurt FoxyJ or our children.

And, lest I end on that note, thank you to all the people who have already shown love and support and an advance thank you to all who will.

Monday, April 02, 2007


Things are looking a little better.

Rock Bottom

In The Higher Power of Lucky, which didn't deserve the Newbery, Lucky concludes after eavesdropping on countless AA meetings that in order to find one's "higher power" one must first hit "rock bottom," whatever that means.

I hope I find that higher power soon.

Sunday, April 01, 2007


Things I appreciate about my Mormon upbringing now that I'm attending another church:
  1. Having dedicated 10% of my income to tithing all my life, contributing a little to the donation plate passed around each week is no sacrifice for me.
  2. Having attended Sunday school all my life and four years of seminary, I have a pretty good grasp of the Bible.
  3. My copy of the Bible has wicked-cool cross-references and a Bible dictionary and topical guide that make me appear smarter than I am. Today in Sunday school someone asked if John's use of the phrase "firstborn from the dead" in Revelation is unique, and I quickly found the same phrase in Colossians.
Things I don't appreciate so much about my Mormon upbringing now that I'm attending another church:
  1. Having paid tithing with checks that I wrote out ahead of time all my life, I don't think to bring cash to church and don't know if they'd take a check even if I had one on me.
  2. Having studied the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants alongside the Bible in Sunday school and seminary, I have a hard time sorting out what comes from where.
  3. Those wicked-cool cross-references, Bible dictionary, and topical guide also tend to mix together Mormon doctrine and Biblical doctrine--because, of course, within Mormon doctrine the distinction is unimportant, as it is believed to come from the same source. Today in Sunday school when the teacher pointed out that based on historical evidence the John in Revelation is not likely John the Apostle, I flipped to Revelation of John in my Bible dictionary because I'd always thought the two Johns were one and the same and read there: "The Book of Mormon confirms that the recipient was John, one of the Twelve." Which, you know, doesn't hold a lot of weight if you don't consider the BoM scripture.
The balancing act here is trying to hold onto the good things about Mormonism while shedding off the bad (meaning that which I find to be bad for me), clinging onto the good I find elsewhere while not assuming everything is good simply because it's not Mormon. It's an interesting experience.

And then, of course, there's always the possibility that this unresolved pain in my chest is God's way of threatening to strike me down for leaving his one true church.

April Fool?

I considered writing an April Fools' post about having a heart attack, but then I decided that, considering the context, it wouldn't be very funny.