Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Sorry for the sidetrack - back to the story at hand. As I was getting ready to move to Provo for school, Alan called and asked if I could bring his sister who was starting the same semester as me. She was a year younger than Alan and I. I'd met her briefly before my mission but we'd never dated. I was immediately taken by her laugh and smile. We were engaged before the month was over. During the summer we married and all three of us moved out of the King Henry Apartments.
As you are no doubt aware, there was and continues to be a strong push by Church leaders for recently returned missionaries to marry as soon as possible. As demonstrated by my actions I was certainly of this mindset. I don't regret my decision at all but looking back I see that I really did not know myself well at the time. God only knows why it has turned out as well as it has despite the challenges and heartache I have been through. Certainly my wife did not deserve the many challenges I would pose to her in the future. Nevertheless, we have survived many rapids in the river of life and lived to tell about it and stayed together.
It's interesting looking back that my biggest regret is that I did not take more risks and live a little more on the wild side during high school and college. I was so totally sucked into the LDS lifestyle and conservative restraint that I did not explore enough to know anything about myself, my strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes. I'm not advocating high risk behavior but neither am I overly concerned with youth that explore enough to "learn by thier own experience to distinquish good from evil".
My future in-laws, Alan's parents, owned a home in Provo not far from campus. Alan and I moved in before I was married. After my marriage we lived up front and Alan lived in the back. After about 1 year of this arrangement he decided to come out. We were eating dinner at Marie Calendar's when he told us. It was a shock to us because we did not know he had been active in the local gay community. Just as I thought I was "fixed" by getting married, we assumed he was straight because he was at BYU. How naive we were. Alan soon left school and the Church.
This was the beginning of a difficult transition for Alan's family and me. More to come...