Thursday, November 18, 2010

Today on a very special episode of Douglass Diaries...

So, internets, today I have a very special guest post for you. You know, kind of like back in the 80's when they had "very special" episodes of sitcoms? "Tonight on a Very Special episode of Growing Pains, Mike struggles with conflicting emotions when he discovers how Boner got his nickname."

So, like that, but different.

Today's post is brought to you by my old friend Oliver.* I met Oliver while attending college in Utah. We lost touch for a long time, but he recently found me again. I've been trying to convince him that he needs a blog (You'll agree once you read his story), but he doesn't think anyone would be interested. Trust me, internets, you'll be interested.

Anyway, here it is. We're splitting it into two parts, because I know some of you have the attention span of a gnat on crack and won't read it if it's more than a few paragraphs.

Part One: Elder Jones? Can you help me out? I seem to have dropped the soap.

I've known that I was gay since I was about 7. There are lots of little boys out there who like to do things that may make their parents wonder about their sexuality--play Barbies, play house with baby dolls... I wouldn't worry too much about your sons if they like those things. Worry if they like to have the Ken dolls wash each other's backs in the bathtub of Barbie's dream house. Worry if they pretend to be married to David Hasselhoff when they play house. Those are the things that I did.

But, without being specifically told so, I knew that my inclination toward males was something I needed to keep to myself.

Did I mention I'm Mormon? And grew up in Utah?

So, I grew up and I dated girls. I even loved a few of them. But I was never attracted to them in that way.

I went on a church mission to Italy. First of all, I want you to imagine what it was like for me to share a bedroom with strapping young 19 year old boys for two years. Second of all, I want you to imagine what it was like for me to be surrounded by all those dark, handsome Italian boys with their dreamy accents for two years. If there was an award for repenting of unclean thoughts, I would have won it. I fasted so much that I lost 15 pounds over the course of those two years. No one loses weight on a mission to Italy.

I came home. I went to college. I dated girls. I fell in love. We got engaged. We never did more than kiss, closed mouthed. She thought it was because we were following the rules. I knew it was because I had no desire to do anything else, despite the fact that I did love her very much. And then she decided that marrying me felt wrong and she married someone else. I should have been sad, but really I was relieved. She deserved more than I could have given her.

I went on to medical school, became a doctor (a Urologist. So I can look at wangs all day.) (I'm kidding, people. Seeing wangs all day is just a bonus), and went to work at one of the most prominent hospitals on the East Coast.

There I met Patty.* We both attended the same church congregation.

Since we were the only two people in the congregation who were over thirty and still single, we were thrown together a lot. Probably in the hopes we'd decide to settle for each other and get married so we could get on with multiplying and replenishing the Earth and learning to silently hate each other and all those other things married people get to do.

And it worked. Patty and I became very close. We fell in love. A deep, chaste, sibling-like (unless you're from Alabama) love.

And then one night Patty began to cry and she told me that she was a lesbian.


*Names have been changed to protect our identities. I chose Oliver because I had a childhood crush on the misfit cousin Oliver who made The Brady Bunch jump the shark. Patty chose Patty because the TV character she identified most with as a child was Peppermint Patty on The Peanuts.

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