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Monday, August 6, 2012

Not Invited to the Wedding

Realistically, unless I get a call in the next 32 minutes with a verbal invitation, or a text and an address, I won’t be at my daughter’s wedding. Neither will anyone on our side of the family.
My wife found out two hours ago that the previously rumored wedding, just yesterday denied, is on for 4 p.m. today. But Myelda is hush on the address.
Myelda (not her real name) is 20-ish and has a lovely child I affectionately call Buggy because his real name sounds like an industrial bug killer.
I love my daughter, I love my grandson and I am thrilled with the chance I have to have them both in my life.
When Captain Woman ruled the earth
And here is where my lovely and genteel Gramma Hurren, who accepted everyone and was loved by all,will turn over in her grave, because I am going to say out loud that I don’t like Myelda’s boyfriend. Some call him the “baby daddy,” and in — well, 18 minutes now — some will be calling him the husband.
I recall that my father-in-law was not all that happy with me when I married my wife, and, being the second husband, there was balking all around. Some of it I simply had to live through, and some of it only dissipated when I proved that I was planning on staying around for a while.
Am I fair to put this guy through the same, if more compound ringer?
While my own past ain’t so pretty, it pales in comparison to this guy’s past. But this is not the point. Frankly, it doesn’t matter whether I like the guy or not. The bottom line is that based on recent and factual history, I do not feel that this guy is capable of taking care of Myelda and Buggy, and dad's are supposed to make sure their children are safe.
Fourteen minutes.
Since she announced that she was pregnant last year and, for all intents and purposes, moved in with this guy’s group of friends, I have been trying to prepare for today. My church leaders — to whom I look for guidance in situations like this where I feel completely inadequate — tell me that I need to relax and let my daughter make her own decisions and to be supportive of her.
There is much rhetoric centering around “being supportive of her, but not her necessarily her choices.” I just haven’t been able to do it. How do I separate my daughter from what she does?
After all, I love her for what she does. I love her when I see her being compassionate toward her sister, or when I look at a photo of her posing as captain woman on her way to school for the first time. I love her when I think of the silly dance she used to do down the stairs to when we listened to old CDs.
I love her to death. And I hate what she is doing or allowing others to do to her and to her son.
Less than 8 minutes. No call. Should I just drive around Central Utah county looking for a wedding Isn’t there someone I can call — some kind of stop-a-wedding alert button?
This may be the issue that will define who I am as a person. When the move is made in Myelda’s life, am I going to be portrayed as Kevin Bacon’s dad in “Footloose” by some staunch guy with several chins? I will be the Mormon priesthood equivalent of "The Church Lady."
I always thought I would be the liberal arts trained, free-spirited bohemian — part of the new Mormon regimes’ front line of sensitive compassionate fathers. I was the one in the family voted most likely to channel Gramma Hurren's kindness and good will toward all. There is the rub.
Option one: In my church, fathers are told that they — we — have responsibility to lead, guide and keep our family safe. With this in mind, am I the one with the guts to call a spade a spade and, as the patriarch of my family, lead and guide with a firm hand, keeping Myelda and her son safe?
Or, is what I call “keeping my family safe” really just make me an unforgiving stereotypical fool that doesn’t budge because of his interpretation of morals and standards?
In just writing that, I know that option is not an option.
Still,because of what I know about this guy, I don’t trust him in my house, let alone … and here I am back at the beginning. In the long run, concerning the safety of my daughter and grandson, I would rather be accused of saying too much than for not saying enough when I had the chance.
After so many years of wasting everyone’s time as a dad, I suppose it was inevitable that I wouldn’t have much positive influence on Myelda. There was just too much time not being there. There is a point at which efforts are too little, too late.  That may explain why no invite for me. But she loves her mother and the rest of her family.
Its 4 o’clock.  The deed is done.  Everything is different now.  Officially he is family, and family deserves second chances.
My phone is sitting on the table next to me, not ringing. I texted my congratulations and told her I loved her. She texted back that she loves me, too.
So, who really is getting the second chance?


  1. Good column. Is this what was on KSL? THis flowes better.

  2. Your lawyer was right, you probably shouldn't have published this, but i am sure glad you did!!!
    I went back and read your old columns and they were no where near as entertaining as this. Kinda a tough spot to be in now that you know that selling out family members is such good TV. Seriously though, my wife and I ate it up.