Summertime means I have the kids with me a great deal of the time. So, it also means less time and energy for my blog. I apologize for any comments or e-mails I haven’t responded to for that reason.
A lot of thoughts and ideas have passed through my head over the last few weeks on my current unemployment, and on being a gay Mormon father. The operative phrase there being “passed through”… and therefore gone. But, here’s a random stream of consciousness of stuff I’m still thinking of. I don’t think any of it merits an entire post alone:
- I’m still unemployed. In the last 2 months I’ve gotten my health/life insurance license to transact in California. Everything is commission based so I don’t really consider it a job, and I haven’t made any money at it yet. Of course the leads aren’t the quality that the company promised me and something deep inside me resists being an “Insurance Salesman”. I’m literally sick to my stomach that this seems to be my only option. I kept telling myself that it was only plan B until I found something else, but now that Plan B is actually in action I’m devoid of any motivation for it. It just reinforces my belief that Plan B’s always suck.
- I found a great job opportunity the other day…one of those where you read the posting and it seems to describe you. There are several angles that make it the perfect job for me. But like most such advertised jobs, you send your resume out into the universe and they request no phone calls so it’s a crap-shoot if anyone, a human, will ever look at your resume. It really is a gem of an opportunity…if I can figure out a way to get noticed.
- Due to my greatly reduced child support payments during unemployment, my ex-wife has refused to meet halfway for our custody exchanges…so the full burden (and expense) of driving has been placed on me. That’s over $100 in gas each time and a full 8 hours. Nice huh!
- I’m exploring starting my own business. I can’t really say more than that because it’s something no one else is doing in the same way I’m planning on doing it. It is in the field I know something about, Education. I’m currently writing a business plan and I already have an excited customer (school principal) willing to be my guinea pig for initial development. My initial costs will be minimal but they won’t be non-existent. I’m guessing it’s going to be tough to convince a bank to lend me, an unemployed man, the capital to make a go of it in the first year, only $25,000 or so. I’m excited about the possibility if I can figure out how to live until I can generate revenue from it.
- I’ve revisited the idea of moving to be near my kids if I can get a job there. I threw out the idea to a headhunter I was speaking to on the phone and she suggested I move FIRST. It seems like quite a shot in the dark, but I have considered it enough to look around for housing out there last weekend when I was there dropping the kids off. Guess what? Nobody will rent their house or apartment out to an unemployed person. I wouldn’t either, but it still sucks. That doesn’t seem like an option anymore.
- My baby girl turned 8 last month. All you former Mormons get what that means. She’s getting baptized on the 21 of this month. While the kids were here for about 6 weeks I told her that just like the other kids’ baptisms I’d go if she wanted me to. Seven years ago I actually had baptized my oldest son just a mere month before my wife filed for divorce and I resigned from the church. Two years later, I attended my next daughter’s baptism 6 hours away and it was horrible…seeing all my ex-in-laws hurl visual daggers at me and being ignored by my own family just made it a tension filled event. My third child said she didn’t care if I came… so I didn’t. Early this week just a day after dropping the kids back off with Mom my 8 year old calls me up and says, “Dad, I really want you to come to my baptism!” So I said, “OK tell your Mom to e-mail me the time and place and I’ll be there” (keep in mind this is still 4 hours away so I begin making plans already). Two days later I get a voicemail message from the same daughter, “Dad you don’t really have to come to my baptism.” Gee… I wonder what happened to change her mind….
- Kids are expensive. I know where my ex-wife is coming from with needing the child support, but it’s doubly tough to have the kids with me and also be paying her.
- My kids are wonderful. They’ve understood my lack of funds this summer and haven’t once complained about not getting to do the things we normally get to do…Water Park, Movies, eating out, etc. I even had to economize on all four of their birthdays, but they were only grateful for the small gifts they did receive There’s very little resistance to helping out around the house and they frequently tell me, “I love you Dad.” One of them told me it’s easier to do what I ask when I ask because I always say “please” and “thank you” (implying that their step-father doesn’t). I’m a fortunate man.
- Ever look on Craigslist at “Missed Connections”? I find it cheesy and fascinating at the same time. But I’ve also always wondered why these people didn’t just say something the first time they spotted each other and were attracted. Are they all cowards? Well, I recently found out. I took the kids to the local minor league baseball stadium on 4th of July for fireworks and there was a guy there checking me out (and vice versa). That’s obviously an awkward time and place to flirt or to start up a conversation. Me with my kids and he with his friends. At one point in line to get in, we did exchange about 30 seconds of small talk but that’s it. Days later I was remembering the fleeting encounter and I thought, “Hmmm, I wonder if on Craigslist…” I went Online and he had indeed posted an ad looking for me!!!! Now instead of cheesy I think it is extremely cool….someone found me attractive enough for that! I responded and we’ve e-mailed back and forth. Unfortunately he was just visiting from about 2 hours away but says he comes to town often. I’m going to call him tomorrow. Whatever happens I think it’s cool.
- Remember that Mormon Bishop who spoke at the Circling the Wagons LGBT Conference that I went to last year? He wrote an Op-dd piece for the gay magazine The Advocate answering the question we all wanted to know…What was it that caused him to dismantle all the bigotry and scary Mormon talking points regarding homosexuality? Come to find out it was watching Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. I find that hilarious. He was obviously pretty liberal to watch the show in the first place. I remember watching it clandestinely while still married but slowly coming to terms with my homosexuality…
- Two of my gay friends locally have included my kids in their friendship with me. They’ve invited me and the kids over to their homes to swim and joined us on some adventures to the beach and national park. That might not seem like such a big deal, but I’ve never had any friends before who were willing to be that integrated in my life with my children. Usually it’s been my gay friends compartmentalized over here and my family life compartmentalized over there. Sometimes it’s also been because I haven’t had the friends I’d want to introduce to my kids, but it’s nice to now feel safe doing that… and have that gesture of inclusion welcomed and reciprocated.
- Amidst all the political buzz regarding the current Mormon candidate I’m often asked if I would vote for Mitt Romney and how his Mormonism would influence a Romney presidency. I think that the following article best represent my fears of how that could feasibly happen. It’s a perfect illustration of how the Mormon church within the parameters of plausible deniability could influence Romney. By issuing “Invitations” the Mormon leadership manipulates followers into obedience and submission while denying coercion and claiming a respect for individual freedom.