I was afraid to go on a mission

I was pretty sheltered as a kid.

My dad died when I was three.

My mom kept me home most of the time.  I was happy there, so I didn’t mind.

In the LDS church young men are expected to serve a full-time mission for two years.  At that time they would go at age nineteen.

I was afraid of being on my own for that long.

I’d been on my own at scout camps and events, but that was it.

I was afraid of being far from home.

I had always wanted to get married.  That seemed a lot safer, and I’d always been romantically inclined.

I had a plan.

Right after high school I would go to college for a year.  While I was there I would find someone to marry.

Never mind that I had never gone out on a date before.

Never mind that I was afraid to even talk to girls.

My plan was foolproof.

What could possibly go wrong?

I can’t save you

I’ve noticed a pattern in my romantic relationships.

Several women I’ve loved have been the victims of abuse.

I wanted to save them.

I wanted to show them they were worthy of love.  That they had value.

I thought if I told them how wonderful they were they would see that I was right.  They would see how beautiful they were, inside and out.  They would see themselves the way I saw them.

I was wrong.

It wasn’t enough.

I failed them.

I wanted to be the knight in shining armor.  To ride in on my white horse.  To slay the dragon and save the damsel in distress.

I’m really just a scared little boy.

My armor is made of cardboard and paper.  My horse is a broomstick.  My sword is made of wood.

I’m sorry.

I can’t save you.

I’m not even sure I can save me.

I’m bad at relationships

I tend to rush into romance.

I think I’m just scared of being “forever alone.”

I talk about getting married with a girl before we’ve even gotten to know each other.

I’ve wanted to be married my whole life.

I didn’t date at all in high school.

I took things slow with the first couple of girls I dated.  Maybe too slow.

After that I started rushing things.  Each relationship faster than the one before.

I was engaged twice before meeting my wife.  I never did get the know the second girl very well.  We only dated for a few weeks before getting engaged.  We were only together for a few weeks after that.

I only date my wife for a few weeks before we started talking about marriage.  A little while after that I realized I was doing it again.

By the time we’d known each other for a year our first son was born.

Don Juan of the first grade

It must not have been that bad. I don’t remember hearing any complaints. Except for the teacher’s.

She asked my mom to meet with her after school. And to bring me.

She sat in the middle of her kidney-shaped table. My mom and I were on the other side.

I don’t remember much about that meeting. Just that she told my mom what I’d been doing and that it needed to stop.

Before school each class would make two lines. A line of boys and a line of girls.

I’d walk down the girls’ line and give them each a kiss.

I don’t remember exactly why I did it. I wasn’t in love with every girl in the class. At least I don’t think so…

I didn’t see a problem with it. I kissed my family members all the time. Even my grandpas.

I didn’t get in a lot of trouble. That’s probably because I stopped.

I didn’t kiss another girl for twelve years.

But that’s another story.