Since all of his kids were off to college and no longer living at home, my father thought it was a good time to visit us here in Utah. When he got here, he wanted to spend time with individually, take us each out to a restaurant of our choice and discuss what our futures, our goals, essentially what was “next” for us. He’d give in his two cents, and guide us along the path to our goals.
He went in order, first taking out the eldest, my sister Michelle who had finished law school at was working at Utah Legal Services.
“Being a lawyer is not enough,” he said. “You need to be a judge!” Then walked her through the steps of how this could be done.
Next was David. He had finished his Bachelor’s in English at BYU and was working at the BYU Library while doing artistic things on the side.
“Think about your family,” said Dad. “You can’t live on a library salary. You need to go into Intelligence, like me. Work for the DIA or Customs.” I imagined he pounded his chest as he said this , though the gesture wasn’t common for him.
Third was my sister Sarah. She was on her last semester at BYU and majoring in history. “Have you thought about grad school?” he asked, then continued to show her the research he’d done on schools that had programs she would excel in.
My turn. I was thrilled at the idea of hearing what grand plans my father had for me. My siblings filled me in on all the details of their meetings, so I was psyched, anticipation pumping through my veins.
“Rena,” he said over a pasta salad, “What are you doing about dating? You put on what…” he eyed me, “10-15 lbs. since you came out to school? You do want to get married, right?”
My sandwich tasted like bile.