Monday, March 17, 2014

Osmond Mania

Marie Osmond and Steve Craig, her first and third husband, on the occasion of the second of the couple's two weddings

I've been functioning as a graduate assistant in the biochemistry department for the past three weeks. I'm not technically a graduate student but I've completed all graduate requirements both for the department and for the university, and one of my former professors' grad assistants got sick and hasn't been in school for a month, so he asked me to fill in. It's good experience, so I said yes. I'm doing a lot of accompanying for the music department, but I'm otherwise not all that busy right now.

I spent yesterday, while I was helping to proctor department make-up exams, I was reading various Osmond literature. Last night I watched some videos when a date, on which I really didn't want to go but felt obligated,  fell through.

The Osmonds are an intriguing case study in what might be most aptly termed functional dysfunctionality. All nine of the Osmond second generation live or lived relatively productive lives, but it seems that they're doing so or have done so under protest. I haven't walked any distance in their shoes so I find it reasonably easy not to judge them. Marie, however, I find more than a bit annoying.

Marie has a rather curious habit of writing books from the perspective of an expert about most phases of her life. When she was pregnant for the first time, she authored a how-to edition on exercising for expectant mothers. One might have assumed that she was the first woman on the planet ever to have been pregnant or to have exercised while pregnant. Immediately after the birth of her first child, she wrote a book about regaining one's pre-pregnancy body by exercising with one's baby. Again, one might have assumed that she was the first person to whom it ever occurred to lose pregnancy weight after giving birth. She has penned numerous other volumes -- there are so many that I get confused about the actual books she's written and the ones I've just imagined. Some may be about  life as a teen recording artist, about life when going through post-partum depression, about going through a divorce (or two),  about losing one's mother, about losing a fingernail in a car-door accident, about beating the habit of biting her fingernails, about losing a husband to a polygamous cult, and about various and sundry other topics. I've barely scratched the surface of the catalog of Marie Osmond's literary works.

Knotty recently pointed out an interview featuring Marie's third-eldest (and the oldest of her singing brothers, as brothers numbers one and two were hearing impaired) brother Alan. Alan came of age during the Viet Nam War.  By virtue of being, among other things, a trophy-winning shooter in boot camp (Were trophies ever awarded in boot camp for shooting or for anything else?), Alan bypassed Viet Nam and instead braved the all dangers indigenous to Fort Ord, California, as a clerical worker in a local National Guard unit.  Alan also told in the interview of how The Spirit made manifest to him that he was not supposed to serve a mission. He woke his mother up at 6:00 a.m. to tell her of his otherworldly experience.Alan's mother was concerned about how he would avoid the draft if he didn't serve a mission. Alan's sons all served missions except possibly for the youngest one, who may not yet have reached the minimum age for serving a mission. I would love to know what Alan's response might have been had any one of his sons woken up either of his parents to announce that he weren't supposed to serve a  mission.

George Osmond,father of the singing Osmonds, now deceased, was an interesting character. He was a rather stern taskmaster who reportedly was not pleased when his children brought friends to the family home to play and who once punished six-year-old Donny for writing a letter to his mother from Sweden requesting to come home.  The single most bizarre thing to me about George Osmond was that he required his children to call their parents "Mother" and "Father" because one does not refer to God as "Dad" or "Daddy," so why should Father or Mother Osmond be addressed any less formally? Does Mr. Osmond was placing himself on a level on par with God?

I've ranted enough about the Osmonds. Have a nice week.


  1. The Osmonds are annoying… but they are also weirdly fascinating.

  2. Marie is all over the place--in bookstores, show-biz, on the Internet selling dolls. But I give her credit for speaking out in favor of gay marriage. She's one of those Mormons who doesn't fit in, but for some reason sticks with it anyway. She and Donny were at BYU the same time that I was. I remember she was very pretty and tiny. I actually got to meet Donny. He seemed exhausted by all the attention he was getting on campus.

  3. That bit about George insisting he be called Father is truly disturbing!