My grandfather has his sacred undergarments totally in a wad and his blood pressure well into the danger zone over something done by someone in the family other than I. The recent source of my grandfather's wrath is my cousin Gina, who is a daughter of my Aunt Elyse and Uncle Lee. Gina had the unmitigated gall to announce her engagement to a man who is half Japanese.
Gina's parents have taken the news relatively well considering that they possess far from the most enlightened minds even in the state of Utah. They did try to talk Gina out of marrying the guy (in his presence; what class my relatives display on an ongoing basis!) , but when Gina dug her heels into the carpet and said it was too late to change her plans because she and Spencer, her betrothed (counting my cousins, my cousins' offspring, and my cousins' spouses, he will be the sixth person in our family named Spencer, assuming the wedding goes off as planned and my grandfather doesn't send out a Danite hit squad to take care of the problem and preserve the family bloodline) have already registered at Target, Gina's parents conceded. Is this my family demonstrating their characteristic tackiness, or is it Mormons in general who register for gifts before they've even informed their parents that they're engaged? And beyond that, if an engagement truly were a mistake, which it probably isn't in this particular case (an infusion of Asian ethnicity into an Arian bloodline can only be an improvement), why would a gift registry be a reason it couldn't be undone?
My Uncle Mahonri, despite his inclusion in the family being only by virtue of his having married into it, considers himself some sort of de facto patriarch in light of my grandfather's senility and my degenerate father's (the oldest son's) abdication of the role by having denounced the family religion, went to my Uncle Lee and offered the benefit of his wisdom. "Call it off, Lee," Mahonri told him. "Just refuse to sign the consent forms, and they can't get married."
"Mahonri," Lee told his brother-in-law, "There are no consent forms for me to sign. Gina's twenty-three years old. She doesn't need my consent to get married."
"You're wrong, Lee!" Mahonri said. "I had to sign forms for my girls!"
"That's because both of your daughters got married at the age of sixteen," Lee told Mahonri.
Mahonri probably failed his eighth-grade U.S. Constitution exam. "Never mind," Mahonri said as he let himself out of Lee's house the same way he let himself in. Mahonri has helped himself to keys to the homes of everyone in the family except the California relatives.
Uncle Lee felt obligated to try to rationalize the situation to my grandfather in such a way that it would seem almost acceptable to the old geezer. "Think of it this way, " Lee explained. "It's better if she marries a guy who's half-Japanese who treats her right than if she marries a white guy who beats her or cheats on her or drinks coffee."
My relatives are so damned enlightened that it almost kills me.