I love museums. This past weekend I visited a natural history museum that had an exhibit on horses. It showed their skeletal structure, how they have evolved, the similarities and differences between Equidae and the other remaining members of the order Perissodactyla (tapirs[!] and elephants[!]), and the part they  have played in the civilization of man. We would be a very different world if horses had not been domesticated in Asia and Europe thousands of years ago.

One section of the exhibit mentioned that although horses originated in the Americas, they became extinct there 8-10,000 years ago, and were reintroduced to these continents by European explorers in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. This wasn't presented with a lot of fuss. It wasn't presented as any kind of controversial viewpoint. It wasn't prefaced as something "some scientists think" happened. It's just a fact, plain and simple, and was presented as such. No one walking through the exhibit would have thought twice about it. Unless they were an ex-Mormon. Then they, like me, would have stopped and smirked. They would have snapped a photo of the placard. They would have stored it away as a "fun fact" to share with their family when asked about how their trip to the museum had been.

If you are a Mormon and don't know why this story is posted on an ex-Mormon blog, think about it. Think about it until you get it. Your brain was made to think.


The Best Two Years

It's been two years since I've logged on to this blog. I absolutely cannot believe how much traffic it is still getting. It actually peaked this past January - 14 months since I last updated.

Thanks, kids. Mini ego boost.

For a while now, I've been thinking about opening this blog up again. When I stopped writing it two years ago, it was because I was starting a new chapter in my life. I was going for the whole "clean slate" thing. But have you heard? We're in the midst of The Mormon Moment! Thanks to Mittens, some coworkers and friends have been asking me a lot of questions about Mormonism lately (and yes, I've been blowing their fucking minds with my answers). I've been spending a lot of time on the exmo boards again lately. And so this blog has been nagging at the back of my mind.

When I quit this blog, part of me wanted to keep writing, and just leave out the Mormon stuff. After all, I was moving on. But there were two complications with this plan: one, most of my traffic/followers are a direct result of my exit letter. I've gots to give the people what they want, eh? Two, I haven't totally moved on. Maybe I never will - at least not as long as so many friends and loved ones continue to build their lives around the Mormon church.

However, I've done a lot in the past two years that is relatively Mormon-free. In November of 2010 I picked up and moved to a new city in a new state, because I knew that if I stayed in Salt Lake I would never find a good enough excuse to leave my crummy job and start taking some damn chances. I would never be brave enough to try to do something more meaningful with my life if I didn't force myself into unfamiliar circumstances.

And so I did. I took my measly savings account, packed up my car, and journeyed west. For the first few months things were unpredictable - I was terrified that I would fail and be forced to move back home with my parents. I was incredibly lucky, having landed a temp job within a week of arriving, but the pay was low, the commute was far, and my savings were drying up. The employer was impressed by me, and asked me what I thought about the temp job becoming permanent. To be honest, it didn't thrill me. It was accounting, which I hated and had left Salt Lake to get away from. But at least, as a permanent employee, I would get a pay increase and some stability, and in the current economy, I'd be a fool not to take it.

Then, rather unexpectedly, the person I was taking over for came back. She had decided that sitting around all day being sick with cancer was terribly boring, and she wanted to come back to work. My boss hadn't made me an offer in writing yet, and so I was squeezed out, just two days after moving (again) into a house much closer to the office.

The next week was terrifying. I had told the temp agency that I needed another job, but they were not able to find one quickly. My budget was so tight that after only a few days, I calculated that I could last about two more weeks without income before I would run out of enough money to make the drive back to Utah. I felt like an epic failure. I hadn't saved enough, I'd spent my savings too liberally when I first arrived, I hadn't done enough research on the cost of living in this city that was much larger than I was used do.

Then, on day 4 of unemployment, my phone rang. The woman on the other end identified herself as a representative for a temp agency who had a placement for me. I asked the name of the agency - I had never heard of them. I asked how she had gotten my information - her rather cryptic answer was, "from your email." She offered me two days worth of work as a receptionist and administrative assistant at barely above minimum wage. I accepted, figuring that any income was better than none, and the likelihood of securing a better job that week was slim.

When I showed up at the gig on Thursday morning, I almost walked away immediately. Opening the office door was like opening the portal to Narnia, if Narnia had been a disease-ridden land inhabited by hoarders with a hand fetish. Sheets of paper stacked on top of boxes stacked on top of rickety furniture were crammed against all the walls. There was a thick layer of dust over almost everything. An unplugged, unwashed coffee pot sat precariously atop a broken fax machine. The carpet was somehow both slippery and sticky, and I had no idea what color it was. Scattered atop the bookshelves and filing cabinets and boxes and stacks of paper were dozens of statuettes of hands. Wooden hands and ceramic hands and hands carved from stone. Hands holding flowers, hands holding other hands, hands holding... is that a fetus? It's a hand holding a fetus.

Just as my fight or flight instinct was kicking in, a voice from the back room called out, "Hello?" I hesitated. If I answered, I would have to stay here for two whole days. If I didn't... my bank account balance flashed before my eyes. I took a deep breath, instantly regretted it, and turned to stick my head back outside the door for a moment. There. One more deep breath. Air. Beautiful, clean, industrial-and-automotive-area-of-town air. I had to nut up and do this.

So I walked to the back office, where I found "Jim" seated at his desk. His workspace was still cluttered and dusty, but nowhere near as disgusting as the area up front. Jim motioned for me to sit, and before I had a chance to introduce myself he said, "I just got an email from Desmond Tutu."

Um.... what?

For the next three hours, I sat in stunned silence while Jim talked. And talked. And talked. He talked about $50-a-gallon gasoline and Brazilian housewives and Bill Clinton. He talked about Uttar Pradesh and Charlton Heston and the Nobel Prize. I was flabbergasted. The woman from the temp agency had told me I would be answering phones for a small nonprofit while the receptionist was on vacation. But I had sat there for three hours, and the phone hadn't rung once. There was no one else there, just Jim and me. And I could not, for the life of me, figure out what the hell he did. Even the name of the charity made no sense - it was just two nouns thrown together that offered no clue to what the mission statement was.

This man is batshit crazy, I thought to myself as I nodded along to Jim's rant about currency. This man is absolutely, certifiably insane. I am being paid slightly less than your average McDonald's cashier to listen to this crazy old man talk at me about elephants for two days.

Finally, at lunch, Jim asked me a few questions about myself. He asked where I was from, how long I had been working as a temp, if I had gone to school.

"Yes, I got my degree a few years ago," I told him. He asked what I'd studied. "Film."


"That's right."

"Did you study screenwriting at all?"

"Actually, yes. That was my emphasis."

This excited Jim. He showed me a couple of filing boxes full of loose sheets of paper, then said, "These are five of the best screenplays you'll ever read. You could sell any one of them for a million bucks." Jim proceeded to tell me that his father was a four-time Oscar winner, and that a few decades earlier Jim had decided to write some movies to help further his cause (which, by this point, I had figured out was promoting women's and family health in developing countries, particularly birth control). The fruits of his labors were now stuffed inside these two boxes, which he asked me to "go through".

"And do what?"

"Just go through them. You understand screenplays, right? So go through these."

Uh... okay. I spent that afternoon and most of the next day sorting the contents of the boxes, separating out the loose pages into their five separate screenplays, and filing them accordingly. Jim was so impressed with my efforts that he asked me to extend my contract and return the next Monday.

My original temp agency still hadn't found me anything, so I agreed to come back for a week. When I showed up on Monday, Jim took me downstairs to a completely different suite in the same office building. He told me that he was planning to move down to this bigger space, but hadn't gotten around to it yet, and that for now I would be working here. Then he showed me the two boxes of screenplays I had filed earlier, which he had carried down and left on top of a card table. "Have at it," he said, and left.

I had no idea what to do. Crazy Boss Is Crazy had just asked me to do the work I had already finished. What in the actual fuck was going on?! I figured I had nothing to lose, and until I found another job I had better just be grateful I had a tiny bit of money coming in. So I sat down in a folding chair, pulled out one of the screenplays, and started reading.

Oh my god. OH MY GOD. You wouldn't believe me if I told you. It was the most insane, blathering, pointless piece of shit that has ever graced a page. Plot summary: I DON'T KNOW. It was something about a guy in India who goes to America and harasses celebrities and then has kids dress up like condoms at a high school football game halftime show and he ends up making a bajillion dollars somehow and I am not making this up. From what I could decipher, that is the actual gist of the screenplay Jim wrote.

The others were just as bad. My personal favorite was the one about a scientist who invents a device called the Vas(ectomy) Plug, which is then made internationally mandatory for every boy on the planet to be fitted with at puberty. If later he and his wife wish to conceive, a doctor can temporarily disable the plug, but everyone is limited to two children (I never understood if this was meant to be every man was limited to two, or every woman, or every couple, but I digress). This solves the population explosion which makes the world a better place and earns the scientist the Nobel Prize. The scientist then starts making suggestions to world leaders for other things they can do to solve all the world's problems, but none of them want to listen to him, so he sneaks away to his secret underground computer lair where, unbeknownst to everyone, he can remotely control the Vas Plug of every man on the planet. When the world leaders don't sign laws or push agendas the scientist supports, he retaliates by messing with their dicks via remote control. Of course, every world leader (because there are no women in elected office in the futuristic year 2006, Jim?) is devastatingly embarrassed by their penises acting inappropriately, and, because the scientist's secret computer lair is so hard to find, they are forced to do whatever he wishes. Because while there are supposedly thousands of doctors qualified to insert or disable the Vas Plug, none of them can remove them. Apparently. Anyway, so the world leaders eventually track down Jim, but by this point all of his suggestions have so drastically improved the planet that THEY GIVE HIM ANOTHER NOBEL PRIZE.

Good lord. Good fucking lord.

It took me that whole week to read these screenplays, between navigating the utter inanity and listening to Jim's 3-4 hour daily lectures about who knows what. One thing I started to piece together, though, was that before he dove headfirst into a great steaming pile of guano, Jim had a fascinating life. He had traveled all over the world, lived in some of the most remote and poor places on the planet, and was, in his time, highly influential in setting up the governments of several developing countries. So, even though I had no idea what it was Jim had hoped to accomplish by keeping me around, I came up with a proposal. I told him if he would pay me directly as an independent contractor instead of going through the temp agency (where I lost almost half my earnings), I would help him write his autobiography. He agreed.

I spent ten months working for Jim. I was making good money, setting my own hours, working in my own office. Jim checked in on me almost every day, to take a nap on the couch in the back of the suite and to give me another hours-long lecture about how many Egyptians you can fit in a mailbox. Sometimes he would get tired of working on the book, and give me another project to work on. I ended up writing an analysis on a report from the UN about coal emissions, letters to diplomats and businesspersons all over the world, and rewriting a few of his screenplays for a "modern" audience (meaning, I removed all the references to the USSR). My favorite side project was the day he asked me to help him draft a meeting agenda - for his wife's birthday dinner. Jim had two grown children, and had been trying to get them invested in his pet projects for years. He had created a family foundation and expected his kids to run it when he retired, but they weren't interested. So, since they would all be together that night to celebrate his wife's 70th birthday, he thought it was an opportune time to discuss business matters.

The next morning he asked me to help him write a letter of apology to his wife.

Eventually, I had to quit working for Jim. The nonsense of it all was starting to get to me. I was seriously lacking in purpose or direction. We were nearly finished with the book, and I decided that it would soon be time for me to move on. Jim had other ideas, however.

One morning he came into my office and said, "I've been thinking. The only logical way for my autobiography to end is with my death, and I'm not ready to die yet. So I want to stop working on the book. I'll pay you through the end of the month."

And that was it. Bye-bye, Jim. It wasn't the very end - six months later, he would call me back to his office for a half-hour meeting where I would explain to him how progressive time worked, and he would tell me about a fax he sent to Saddam Hussein in 2003.

But when I quit working for Jim, something quite lucky happened. I decided to take the rest of the week off to decompress, then on Friday I called my old temp agency to see if they had anything for me. I hadn't worked for them in almost a year, so I didn't expect anything to happen right away. But while I was on the phone with them, I was put on hold for about two minutes, then asked if I was available to start Monday at the headquarters of a national charity. I'm still working there now. In my first six months I went from an office temp to a staff admin position to the head of the communications department. Things are good.

With all the fuss made about Mittens' religion lately, one of my coworkers has become absolutely fascinated with Mormonism. I've told him bits and pieces, and watching his jaw hit the ground has put my former religion in a whole new light. For the first couple of years after I left, the people I talked to about it were all familiar with the church. My friends were all exmos themselves, or nevermos who lived in Utah and had therefore absorbed much knowledge. But seeing some of this nonsense through the eyes of someone who knew absolutely nothing about Mormons a year ago, except that they were clean cut and had large families, has given me such a different perspective.

The church is no longer this thing that I'm angry about. It's no longer this controlling force that stole so much of my life away from me. Now it's this absolutely batshit crazy story I can use to entertain people. And I love a good story. I love hearing them, but mostly I love telling them. Mormonism is now just like my time working for Jim - it was this bizarre chapter in my life that nobody can really believe happened without being there themselves. I get the same reaction when I tell people about the time Jim's pet monkey ate his condom collection ("It had condoms from fifteen different countries!") and when I tell them about the time Mormon prophets taught that Bigfoot is Cain and that people who live on the moon dress like Quakers.

So, I'm back. I don't know how often I'll post, but to everyone who has left comments over the last couple of years encouraging me to return to this blog (particularly those of you who promised to shower me with love and/or baked goods), thank you. Say hello.

These stories are for you.


The Letter I Should Have Written

*Warning: this post is going to be very, very long.  Think War & Peace, but with fewer Russians.*

I woke to the unmistakable sounds of someone trying to navigate an unfamiliar kitchen.  I opened my eyes, allowed the blanket over my head to filter the early morning sunlight until my eyes adjusted.  I stretched out across the mattress, which had been dragged onto the living room floor in the wee hours earlier, pulled the covers from my face and greeted Russell.

"Good morning, sunshine.  What're you doing?"

"Hey.  I'm making pancakes.  I stole some mix from my brother's cupboard."

Most of my friends and roommates were unconvinced when I told them there was nothing more than friendship between Russell and me.  They didn't believe that this boy who made the two-hour drive on the pretense of visiting his brother only to spend all weekend with me, this boy whose hand I held while we walked, this boy whose arms I fell asleep in during late-night movies, was just a friend.

When I moved out to college, he still had a year of high school left to finish.  By sheer coincidence, his older brother not only attended my same school but lived in my same apartment building.  This lucky little twist of fate saved our friendship from the disease of distance, temporarily.  Russell's mother was more than happy to allow her 17-year-old son to spend weekends with his college-bound brother; she would have been less thrilled if she knew that Russell was really coming down to see me.

And so he came - not often, but a few times that we made count.  Toward the end of my freshman year, as his high school graduation was approaching, the visits stopped.  His phone calls became less frequent.  I attributed this to the fact that we were both busy, and didn't put forth much effort into maintaining contact with him.

I returned home for the summer to work, but it wasn't until just before I went back to school that I saw Russell.  We were stopped at the same intersection, about halfway between his house and mine.  We smiled and waved and blew kisses, and when the light turned green we drove off in opposite directions.

A month or so later, in September, I went to his brother's missionary farewell.  Russell and I chatted in the church foyer for a long while. He mentioned he was dating someone he had recently met through a mutual friend, and that it was going well.  I, of course, begged for details, but he wouldn't give me any.  The sidelong glances he kept making at the group of girls standing on the other side of the foyer stopped me from pressing it any further - I figured he wasn't eager for his brother's gossipy friends to share details of his private life with any members of his family.

We exchanged new phone numbers and emails and promised each other we would be better about staying in touch.  For the next few weeks, we kept that promise.

Then, in early October, I got an email from him which read:
Say you have something you want to tell someone..but you are afraid it will ruin your friendship with this person, because it goes against their belief system..do you tell this person anyway or do you just play it safe and not tell this person?
Unfortunately, I don't have a copy of my exact response, but I told him that if that someone was a real friend, the friendship wouldn't be ruined just because they don't have the same beliefs as you.

My assumption was that Russell was afraid to tell me he didn't believe in the church anymore.  I knew that he wasn't planning to serve a mission, and he had been struggling with the church for a while.  I also knew that he knew I had been spending the last several months playing SuperMormon, first trying to build up my testimony in preparation for The Boy to return from his mission, and then in an attempt to find comfort for my broken heart (a little more about that here).  I figured he was afraid I would reject him - or worse, preach to him.  I would never do that.  Even at my most Mormon, I held rigidly to the idea that there were lots of different ways to be happy, and that everyone must find their own.

The next night, he called.

"I need to tell you something," Russell said.

"So tell me."

"It's... okay.  Remember when I told you I was dating somebody?"

"Yes. What's her name, anyway?  You never told me her name."

He paused.  "I can't tell you.  You have to guess."

"Why can't you tell me?"

"I just can't."

I had been playing a rather loud and obnoxious board game with my roommates when he called, and it had put me in something of a silly mood - I was too worked up to hear the tone in his voice.

"Okay, at least tell me what it starts with."


I began running through all the S names I could think of.  Stacy, Sarah, Sharon, Samantha, Sandra.  I guessed ten names, twenty, thirty, and he said no every time.  I began to get frustrated with him.

"Is it some really obscure name that I'll never get in a million years?"

"No, it's actually quite common."

And then I knew.  In an instant, I went from not knowing to knowing; an instant more and I went from knowing to knowing that I had always known.  I grabbed a blanket from the couch, wrapped it around my shoulders, and took the phone outside with me.  Now that I was away from my roommates' giggles and squeals and chatter, I could hear the pain in Russell's silence.  I took a deep breath.

"Russ, tell me."

"I can't."

"Tell me."

"I'm afraid to."


"I don't want you to hang up on me."

"I'm not going to hang up on you.  Just tell me."

"You already know."

The next name I guessed was the correct one.


We talked for a few minutes more.  I asked questions - how he and Steve had met, how his parents had reacted, if he had told anyone else.  At the end of the conversation, he thanked me for not hanging up on him.  I told him I loved him.

Then I went inside, collapsed in my bed and wept.

My roommate came in and brushed my hair out of my face while I cried.  "He's gay!" was all I could get out before my words were broken by sobs.  I spent the next day in on autopilot.  I got up, got ready, walked to my biology class, but my mind was on Russell.  I was devastated for my friend.  I knew he had been miserable and depressed and unable to make his life make sense for years, and all I could think about was how being gay would make that even worse.

I had known a few gay people before, in high school, but I wasn't particularly close to any of them.  Russell was the first person I truly loved who was gay.  I had been taught that being gay was a choice, and that it was the wrong choice for anyone who wanted to be happy in the long run.  I couldn't bear the thought of my friend being miserable forever.

I couldn't focus on anything, so I skipped my last class and went to the library to send Russell an email.  I wish so much that I had saved it, so I could look back now and see exactly what I said to him.  I know the gist of it.  I know I told him that gay or straight, he was still my friend and I still loved him.  I know I told him I would never hang up on him.

And I know I told him that even though I didn't understand or agree with his choices, I would support him in whatever he did if he thought it would make him happy.

I am so ashamed of that last part now.

Russell and I kept in touch for another year or so.  He even came down to visit me again.  But the next autumn I moved to Virginia, and he to Arizona, and except for an occasional facebook chat we haven't really spoken since.

Five years after Russell came out to me, a coworker who is a bishop for his LDS ward mentioned that he had received instructions from church headquarters to urge his ward to give of their time and money to fight for California's Proposition 8.  He asked if the letter had been read at my own ward meetings.  It hadn't, and I expressed disbelief that such instructions would come from the first presidency.  I said it was probably some overzealous stake president or area authority who had taken it upon themselves to lead such a charge; surely the church wasn't willing to abandon its politically neutral ground over some state proposal.

Over the next few days, as I began to learn just how willing the church actually was, I was sickened.  I was furious.  I went to church the next Sunday, overheard people talking about Prop 8, and felt nauseous.  I spent Sunday School scribbling in a notebook, trying to sort out the thoughts running around my head.  I had spent the last couple of years doing everything in my power to gain a testimony of the church.  I felt so guilty that I didn't believe, so I had committed myself to reading my scriptures daily, praying daily, taking Institute classes, going to all of my church meetings (even dreaded Relief Society).  I had been working so hard, and not gotten any results.  And now this.  Now the church was doing something that I knew - I knew, like I had never been able to know anything about the church before - I knew deep down that it was morally wrong.  Despicable. Abhorrent.

How was I supposed to gain a testimony of the gospel when the men running the church were so clearly leading it away from the teachings of a loving God?  An institute teacher once told me that the difference between the practices and procedures of the church and its doctrine was that procedures change based on circumstance.  But this blatant suppression of gay rights wasn't being done in the name of procedure - it was being done in the name of doctrine.

I thought a lot about Russell at that time.  It had been a few years since we had last spoken, but I couldn't imagine looking him in the eye and telling him I thought he was less than anybody else.  I couldn't imagine telling him he didn't have the right to be who he was, and to love who he loved, and to marry who he chose.  The church's position, and the way it was enforcing that position, was just plain immoral.

My personal moral code was telling me one thing - my church was telling me another.

I wanted so badly to believe in the church.  I wanted to be able to bear my testimony, to say that I knew it was true.  I wanted to be able to pray in front of other people without feeling like a fraud.  I hadn't been able to do that for as long as I could remember; I felt I shouldn't be praying on behalf of other people when I wasn't even sure there was anyone to pray to.

And then I knew.  In an instant, I went from not knowing to knowing; an instant more and I went from knowing to knowing that I had always known.  I knew that if God was who the Mormon church said he was, I wanted nothing to do with him.  I knew that I didn't believe the church was true.  And I knew that because I didn't believe in it, I shouldn't judge myself by its standards anymore.  The church needed me to have a testimony of its supposed truthfulness - I didn't.

How had I not seen this before?  Why had I told myself for all those years that even thought I didn't believe the church was true, I should assume it was anyway and live accordingly?

The weight was lifted from my shoulders immediately.  In a single moment, I had transformed into someone who was okay with the fact that she didn't believe in the church she was raised in, and who realized that she was a good person after all, and who knew that she wouldn't have to spend another day fighting what she knew in her soul to be right.

Since leaving the church and resetting my life two years ago, I have made lots of new friends, several of whom happen to be gay.  But, when telling stories about them to others, I rarely use the word gay to describe any of them.  I say funny, or unreasonably intelligent, or witty, or sweet.  My friends are smart, beautiful, hilarious, warm, drunkards who are usually happy and always wonderful, and some of them just happen to be gay.  I don't know how all of them view themselves, but in my eyes none of my friends are gay first.  Being gay is just one small part of all the of qualities they possess, and whether they are gay, straight, or bisexual they're still them.  They're still my friends. I look at them and I see just how closed-minded I was with Russell.

I know I could have been a lot worse.  I could have rejected him, scorned him, ended our friendship.  I could have hung up on him, permanently.  I could have treated him the way his parents did in the weeks and months after he came out - cold, cruel, and punishing.

I didn't do these things.  I stayed friends with him.  We still emailed, we still called, we still visited.  He dropped by unexpectedly on Christmas to bring me a present - a bouquet of chocolate kiss roses he had made for me.  Our eventual drift apart was natural, caused entirely by the fact that we were both growing up and beginning our adult lives.  I've never stopped loving my friend.  I never will.

But knowing that I told him I loved him despite "disagreeing with the choices he was making" haunts me.  How could I have allowed a single attribute to void out all of the other marvelous traits he had?  Why did I instantly assume that he was dooming himself to a life of misery?  Why couldn't I see that by coming out, he was allowing himself to finally be exactly who he was, and to finally be happy?

In the LDS church's semi-annual general conference this past weekend, Boyd K Packer gave a sermon with a hateful, vile message.  He, speaking as a prophet of God, told the Mormon population and the world that homosexuality can be "corrected."  Because of my experience with Russell, and because Prop 8 was the driving force that finally caused me to objectively examine my membership in the church, I have a severely tender spot when it comes to the LDS church discussing homosexuality.

Mr Packer, you are an arrogant, spiteful, and irresponsible man.  How dare you yet again stand at the pulpit and spew poisonous comments directed at the LGBT community.  How dare you tell an entire population of people that you know them better than they know themselves.  How dare you treat people you don't even know with such blatant disrespect.  How dare you.

I can't help but worry about how Packer's words will damage thousands of people.  Not only will gay people be afraid to embrace who they really are for fear of being punished by God, but how many parents and siblings and teachers and friends will use these words as justification to reject their loved ones?  How many people will say things they regret to gay friends, because the prophets tell them that these friends are simply making poor decisions?  How many people will, years later, still regret responding to a friend's coming-out by telling them they love them despite "disagreeing with the choices" they are making?

I wish I could go back in time and rewrite that email to Russell.  I wish I could be there for him the way I should have been.  Unfortunately, I can't.  What's done is done, and I can't change it.  If I could, it would say simply this:
Dear Russ,

I love you, now and always.