It All Began With A Lie
Let’s talk about “skeletons in the closet”. It’s origins in 19th Century England, the phrase has been tied to of course the shame/secrets of an individual or family that would be disastrous if discovered. Also from a more literal sense actual discovery of a body in a wall or other uncommon place.
Here I am on an early Sunday morning talking about something that has made people cower in corners or at the very least expect their entire lives will be ruined, FOREVER. Premarital sex, okay I will say it simply because it is true I had it. There now what? I will not detail whether it was a source of pain or pleasure, whether it ruined or made my life, nor will I commit to “If I had it to do all over again…” how would I finish the statement. I am off and running.
I knew there were laws on the books about premarital sex, they reside under decency and morality umbrellas. After a brief thumb-through I found there were some 18 states that went so far as to tell you what position you could have sex in, oral sex was forbidden in several carrying a sentence of up to 20 years in Georgia, and even one state(Nevada, but no wonder) telling individuals they must use a condom. Oklahoma does win the “kewpie doll” as being the state which actually does forbid premarital sex. Yes I am going to make light of this because if it is left up to the state or anyone besides an individual and their consenting adult partner/spouse what position is/is not permissible, I think most would agree they would have not to make it illegal, folks would just throw in the towel and say “forget it”. However, one might even find the offenders to be so prevalent the prisons would become a popular, and in some instances a desired spot. Okay I said I was making light of this so “lighten up”!
Now we have to touch on the religious aspect. Sodom and Gomorrah come to mind first, then we have the beloved King David. Those of you even slightly familiar with the Bible, know why these three were chosen as a reference point. Therefore it is safe to say people have sex; they have been having it for a very long time, they lie about it, but the truth eventually comes out. Finally the set–up is complete the skeleton, the law, and the Bible.
Pregnant, unmarried, under 21, and this is circa 1959 to 1964; if he’s a decent guy he will marry you whether or not it was his plan, but he just happens to NOT be.Now comes the reveal; it was a fling, you two were having fun, he’s married(or so he tells you) with children, and does not want more. The bottom line is, young lady, you are on your own. Your options are limited and relatively dangerous during this era.
The baby comes and you are bitter; your life is a struggle because you got caught when others doing the same thing did not. What you have done is a sin. Who will marry you now? You must put aside the thoughts of “YOU” and deal with the baby. At a time when there should be celebration of a new life there is an impending feeling of shame, despair, and doom.
Meantime, he goes on relatively unscathed. His children grow up with a father in the household, their mother his wife has the respect of her family and community. He got a pass, like so many others before him, like so many who will come after him. Sometimes he wonders about the young woman he was involved with, the one who was “tainted” because of him. However, he must cast those thoughts aside rapidly for HIS life could become undone should any of that experience come to light.
Yet there is a person left behind; a person who will one day wonder “why am I the only one who doesn’t have a father at the PTA meeting”, or a person who wonders “why are my eyes green and my hair curly when my brothers and sisters are straight-haired with brown eyes”. People wonder who they are, where they came from; it is this curious drive, the need to connect, that will lead them to and down a road of discovery, which may or may not end pleasantly for the parties involved.
In essence to say the man, the young woman, the predicament is one as old as the age of time is a gross understatement. Therefore, you either know of or have someone in your family who has a similar story in your past, present, or future. Judgmental people keep this story going; yes the cast changes, the circumstances alter a bit, but all-in-all the story is the same. One day there is a knock on the front door, a letter comes in the mail, or there is a phone call. A closet door opens and here it comes, the skeleton, crashing down onto the floor scattering into hundreds of pieces. The lie is catching up. Be careful of the little seeds you plant in the dark, they grow, and appear in the light of day.