Pt 26: More Memories of My Mom Esther LeBaron Spencer

ma at 14



“You can never go home.”
Sinclair Lewis

Another variable in the equivocation, as to Mom’s virginity on her wedding night, is the following (Perhaps I’m throwing a hand grenade into the equation): When I was about fourteen, Momma told me how girls she knew, when she was growing up, used things like bananas, carrots, and broomstick handles to put up “the place where babies are born.” Also used these and other devices to try to achieve an abortion.

I barely knew what she was talking about. And didn’t know masturbation or the need for such existed. Don’t know why Mum told me this stuff. I assume she was expounding on thoughts she had at the moment. Or was she suggesting I use the same tools, should the need arise — only don’t tell anyone the idea came from her?

That’s questionable, given part of virginity means an unbroken hyman. I think she was simply telling me some of the “worldly” things she knew “bad girls” used to do — but things she thought I wouldn’t do because I was her girl so “wasn’t worldly.” She believed I was better than they: I was “born a Saint.”

Such are the things my pure, perfect … perfectly-fanatic Mormon mum told me on the sly in moments of weakness and reverie. I suppose they were things too interesting to keep to herself. And I was Mum’s confidant.

Here’s another piece of juicy information Mumma shared with me after I asked her to explain what a “dirty joke” was. A couple of my sixth-grade classmates used the term but laughed at me when I asked what it meant. They said, “Go ask yer mom!” So I did.

At first, Mom told me “Johnny fell in a mud puddle”  was an example of a dirty jokeBut I was dissatisfied with that answer, so she caved in — but only after securing from me a promise I’d never repeat what she told me! Then she quickly recited the following bawdy rhyme she’d learned as a youngster. I admit I’m breaking my promise for I’m repeating what she said:

“Mary had a little lamb;
It wasn’t worth a Tinker’s damn.
She took it to bed with her to sleep.
The sheep was found to be a ram,
So Mary had a little lamb.

“When Mary had a little lamb,
The doctor was horrified.
But when Old McDonald had a farm,
The doctor almost died!”

Mum had to explain what this “dirty joke” meant, but I had no trouble converting the rhyme to memory.

You get the idea, though: The jury is still out on whether Mumma was indeed a virgin on her wedding night — and it will always be out. So your guess is as good as mine. And my guess is she wasn’t — despite the fact she and Papa had raised me to believe suicide was preferable to losing my virginity. Had I lost my virginity before my wedding night, I would have committed suicide. It was that serious!

But I was raised on triple standards! I didn’t know it then. I know it now. Little ears have big listening capacities. During my growing years, I learned many things my parents had no idea I was picking up on. I recall illicit things I experienced and heard before I could barely babble. But I had the adults fooled. So take my advice: Never assume a baby who can’t talk, can’t understand what YOU are talking about or doing!

Well, I’ve said my piece for now, so peace to you till next week’s blog and “journal jog.” My head’s beginning to nod. ‘Tis time to get some sleep ‘n’ roll some rrrr’s before the sun peeps under my window sill.

Continued October 30, 2018, in “Pt 27: More Memories of My Mama Esther LeBaron Spencer”


The following video gives insight into how I was raised and what my blog today depicted concerning virginity and Mormon Fundamentalism.

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