My Memoirs: Part 19-R, Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer — 
And More Perils of Polygamy: My Honeymoon

My swollen-eyed Honeymoon photo, October 1963. We Honeymooned in a cheap hotel in Chihuahua City, Mexico; no screens on the windows but plenty of mosquitoes. 

We all come from the past,
and children ought to know what it was
that went into their making.”
Russell Baker

I’d never traveled much past my own backyard, especially once we moved, when I was fourteen, to Chihuahua, Mexico, to join the secluded-wilderness LeBaron cult — “Zion.”

But, at age sixteen, when I was married off to polygamist, twenty-six-year-old Bill Tucker in an arranged marriage, Daddy gave Bill money to take me to Chihuahua City for a week’s Honeymoon.

 I’m so touched Daddy did that; though he was not well to do and was often mean to me, he cared enough to twist Bill’s arm to take me on a Honeymoon!

But perhaps Daddy gave him the money in an effort to set up a little better deal for me at the start of my marriage because he felt guilty about having pawned me off onto Bill and his harem when Daddy knew Bill was out of work and couldn’t afford to support the two wives and five children he already had!

Needless to say, Bill felt obligated to take me on a honeymoon. But he didn’t feel obligated to spend any of the money on me. And he didn’t! But, while in Chihuahua City, on our honeymoon, he took ME shopping to spend $ on his first wife Marilyn — money Daddy had meant to be spent to help me get started in my new home; because Bill said he couldn’t afford me!

Though I needed so many things for my new household, my new husband spent not a penny on me — other than for cheap lodgings for the both of us, restaurant meals he gobbled down; and gas for our automobile trip — a trip, I realized years later, was mainly a business and pleasure trip for him: 

He met with boyfriends and with companies he was dealing with to get them to buy his fryers/pollos when they were ready to be beheaded, defeathered, and marketed.

When I married Bill, he and his two wives were in the process of starting a chicken business that would include a chicken-packing plant. Money to get the family business going would be mostly supplied by his first wife Marilyn’s dowery.

I realize now, Bill, having so recently come upon a little money of his own by way of my father, wanted to ingratiate himself with jealous Marilyn for having taken me on as a third wife against her will; though she was largely financing his family and their upstart chicken business.

But you can imagine how it hurt sixteen-year-old child-bride me — who knew nothing about his family — to be left alone, standing for an hour or so, on the sidelines of my own Honeymoon, watching the man I loved lovingly look for and pick out a costly gift for his first wife’s upcoming thirty-first birthday — all the while, ignoring me.

 It wasn’t fun!
Welcome to Polygamy 101;
And the “Big Love” idea:
He bought “nada”
For new-homemaker-me —
His plural wife #3.

Take a hint: Polygamy
Is a bunch of bull-pucky!
Don’t believe me?
Try it and see.

(Continued in: “My Memoir: Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer — And More Perils of Polygamy: My Honeymoon — Part 19-S”)

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