Growing up with a father than seemed to hate all branches of the armed services and a mother who was a true bigot, my life as an adult is transformed. With so many people stating they are the way they are today because of what happened to them in their young formative years, I write this to bring light to that exact focus.

As a young, dating girl of 17, before I left home, my prospective suitors called on me at home. The rigorous questioning went on many hours before the door bell rang and I walked out with that young man. My father, being an Air Force man, did not think well of any of the armed services. He vocally expressed, quite frankly that all men were something less than anything I should be spending time with at all. This was not just a man protecting his daughter, but a real distain for the male species and more expressly anyone who served their country in uniform.

I asked many times what the branch of service, the man who was asking for a date was enlisted, knowing well that would be question #1 that my father would ask me. To me, it was not important, but I sure knew it would be a vital statistic required as the dating began. My father would look over the young male, give his biased opinion of the service, in general while adding his personal dislike for the branch the suitor was a part of in his life.

My dates were either strong enough to survive the third degree questioning or liked me well enough to come back for another date. I made no excuses for my father and his opinions or behavior. I did not think all I learned about the service left me with anything but being proud of being an American because of what the man was doing to preserve that country I loved and still love. Perhaps that was said or conveyed some how to my dates which cancelled out my father's conversations with these men in my life at that early age. I did not take on my father's agenda, but of course could not change it either. Since he was my father that came with some awareness that he could do and probably would do anything he wanted. Actually I lived in his house where he paid the bills and fed me too. I did not have to agree, but sure did not disobey his ruling. No, I continued dating service men, since that seemed to be the men I selected to spend time with then. The males, I brought home to meet my dad, seemed to be accepted in some small way after they went through the rigors of the initial introduction to my father.

When I finally selected a Navy man to be my one and only forever, he was a part of the family simply because the person was more important to me than the branch of service he served. I listened over the years to my father's rantings and kept my focus to be transformed from being the daughter of a deeply biased man. I chose the direction to take and maybe because I could not see the valid points my father made about men in the ways he talked to me about them.

Mother was an extremely racially centered woman. The depths seemed to dig into nationality so the skin color was not the only focus that she expressed. When Pierce O'Brien asked me to go steady at 13, my mother promptly gave me her thoughts as if I did not know them by that time. No way was I going to be permitted to date and possibly begin to like an Irishman. Pierce's name has been changed here since he is still living. I thought, what if he was adopted and not even a true Irishman? I need to tell you my father was Irish decent. I was only permitted to have Pierce over when my parents or at least one was home. I also was able to be at Pierce"s house when my mother spoke to Pierce's mother prior to that meeting.

I liked the good times Pierce and I had going to school dances, boating with my family and seeing him at school. I kept a mental note of how could Pierce be not accepted for any reason. My evaluation was not on his heritage, his name, where he was born or anything else but the kind of person he was to me. My transformation from a home that looked at those other characteristics were not what I adopted even at 13 years old. I obeyed my mother, followed the rules of the home, but when I was out of the house I implemented my own set of rules. I was a dutiful daughter at home and then decided to be a lover of the people of the world. Regardless of where they lived, what they looked like or many other traits my mother based her life around for my growing up years at home, I chose my path and was transformed.