I spent my childhood and adolescence in Farmington, Utah, a small suburb of Salt Lake City. The fourth of six children, I presented a unique challenge to my parents, as they hadn’t yet parented a child who had ascended the heady heights of elite popularity in elementary and junior high. I don’t mean to say that my three older siblings were huge nerds. I just mean to say that they were pretty big nerds.
I spent most of my formative years handfishing in rivers, throwing water balloons at cars, walking to Smith’s to buy candy and Pringles, playing a lot of basketball and volleyball, weeding, listening to Oldies 94.1 on summer mornings, and wishing I looked better when not wearing a shirt. I didn’t hit puberty until I was 17, which probably explains why for most of my adolescence my interest in girls was strictly hypothetical. I went on a few dates, but they all paled in comparison to sitting around in a basement with my group of friends lighting blue darts and giving each other wedgies.
After high school I went off to college at BYU with some of my best friends. Because there was a little-known rule at BYU – an anachronistic holdover from the 1830s that everyone basically just forgot about and absentmindedly left on the books – that you can’t go streaking, several of us ended up on Honor Code probation. I’m just putting that out there so I can say “That story is old news,” when the press digs it up after I’m selected to replace Chris Harrison as the host of ABC’s hit reality dating program, “The Bachelor.” That show is so lame. I mean, I would watch it with you as a joke, to make fun of it and just say sarcastic things about it, but not to watch it seriously. I’m way too busy to even watch TV.
I served a two-year Mormon mission to Rosario, Argentina. During this time I learned Spanish and acquired fleas, resulting in a nervous breakdown characterized by lucid hallucinations of that scene from Star Wars where they’re plotting their attack on the Death Star, only in my version it was a group of fleas in orange X-wing fighter jump suits planning their assault on my armpits, stomach, and nether regions. Someday I’ll write more about my experience with the fleas, but it’s only been ten years, and I need a little more time to process.
I returned to BYU, dated, traveled, graduated, and moved to Washington, D.C., where I worked at the U.S. Agency for International Development. I decided that after two years of government service most of the world’s problems had been more or less solved, so I headed to graduate school. I’m not going to tell you the name of the school; I’ll just say that it’s outside of Boston. Like 400 miles outside of Boston. After graduate school I spent three years working at investment banks in New York as an equity analyst covering Latin American companies. Just kind of an international businessman. I currently work in finance for the Latin American division of a large media company.
Finally, I got married in April 2009. My wife, Melissa, is from Centerville, Utah, though we met in New York City, where we currently live. We have a miniature Dachshund puppy named Lyla; I don’t have the heart to break it to Melissa that Lyla isn’t a human baby. We like to take Lyla for walks, hang out with friends, and cruise around the city on my Vespa.