Quote of the Week

"I assure you that if you have to wait even until the next life to be blessed with a choice companion, God will surely compensate you."
President Ezra T. Benson, To the Single Adult Sisters of the Church, 1988.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Merry Christmas to Singles Everywhere

Time for the annual flogging. The reminder that if you aren't married or with someone for the holidays you will be miserable. I say, time to set things straight.

     Think Santa will be impressed enough with my dancing to send me a man for Christmas? Here's hoping!
      Well, my little apartment is all cozy and decorated for Christmas. Tomorrow I'm going over to bake up a storm with my Mom and sister Mary-fudge, cookies, bread, the works, yum! I find keeping busy and treating myself to a few fun outings to celebrate the season, like going downtown to see the Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performance keeps my spirits up. Other years I take myself to Ballet West's Nutcracker. I'll do that next year. Serving others in my family is also a good Christmas activity to help stay busy and keep my mind off being lonely during the holiday. Like today...

      Today was my nephew's 5th birthday. I stopped by to drop off his gift and read him a few stories before hearing his prayers and helping Mary and Aaron tuck him into bed and kiss him goodnight. I may not be a mother but I sure am grateful to be allowed to participate when I can. Calvin hugged me so tight it took some prodding to get him to let go and put him to bed. I like being someone's favorite aunt. What more do I need to have a Merry Christmas?
So, go find something fun to do, even if you have to go alone. Go find someone to serve, take cookies. Or, if you're like me and getting really desperate, go find a Santa to dance with.
Merry Christmas and God bless us (singles), every one!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Marriage is not the Reward for Righteousness

We (I) have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, (but mostly women) as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion (D&C 121:39).

            I’m not sure about other single females, but over the years I’ve noticed that in my family, and in many church talks and lessons I’ve endured on dating and temple marriage, the majority of those advice givers-pushing me to get married, find a boyfriend, spend more time on my physical appearance-all came from women.

When was the last time a guy came up and waved his wedding ring in your face? Or your best guy friend took you aside and told you he’d love to take you out on a date sometime-if you’d just update your makeup case. How often in a group of unmarried co-eds do the young men tap each other on the shoulder and say, “Um, excuse me, but, back off…SHE’S MINE!”

            There seems to be a prevailing attitude among female Mormons that if you live righteously-go to church, read your scriptures, say your prayers, pay your tithing-yet remain stuck in single mode, the Lord must be punishing you. If you don’t have ten guys chasing you, something’s wrong. So, you get pushed aside, labeled “Old Maid” and denied acceptance into the club until you conform and lose your virginity or at least find someone to take you to the temple.

            The world, on the other hand, is only waiting for you to cross that sex line. Give in to the pressure, lose your virginity, and be like everyone else. Only then will you find acceptance. Only then will you be happy. Sorry, temple marriage not included.

This is called a catch-22 and it is a lie women are putting pressure on each other to follow. I’m not just talking about Mormons, there’s pressure from all sides, especially for girls and young women that if they don’t follow the life script of the world and have a boyfriend by a certain age, they will be labeled “loser” for the rest of her life and I can’t help but notice the majority of those doing the labeling are women.

            Boys kill each other. Girls make you wish you were dead.

            Ladies, if this is you, this really needs to stop. When Satan managed to turn the world’s greatest crusaders for peace, virtue, and moral standards, against each other in such vindictive behavior-we are letting him win. We are judging each other by the world’s false standard of what it means to be a liberated woman as we put so much pressure on each other to either get yourself a partner (or to the temple) or die trying. This is not righteous living. We should be more concerned with our character and how we treat each other. The children both living and not yet born are counting on us to set a good example. Let the men kill each other. We can’t let it happen. Let us return to the sweetness of femininity. We can’t let Satan win!

            In “The Uses of Adversity” by Carlfred Broderick he tells of going to a Young Women’s activity back in the 80’s where a take-off on The Wizard of Oz was presented by “Barbie-with-a-testimony” leaders who stressed temple marriage as the quintessential end to following a yellow brick road-type life script.

             After the presentation, President Broderick gently corrected them, “I do not want you to believe for one minute that if you keep all the commandments and live as close to the Lord as you can and do everything right and fight off the entire priests quorum one by one and wait chastely for your missionary to return…and have a temple marriage, I do not want you to believe that bad things will not happen to you."

 When things don’t go our way, when we discover marriage is not all it’s cracked up to be. In the end, it’s more than just having a current temple recommend, it’s the Savior’s atonement that will ultimately get us into the Celestial Kingdom.


It really worries me, the condescending treatment us singles get, just because we don’t have partners. We’re treated as lepers, yet, we don’t view ourselves that way. We know in our hearts there is more to life than having a boyfriend. We say in our hearts: Haven’t I paid my dues, served others without complaint, pray morning and night, keep the commandments? Why, then, am I not married? Why am I living alone in this too-small house? Must I endure another Thanksgiving stuck at the kids table? Where is the reward for my righteousness?  

How frustrating it is when righteous living doesn’t yield the same rewards those I view around me in their happily married state of bliss appear to be enjoying. Yet, it is times like these, thinking I’m the only one who feels this way, as I find myself sinking into a downward melancholy spiral of despair, that’s when I remember a favorite quote I heard once in a talk by Elder Faust:

When fretted by this single life, which seems to be my lot. I think of all the many men whose wife I’m glad I’m not.

Thank goodness God does not judge us on our marital status. In the end, how we treated each other during our lives on this earth is all that matters. Thank goodness those stuck in a degrading or abusive marriage can find comfort knowing Joseph Smith once said those men who don’t honor and cherish their wives in this life will not be privileged to have them in the next.

Married or not. Divorced or single. If our hearts are pure, we as oldmaidmormons-and I include anyone else out there who yearns for marriage and can’t seem to find it-can all take comfort in one of my favorite scriptures from Isaiah on what to do when feeling down and lonely because we are not yet married and filling the measure of our creation.

Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud, thou that didst not travial with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord. (Isaiah 54:1).

So, to all my single sisters, get out there and even if you’re not much of a singer, have a song in your heart as you count your blessings, smile bravely through the abuse of those well-meaning relatives this holiday season who will inevitably ask: “My goodness, aren’t you married yet?” and remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God. We CAN live righteous lives and, with the help of our Savior, be welcomed into the Kingdom of the Blissfully Married-even if we don’t have that ring yet.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Single Ones

Sing it with me, “One is the loneliest number”

Three Dog Night had it right. Being A Single One is lonely, it’s sad, it’s hard, it sucks and as the lyrics go, “It’s just no good anymore since she went away,” many readers of this blog are probably thinking, “It’s just no good anymore since HE NEVER SHOWED UP,”

Today’s date (11/11/11) makes this a good day to celebrate singles, emphasize how being single is not our fault and to offer some hope for a bright future for all The Single Ones out there. I’ll try to include single men in this post but I think we all know what single men are doing right now. This is for all the single people…forget it, I’ve never cared for that America song either.

            I’ve been doing my homework over the last few weeks. I spent hours surfing the web and reading books about the changing attitudes towards marriage and dating in America and how it relates to us singles. I found blogs where hooking up, cohabitation or what to do after the divorce are common themes-little too much chutzpah for me. I found Mormon blogs celebrating the zaniness of single life, navigating the “meat market” while waiting for a priesthood holder to come sweep you off your feet while the rest were all ads for online dating for both Mormons and Non, of which I’ve never been a fan. If it works for you, meeting new people online, good for you-you have my utmost admiration. Trying online dating once was enough for me.

As for the books, it was an eye-opener to find so much self-destructive behavior out there in the world of quick hook ups, rampant cohabitation, pornography and oral sex. Here’s my booklist.

1.    Your Kids at Risk: How Teen Sex is Killing our Sons and Daughters. Meeker, Margaret J.

2.    So Sexy so Soon.  Levin, Diane E.

3.    Queen Bees and Wannabes. Wiseman, Rosalind.

4.    The Beauty Myth. Wolf, Naomi.

5.    Premarital Sex in America: How Young Americans Meet, Mate, and Think about Marrying. Regerus, Mark.

6.    Glory Goes and Gets Some. Carter, Emily.

7.    A Room of One’s Own. Woolf, Virginia

8.    Marriage and Caste in America. Hymowitz, Kay.

Yes, I know that’s a LOT of books and, yes, I really did read them all because reading is one of my favorite hobbies. I really enjoyed researching what I was going to write for this post and being single means being blessed with LOTS of free time. As the titles concur, the focus is mostly on women but I’m assuming most of my readers are women anyway. Don’t feel any pressure to read all eight, if any titles listed above inspire you to go pick up a book, wonderful, my work as closet librarian is done. Closet Librarians: We read so you don’t have to! (there’s a blog for that btw- http://closetlibrarian.blogspot.com/)

The main topic of today’s post is life scripts. In “The Single Mormon Girl’s Guide to Life” Lula from London blogs about life scripts in a 2007 post, “A Date is a Commitment”. Lula calls it the “Beehive Plan” and to any girl who grew up in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints it should look familiar:

16 > date > college > date > mission > career > date > temple marriage > kids

Then there’s the “Life Script of the Lone and Dreary World” or the world in which we are all living in right now.  According to my research, there’s really no set life script that young single adults and teens of the world are following today. Once upon a time, motherhood was what you groomed and prepared your daughter for. Being a responsible husband and provider was the life script all young men used to follow. Today, a life script “just happens” and it looks something like this:

16 > oral sex > college > date > cohabitation > job > kids > marriage-if-you-get-lucky

Now, I’m not saying everyone follows these life scripts or that everyone should. Dr. Phil calls life scripts constrictive for those who try to follow them and depressing for those when certain life events don’t happen “according to the script” and they feel like failures.

Wise religious leaders of all faiths promote a life script that steers clear of self-destructive behaviors such as pornography and laziness, remaining pure and chaste while getting all the education we can. The leaders of the Mormon faith promote these same goals, promising us that even when certain life events, such as temple marriage, don’t happen “according to the script” we can rest assured temple marriage WILL come. This advice applies to all good Christians trying to live right. Marriage is a worthy goal that all male and female Single Ones should aspire to.

So, what to do in the meantime? The “Beehive Plan” offers no alternative escape route to the endless cycle of dating while waiting for temple marriage and, as you’ve probably noticed, the “Life Script of the World” has no scruples about jumping right into sex before marriage which all good girls understand is to be avoided like pornography, so following that life script is out.

As the years of my single life have passed, after I stopped crying over my failure to make “The Beehive Plan” happen the way I’d always dreamed it would, I’ve had to re-invent myself and re-write my life script-because sometimes life doesn’t always go according to plan.  

In Slavoj Zizek’s, “The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema” he demands “a third pill” and since I’ve had no choice but to remain single I would also like to demand “A THRID LIFE SCRIPT” for all good women to follow when dating, courtship and marriage just isn’t happening because the guys just aren’t asking.

So, here is my “Life Script for The Single Ones” and, yes, it’s geared pretty much for the ladies:

16 > date > college > date > mission > career > new hobbies > buy house > temple marriage-if-you-get-lucky 

 I’m 37 now and ever since “The Beehive Plan” blew up in my face this is pretty much the script I’ve been following and, so far, I have no regrets. I think everyone should adopt this life script, yet, I can hear the protests starting already: “But I don’t want to buy a house and live alone! Only losers with no sex in their lives do that. Don’t you know that a woman is nothing nothing nothing without a man? This life script says growing up to be a 40 year old virgin is better than never having sex or kids and that’s just CRAZY!”

Yes, I know, unless legions of single young men start buying their own homes and living alone, as many of the single ladies are doing, we really have no choice but to follow this life script. We must settle for the unglamorous life of living alone, traveling alone, and pursuing hobbies and activities alone without the companionship of a boyfriend. Yes, the thought of such a life is discouraging, if not downright sickening, but I promise it’s not as bad as you think.

So, before you decide to settle for “Joe Six-pack” and his failure to commit; before you give in to the degrading demands of oral sex, just stop for a minute and consider the benefits of following my “Life Script for the Single Ones”. To begin with, you’ll never have to worry about STDs and single parenthood. If we wait for the young men to initiate the dating and not give into the pressures of having oral sex, we can raise the value of the woman in the sexual marketplace. Maybe if we start drawing some firm boundaries-demanding a ring from the men before we give them sex-the men will realize they have no choice but to re-write their own life scripts!

So, yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying- it IS possible to live a happy and fulfilling life without sex or at least to live a happy and fulfilling life before you meet a man who respects you and the children you plan to bring into this world together to initiate the creation of a family.

Please don’t think I’m diminishing the role of women either. As the Mom in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” said, “The man is the head but the woman is the neck and she can turn the head any way she wants.” Women still have that power and we need to be reminding each other to use it. We should be encouraging each other to live chaste and moral lives, not tearing each other down in jealousy and competition over the nearest alpha male. Let’s face it; the sex ratio proves there just aren’t enough in the marketplace to go around. We need to learn to live with that and I’m confident The Single Ones like us can and are currently doing so right now.
“Oldmaidmormons Rule!” We’ll make it our battle cry.

I’m not preaching that mine is the only life script you have to follow. Invent your own chaste alternatives to this life script. For example, I’m not promoting lesbianism, but there’s nothing wrong with finding other single women who share the same values as you do and, if you both don’t mind sharing a kitchen and living space, going in on a house together sure beats the solitude and loneliness of living alone! I’ll bet you can name quite a few single, never married women right now who’ve taken to living together-sleeping in the same bedroom but not in the same bed-just to have someone to share the single life with. You probably also know many single women who just prefer to live alone and are quite content with this lifestyle.

I’ve done both-sharing a house with another single woman and then moving out again to be on my own. I’m not deliriously happy with my current situation, but I’ll admit it, I’m content most of the time. I have my work, my small group of friends and my family. I look forward to welcoming a new nephew soon. If I keep my dance card filled with fun activities to look forward to, as the upcoming holidays will provide, then I think I’m doing pretty good living a happy and fulfilling life without ever having had sex. Not to mention unlimited use of the TV remote. 

 Ladies, the millennium is coming. I’ll not try and predict an exact number of years but I’m watching the signs and I’m hopeful that we WILL have the opportunity to marry and raise children in that future thousand year period. I’m not just talking to fellow Mormon sisters; this promise is for ALL faithful, chaste, honest virtuous women who desire to be wives and mothers. Yes, I hear you. It sucks to be the oldest living virgin on the planet. It’s hard to forsake the sex and companionship that comes with cohabitation just so you can keep that V-card which may look obsolete now but I’m telling you, HANG ONTO IT and let’s encourage our fellow sisters to do the same. Yes, I know, it’s sickening to not be on the pill and have to put up with that monthly reminder with never a nine month break year after year after year from age 14 to 40. It’s not fair and it makes no sense having to wait but we must have faith that when the millennium comes we can shout for joy that keeping our virginity was indeed worth it.

So, I know it’s a long shot, but let’s call for an end to cohabitation. Let’s stand up against pornography and encourage men to do their share of the work in asking us out while holding fast to our moral boundaries. If they want the sex let’s demand they show us that ring first. If they want to just hang out, let’s demand they ask us out on individual dates and forget the oral sex. If we do this, I predict these demands will prove just too hard for men to resist. They'll cave in and start dating, courting and marrying us in the biggest turn-around the world has ever seen.

For the rest of us, I envision a legion of Single Ones, desiring marriage to good men we just can’t seem to find, being the first group to approach the Savoir at his Second Coming when He arrives to usher in the millennium. When that day comes, I envision thousands upon thousands of virtuous women cresting the horizon. We will approach and kneel at His feet and humbly remind Him of his promise in Matthew, “The first shall be last and the last (that’s all of us who’ve had to wait so long!) shall be first,” and together we will partake of all the rich blessings we have been so long denied.

That’s it. Have a great day. Now get out there and celebrate being a Single One, no longer the loneliest number but a woman worth waiting for whose price is far greater than rubies. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to find some Midol.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Single Mormon Girl's Guide to Life

   Seems I'm not alone out there in the blogosphere. I started reading the older posts on this site today, the first one dating all the way back to November 2007. This really needs to be a book because I just couldn't stop reading. A gold mine of ideas about being single that I intend to steal and use here in my own blog. Miss Jones, who posts on this blog, must've gotten married because she hasn't posted anything new since December of last year. Perhaps it's time for someone new to take up the baton...
   Anyway go check it out here's the link http://singlemormongirl.wordpress.com/2008/01/
Sorry, gotta run now. I'm gonna do more research for my next post and I have an English midterm I really need to be studying for right now and my creative writing piece needs to be ready to post by next week for that class and I haven't seen my favorite nephew since my birthday. 
   Life is pretty good right now. I just finished reading "Bad Guys of the Book of Mormon" and yes, it's just as fun to read as it sounds, everyone should go pick it up.
   I started praying again, I'd kinda given it up since being alone is so discouraging but every once in a awhile I can think of a good reason to kneel down, give the Lord an update on my life and acknowledge His hand in all things. I've started attending Sunday worship service again but only because there's lots of little toddlers in my family ward who like to wander over to the pew I share with my sister and her family. I cuddle them on my lap (Calvin's getting too big!), let them dig through my purse, draw pictures for them on the program, look at story books and play cat's cradle with the older kids. Occasionally we might glance up to hear what the speaker is saying! I really like my family ward.
   So, advice for the day: keep busy, pray always and read your scriptures, that's the only way to beat loneliness.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Ten Years Ago

    That was me ten years ago. The other girls are Mindy (last name I forget) in white and I'm leaning on Marcie Hastings. These two were my roomates at Southen Utah University, Fall semester 2001. Mindy is married but Marcie's living it up with all the single ladies in San Fransisco. Don't ask me how she does it.
    Ever wish you could go back in time? I was 27 years old in that picture. Cedar City, Utah was, and still is, a small town with an even smaller ratio of active, ambitious, single Mormon guys who were also pursuing an education at SUU. Dating consisted of competing with ten other apartments of six girls each for the time and attention of the 20 males (give or take) in our complex-inviting them over for movies, dinner, card games and just hanging out. Young men like Scott (shaken not stirred) Bond who is now married and Mark Willey, now divorced, who had the sexiest blue eyes that made my heart skip a beat every time he smiled at me. Both young men were highly sought after by the ladies but skittish about making any formal dating invitations or commitments to any one girl. "Why date one when you can have them all?" seemed to be their motto. I was never the competitive-type when it came to staking a claim in the Sexual Market of Utah. Don't be fooled by my pleasant demeanor in that picture, I tried very hard not to be discouraged at my lack of dating opportunites back in those days.
   Like any unmarried 27 year old, I was scared to death of actually having to go out into the world soon and begin a career. Like the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" our "cultural timeline" decreed that while remaining chaste and virtuous was very important, nevertheless, if I didn't start getting some action in the bedroom soon, I was already an old maid at 27, I might as well be a pumpkin. It was a Mormon double standard back then and, by golly, some things just never change!
   The student body at SUU ten years ago was, and probably still is, mainly women majoring in pink collar areas like nursing, psychology, English and (like me) Elementary Education so I knew I wasn't alone in the majority of dateless women. I knew I wasn't the only single white female panicking at the thought that everyone else was getting more action than I was. I'd remind myself how fortunate I was to have a job filling orders at the Wal-Mart warehouse 40 miles south in Hurricane that paid $14/hr. The work wasn't too hard but I longed for something more challenging. I was grateful I could afford the commute (remember when gas was dirt cheap at $1.25/gallon?) but the drive was long and lonely. My weeks were filled with classes in the morning and home from work by 10:30 every night. Weekends I studied, read books by my favorite LDS authors, did laundry, and cleaned house. Sunday was church meetings, potluck dinners, singing at a local nursing home with other young single adults and practicing the piano whenever I could. I was grateful I earned enough to pay my own tuition with enough left over to put something away every month. I was grateful to enjoy so many hobbies and develop talents and hang out with fun groups of people, yet, I remember going to my male spiritual leaders, sitting in their offices and weeping bitterly. I would gladly trade it all for the opportunity to be a wife and mother. I was so tired of this single life. I just got another wedding announcement from another old friend or missionary companion. "When's it gonna be my turn?" I'd wail. Accepting the box of Kleenex I was handed along with some sympathy (I feel bad now for putting those good men in such an uncomfortable situation of female hysteria) there was nothing they could say except to counsel me to keep being patient and that God loved me and was aware of my anxiety. Someone was going to come along, they promised.
    Ten years later and I'm still waiting for someone to come along. Oh well. At least I don't cry as much as I did back then. Time really does heal some wounds. But, if I could somehow have the opportunity to reach back in time and talk to that young woman-this is the advice I'd give her, along with the name to remember-"Facebook. Buy up stock, trust me it's gonna be big..."
    First, I'd tell myself, "Get thee out of this one horse town and to the big city of Salt Lake and the U of U or Provo and BYU. Drop out of SUU, take all that Wal-Mart money you've been saving and enroll thyself in another institute of higher learning." I'd warn myself that while marriage prospects in the city probably weren't any better, at least I'd have the pride of graduating from a decent school with a higher percentage of career opportunities.
   Second, "You know those foreboding feelings you keep having of "is this what I REALLY want to do?" well, follow those promptings and change your major from Elementary Education to...something else." How I wish I could've warned myself that going forward to graduate from SUU with a degree in Elem Ed would lead to nothing but more heartache and very little job opportunity. I was never meant to be a teacher of small children. There was never a classroom with my name on it out there, anywhere. By changing schools, moving to an area with more people (and one awesome Salt Lake County Library system) perhaps I would've found my niche sooner or met someone who would've touched my life in a significant way.
   Ten years later...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Work and the Glory 20th Anniversary

    Some books are like old friends, every once in a while you have to go back and see how they’re doing. Perhaps that’s what inspired me to go my bookcase and retrieve the first volume in a much loved bestselling series I hadn’t read in several years. Glancing at the publication date I was surprised to note it had been over twenty years since this book hit the shelves with no commemoration of its birth. How could that be?

    I remember the first time I read Gerald N. Lund’s Work and the Glory series as a college student in 1994. Word of mouth introduced me to the first volume, Pillar of Light, which I found so enchanting, I longed to step into the pages of the book and live the church history saga right along with the fictional Steed family. When Joseph Smith confided to Nathan his encounter in the Sacred Grove, the burning in my twenty year-old bosom took me completely by surprise. Being a lifelong member, I knew about the First Vision and the Book of Mormon yet reading about it in a fictional setting suddenly made it all come alive. Through Lund’s miraculous storytelling, Joseph Smith had been transformed from an obscure “founding father” into a real human being. As the centuries between 1820 and 1994 melted away, I became caught up in the joys and sorrows of the Steed family. I didn’t just know anymore, I KNEW that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the Book of Mormon was true. Like millions of other readers, I was re-converted to my own faith right along with those early saints.

     When Christmas of 1994 came that year, I was like Laura Ingalls and her new doll in Little House in the Big Woods. For the entire day my arms cradled that copy of A Season of Joy while I snuck quick peeks between activities in happy anticipation of the reading experience to come. I had the Work and the Glory Calendar, the CDs, and packed the theater with other fans for the 2004 movie adaptation.

    This was before Harry Potter and Twilight; the Internet was still in its infancy, never before had a series of books captured the LDS market like Gerald Lund’s which went on to sell millions of copies for Bookcraft and to inspire other LDS writers such as Ron Carter and Dean Hughes to create their own bestselling historical series. Who would’ve thought after twenty years this remarkable fictional family, the Steeds, who converted us to the church would become as obsolete as the idea of family itself? We’ve had plenty of stories from the white, Caucasian, British descendants of the church. I wonder who will be the next young, promising writer, perhaps South American or Asian, to pick up the baton and share their own country’s story of the restoration of the gospel of Christ?    

    Now, here we are, over twenty years later: LDS missionaries sing and dance on Broadway, two Mormon hopefuls run for president, youth of the world plug themselves into yet another electronic device, cohabitation runs rampant among single adults and while 137 temples dot the earth you’d be hard pressed to find even that many temple marriages in just one typical LDS ward. What a remarkably simplistic world those 1800's-era Steeds enjoyed! So, here we have this antiquated book series, this remarkable missionary tool, sitting all but forgotten. I think a wake-up call is in order and here’s one avid reader who hasn’t forgotten the series that reminded her just how great and glorious this work was and still is.

Happy 21st birthday Work and the Glory.

Here is my Work and the Glory Book Blog with a chapter by chapter summary of all ten volumes. Happy Reading!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Another Solitary Birthday

   OK, "Solitary" isn't entirely true. Yes, today (September 23) is my birthday but I didn't spend it entirely alone and I promise this won't be a melancholy entry. We all get older on our birthdays, not that there's anything wrong with that.

    Hard facts first. Despite Mom and Stepdad going out of town, my Mom did call me today as she always does on her children's birthdays and in her egocentric, hypoctrical way reminded me this is also an important day for HER as she reflects on the many hours she spent in labor with me and that if it weren't for her, I wouldn't be here (when did we become a Jewish family?). I thanked her, hung up and left to join Mary and my favorite nephew who treated me to dinner at Chessecake Factory. Love that place. Calvin greeted me with a big hug and a homemade birthday card that I will treasure always.

     The good (crazy?) people I work with at Alta View Hospital in Sandy, Utah had a cake for me today along with a signed card and lots of happy birthday wishes. Despite the low pay, this is the best job I've ever had and I've had quite a few in my life. Somebody better warn Henri not to look behind her! That's Brian with the knife. Katie is front row next to Henri. Back row (L to R) Kami, Ruth, Annette, Me, Jimae Kenney (Food Service Manager), Sara.

      With Mom being out of town, my brother, Mike, four years my junior, invited me over to spend the night. He's the boomerang child who recently moved back home due to his overwhelming debt. Out of all my siblings, Mike and I have always been the closest and now that we're both adults we share an extra bond being the only two in the family not currently in a serious relationship or married with kids. We spent an enjoyable evening staying up till 1am talking, comparing notes on being nagged by the "old fogies" for circimstances over which we have no control and playing old school video games like MarioKart and MarioBros3 on the old NES and N64 systems.

     Spending the night at my Mom's house also gave me the opportunity to practice the piano something I haven't done in well over a year as living in a 1bdrm walk-up doesn't allow room for an upright. One day my circumstances will change allowing me a place with proper musical accommodations. I was pleased my familiar Beethoven and Solfeggietto pieces were still there. Just like riding a bicycle. Rondo Alla Turca, on the other hand, was nearly nonexistant. I quickly gave up trying to remember the correct fingerings and went back to my favorite Beethoven Pathetique.

     When I was studying organic chemistry (and failing miserably) I marveled at the fact that on a good day I could play the entire second movement of Beethoven's Pathetique from memory yet when it came to remembering all the steps to an Esterification reaction for the final exam, I choked. Didn't lead to acceptance at the University of Utah's College of Nursing, but I'm happy to report that I did retake the class and passed. Having a handsome German named Lars for a TA lab instructor that summer didn't hurt either! Ah, memories. The way he explained the chemical bonds, the "click" my brain made when it all suddenly made sense, the effort he put into making our labs fun and interesting, the light flirting I enjoyed every time he came near me, "Stop that, heart, he's married!" Who knew learning organic chemistry could be so romantic? Like Beethoven.

     If Utah schools didn't suffer from such a lack of sufficient funding (and as a former Elementary Education major I feel I can speak authoritatively) and if today's curriculum hadn't made such a drastic shift from Kenntnis (hands on learning) to Wissenschaft (book learning) perhaps more people like me who struggled in Math and Science in grade school might've saved time and money taking those remedial math and science courses in college. What a difference having the opportunity to attend the U with it's state-of-the-art chemistry lab, having teachers like Professor Richmond blowing things up during lecture and enthusiastic aides like Lars who opened my eyes to what a fascinating subject chemistry can be. Our great nation needs to get back to that kind of teaching in its public schools. Science is a hands-on subject.

     My birthday ended with the opportunity to attend a free showing of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" on the University of Utah campus. I wanted to compare it to the Utah Shakespeare Festival version I saw over the summer. I appreciated the different interpretation of tonight's performance but I'm a bit old school, some things just didn't sit well with me: the character of Bottom being played by a woman (her hammy performance did steal the show) the absence of the well known final lines traditionally spoken by Puck, "Give me your hands, if we be friends" and other lines, probably edited for time, the modern day costumes, but I can live with all that, I can accept those minor flaws.
    I had to draw the line over the dual roles of Oberon/Duke/Titania/Hippolyta switching genders for the fairy royalty. Hearing Titania's famous soliloquies spoken by a male addressed as "King Titania" is just wrong while Oberon is one of my favorite Shakespearean characters and having all his lines spoken by a woman referring to herself as "Queen Oberon" made the whole performance fall flat. Luckily the Pyramus and Thisby play at the end made up for the dissapointments. At least it was free for U students and something fun to do to celebrate my birthday.

     With each day, I'm glad I decided to change my major and return to school. I'm not bitter anymore about not becoming an elementary school teacher or a nurse or even a CNA. At last, at the tender age of 37, I feel like I've finally found my niche in life. For the first time in my life I'm free from being that contortionist I once saw in Vegas, forcing myself to fit in a box beyond my capacity.

     I'm an English major-you do the Math.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Single Funeral

     My name is not Maud. I didn't attend this funeral today looking for a Harold. I read her obituary in the paper. This young woman was but one year older than me. She had never married. From her picture, she looked just as boring and wholesome as I've been known to be referred to. I was curious, how was her family handling such a sad loss? What would the funeral service be like for such a lovely young woman with no husband or children to mourn her passing? It was my day off; the funeral was just across the valley in Herriman so I decided to go.
     It was a very nice service. Her only sister got very emotional as she spoke of her deceased sister's selfless acts of service, despite her health problems. She identified five things that served as examples for how we should all live and which her sister never failed in emulating: Friendship, Service, Hard Work, Forgiveness and I forget the last one (five thousand pens cluttering up my desk at home but not a single one in my purse) but all gave me pause to reflect and consider my own life.

     Her five brothers also took part in the service and also got very emotional as they spoke of how proud they were of their sister who always put the cancer patients she cared for first as well as being a favorite aunt to her nieces and nephews. Her father spoke and anyone could tell just by looking at him that he was a good man who had raised his children well, loved their mother very much and was a good provider for his family.
     There was no graveside dedication as this young woman had requested her body be donated to science at the University of Utah. I couldn't help but be impressed at both the courage of the deceased in donating her body to science and in the way the family was handling her last wishs with such grace. In the midst of such melancholy circumstances they managed to find dignity and closure by pulling together. What a lucky young woman to have been born into such a family.

     As the years have passed with no opportunity to meet anyone, I've given a lot of thought to what my own funeral will be like and how my own family will handle it.When I was taking anatomy at the University of Utah, I'd often cheer myself up with the thought that if I didn't make it through this grueling course alive, I'd want my own body donated to the anatomy lab with a little note tied to my big toe, "A C+ in Mark Nielsen's class can really kill you".

      I could never do that to my own family-request my body be donated to science. Even though I was already dead, Mom would kill me for denying her the opportunity to weep and wail over an open grave. When it's my time to go, I don't want anyone to be sad for I know certain things to be true and I'd want to reassure my family that I'll be going to a better place where I'll be welcomed with open arms. Who knows, maybe there's already someone waiting for me there on the other side. I even got bored one night a few months ago and wrote my own obituary. That's the curse/blessing of being single-lots of personal time.
    I'm not afraid to die. After the hell of this life, honestly, how bad can it be?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Declaring Spinsterhood

   I just finished re-reading that last entry, "A Single Woman's Liberation" and feel a need to explain myself because, wow, I was really ranting there. I'm not always like that. Living alone can really drive me nuts sometimes and I start focusing too much on being alone. In my heart, I think God understands, after all the lightening hasn't struck me yet when I sometimes curse His name and rant and rave about my lot in life. I'm like a child throwing a tantrum and after the storm has passed I'm always in awe at God's extended hand of friendship. It's OK. He understands. I'll try again tomorrow.

   Let me just take a paragraph or two to redeem myself as I made it sound like I was about to march into my Bishop's office and demand the removal of my name from the records of my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, that is such an important part of my life. I could never denounce what I believe in. One of the things I absolutely love about the Mormon faith is how unique it is from all other religions on Earth. As an avid reader I've read, studied and taken religion classes in all the books in the Mormon cannon we call scripture: Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants and Pearl of Great Price. Frustrating as it is searching for just one female character in scripture I can relate to, nevertheless, I could never deny the truthfulness of what's contained in each of those four books. Both the Bible and Book of Mormon serve as guidelines for all who wish to live a life of happiness and joy, even if I often feel like I'm exluded from a good deal of that happiness. Luckily, Calvin brings me great joy.

    Likewise, as someone who spent eighteen months teaching and testifying about Joseph Smith, I could never deny to anyone who asks me that he was indeed visited by heavenly beings and called by God to restore His church. Yes, it does sound fantastic and even absurd, a fourteen year-old boy visited by God the Father and Jesus and testifying to the world that they appeared to him as two seperate, glorified, personages, thus shooting down the entire Nicene Creed, but for Mormons, this is a very important part of what our religion is based on.
   Jesus Christ in the year 30 BC began organizing His church with the Apostle Peter taking over leadership after the Crucifixion and Ascension. When Peter was killed along with the other twelve, many truths were lost and needed to be restored. Who better to delcare it than the resurrected Lord Himself? Thus, Joseph Smith is our man and the Book of Mormon is the nuclear bomb clearing up any doubt over just who this Jesus of Nazereth was and why His life was so important. I'd really like to see the talented folks on Broadway sing and dance about THAT!

     My great great grandmother joined the church in England around the time of the Civil War in America. She immigrated to Utah, had a daughter who begat my Grandmother who begat my Mom. My biological father, Ray Llewellyn, joined the church as a teenager in the 1960's along with his Mother, Stepfather, and Sister. He and Mom met at a church activity and married in the Los Angeles Temple in 1973. He's excommunicated now and all three of his parents died before I knew them but the roots of my religion run deep and it just goes to show it doesn't matter what background you come from, Mormons are regular, normal folks with problems and challenges just like the rest of the world.

   So, being an avid reader, I just finished this book I came across while browsing at the library called "Declaring Spinsterhood" which turned out to be the story of a thirty year old single woman from Texas who lived the kind of life us old maids can only dream about. For starters, she had not one but TWO nice young men (meaning they weren't perverts, video game addicts still living at home or divorced deadbeats) falling all over themselves to win her affections and walk her down the aisle. Meanwhile, Mom and Pastor Dad continue to set her up with MORE nice young men, like, every other day. Where were they finding them? When did Texas suddenly become an Old Maid's Paradise? Nobody slept around and no one ever drank anything stronger than coffee. This book came so close to an LDS romance it was freaky. I didn't like it. Why?
   Um, if I had that many dates a week, I'd be mommy blogging right now. This young woman had no business declaring spinsterhood.
    So, I went to Goodreads, a great site for booklovers like me and left a review. I urge anyone reading this to go check it out. And please read my reviews because just this morning a good friend of mine sent me a text. She'd read my review, had a good laugh and told me I write the funniest reviews. Wow, a fan. Thanks!

    I also have good news to report. My four year old nephew is NOT the closest person I have to a having a man in my life! For the last year a casual acquaintance of mine at work has been dropping hints that he'd like to take me out on a date sometime. I'm flattered and I'd totally accept, he's really fun to be around, but, he's 50 years old and with his long hair, tattoo covered arms and questionable membership in the Mormon faith, he's not exactly the kind of guy you bring home to meet the folks.
    Nevertheless, in the last year he's become a good friend. If this relationship goes to the next level I promise I'll report it but for now it's strictly friendship as no dating outside the workplace is the wisest course. We share a love of Seinfeld and music. He makes everyone in our workplace laugh. It's not unusual to find him playing air guitar along to the oldies staion or crooning into a stalk of celery. One morning in February he came up behind me as I was chopping veggies for the cafeteria salad bar and planted a gentle kiss near my elbow wishing me a quiet, "Happy Valentine's Day". I'll admit it, I blushed, because a kiss is a kiss no matter where it lands!

   Then, just last week, he presented me with a U2 T-shirt he'd found at Wal-Mart. Only those who know me best understand just how much a gift like that means to me. That's the nicest thing any man has ever given me in my entire 36 years of life. He doesn't know this of course because, after all,

    A femme fatale doesn't have to tell her causual male aquantaince everything!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Single Woman's Liberation

     I apologize in advance to any non-Mormon readers as this entry contains several Mormon culture references which I'll try and explain as I go along. I'm in one of my moods tonight and I need to vent. Thank you for your patience.
    In 2008, Kristen M. Oaks published A Single Voice, an entire book dedicated to faith and importance of our membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and not necessarily to being single. What a shame, I feel more books need to be written for us single Mormon women on how to deal with loneliness. It seems we've been banned to a life denied the blessings of temple marriage, having a worthy priesthood holder nearby, and devoid of children-for reasons God only knows.

    I'm not excluding other women out there. My rant includes anyone suffering from this loneliness disease. You can be in a lonely marriage (or lonely relationship since cohabitation is the new marriage) or feel isolated while living at home with parents or siblings who don't communicate or whatever and still feel the pain. How do you deal with it, how do you manage it? Sure, you can go see a psychiatrist, but prescription medications are a poor substitute for a relationship with a real human being. It can be really frustrating sometimes, no matter what your religion or lifestyle. I should probably include gay people in my list, not that there's anything wrong with that, but that's a delicate subject for another blog.
    Most single Mormons (female especially) attend sabbath day meetings, take the sacrament (communion-partaking of the symbolic flesh and blood of Christ) and serve in callings just like married ones. Callings are part of your service in the Mormon church as we have no paid clergy, everyone volunteers to teach Sunday School and other jobs which are determined by a Bishop.

    Yet underneath it all is a subtle reminder to those of us who don't quite fit in-yet oftimes a secret something whispered, "You're a stranger here". How to deal with that? Remember in school there was the "dumb group" that everyone else patronized, including the teachers? Who didn't do as well academically or socially just because of the label they'd been given? Everyone else breathed a sigh of relief that they were "normal". There was always that unspoken rule that you'd never be caught dead being friends with "those kids". That's how I feel sometimes.

 Anyone who's phased out of their local singles ward into a family ward knows exactly what I'm talking about. (In the Mormon chruch, every city, down to the most obscure village in every country in the world has been divided into wards and branches which all members attend-those married or divorced with kids attend family wards, those 30 and under who haven't had the opportinity yet are encouraged to attend singles wards in hopes you might meet someone to marry and procreate with. If you reach age thirty without having reached this rite of passage you are condemned to observing from the sidelines of a family ward.) For a woman this is especially frustrating as our only important self-identifying  title in the Mormon church is Mother which I'm not belittling, on the contrary, I want it and I want it NOW!
    Years ago I gave up trying to follow the advice in books like Sister Oaks and there are times I want to scream "F-you!" to our beloved well-meaning leaders who continue to send these mixed messages to Mormon single adults. Us single women are expected to be chaste and virtuous yet these are not attractive qualities to single Mormon males who say they're waiting for us to make the first move and dress and act more provocatively to show we're interested in them while they don't have to do anything. When was the last time you saw a scantily dressed woman without a date? Yeah, I thought so. When was the last time my modest dress and manner landed me a date? I'm 36 and I'm still waiting!
   Take those articles in the Ensign (a Mormon church magazie) that don't even mention dating or courtship among single members. Instead it pushes us female single members to take the initiative, get out there, make an effort, ask your Bishop to give you a calling and all that crap. Reminded me too much of those dating articles in the New Era (the one for Mormon teens) where the young men whine, "Why can't the girls ask US out on dates? Why are WE always expected to take the traditional route, what if they reject us?" Hey, guys, I'm 36, I can tell you a few things about rejection. This wasn't my choice and I'm sick of being told that as a single woman in the church, I'm the one with the problem. 
    In full rebellion, I let my temple recommend expire (it's OK, Mom, I 'm not sleeping with anyone, I still know the church is true, I'm just so TIRED of it all! Why go when I have no one to share the experience with?) I'm still waiting for the lightning to strike. I haven't had a calling in years and I don't plan on asking my current bishop for one either. He seems relieved. He doesn't bother me and I don't bother him. I don't do visiting teaching and I have no idea who mine are but you know what? That's OK, I don't mind, because it's just as uncomfortable for me hearing a message about strengthening marriage, family and home as it is for the sweet Molly Mormon sisters condescending upon the "dumb" single, never married woman who lives alone in her one bedroom apartment. I only attend sacrament meeting (Mormon worship service with talks and sermons presented by fellow members-lay clergy) when I feel like it and suffer no guilt over missing my Relief Society meetings (A Mormon Sabbath meeting is divided into three: men and women meet seperate with children and teens also meeting seperate, Sunday School for adults and kids, everyone attends worship service together).

    So I had this epiphany: if those young men floating adrift in the world can slack off in settling down, getting a college degree and a job and mooch off Mom and Dad or their current girlfriend for the rest of their Peter Pan lives, well, why can't I do the same by slacking off in my own religious duties? If attending church surrounded by eternal families while denied my own is so painful for me, why not skip a Sunday or two? It's not like anyone will miss me. It's not like I have any children or a partner to be setting a good example for.
     I will continue to blog about this subject until something earth shattering occurs one of these days in my life giving me a change of heart. In the meantime, Mom wants me to attend the BYU Education Week next month in August. So, I went online for more information about how much a one day pass costs and what kinds of classes I might be interested in attending. What I found only proves my point-are you divorced? They have a class (several actually) for that! Are you the parents of rebellious teenagers, older single adults, have a blended family, or worried about raising righteous children? Yep, they have classes for that too! Are you infertile and can't have kids? There's a class for that. Want to strengthen your marriage? There's a class for that, too.

   On the other hand, want tips on how to survive a Telestial world as a single adult without drowning in the depths of despair and lonliness? Sorry, BYU Education Week does NOT have a class for that. Cost of ticket for one day, $64. Guess what the co-payment for my last filling at the dentist cost me, $64. Sorry, Mom, I think I'd prefer getting my teeth drilled than spending an entire day attending classes and workshops I can't relate to.

    Ah, the joy of a single women's liberation!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Glorified Babysitting

 Over the rattling of the red wagon I heard the high pitched voice of my nephew asking THE BIG QUESTION the same one I've been getting from everyone since the day I turned 21.

   "You married, eh'chelle?" Yes, this adorable four year old still lisps my name; I love it.
    I replied in the negative.
    Echoing the urgency of every well-meaning church leader, my parents and grandparents, I was sternly informed, "You need to get married."
   "Yeah, tell me about it." I muttered, marching along like the faithful pioneer I was, pulling my handcart behind me.
  "You need to get married." repeated Calvin, he was beginning to sound just like my mother.
  "Oh yeah, to who?" I challenged.
   He was quiet for a minute, "How about Uncle Mike?"
   I chuckled, " I can't marry Uncle Mike."
   "He's my brother."
   "Oh," he was silent again. Then another suggestion, "How about Uncle Rusty?"
   "Um, he's my brother too." My youngest brother, home from his mission to England and seriously dating a nice girl to boot. We've been refraining from asking him when he and Brittani are going to make an announcment. I'm all for this because it takes the pressure off me.
   But he wasn't giving up yet. Still ever resourceful, "How about Jeff?"
   I laughed, "I don't think your Aunt Kirstie would like that." Especially since the higher order of  Mormon marriage has yet to be brought forth and, yes, I'm talking about the return of polygamy. Some days it's the only thing I have to look forward to!
   Just then, a van pulled up revealing a neighbor stopping to chat and I was saved from Calvin the Matchmaker.

    As I mentioned in my previous blog, I'm the oldest of five children. Michael (Mike) is four years my junior who also served an honorable mission to Oakland, CA. We're very close and often hang out together since both of us are still single.
   Christopher (Chris) was born in 1980. He went to the Carlsbad, CA, Spanish speaking mission, married Melissa Green in 2008 in the Salt Lake Temple and settled in St. George. They recently had a baby boy but, because of my strong bond with Calvin, Chris and Melissa refuse to allow me to be a part of his life. More on that in a future blog.
   Mary (born in 1982) is my only sister who moved to Salt Lake and met a nice young man named Aaron Williams whom she married in 2003, also in the Salt Lake Temple. They live in Sandy, UT are the parents of Calvin who was born in 2006 and are the reason I chose my 1 bedrm apartment in their neighborhood-so I could be close to my nephew.
   Russell (Rusty) is the youngest of the group. He was born in 1984 when I was nine years old and at a perfect age to help Mom care for the new baby which I never begrudged. He was called to serve in England, London South, has been home since 2006 and will hopefully be making an announcement soon to marry in the temple. Rusty is a good boy who has a good job with Albertsons and currently resides in Pasco, WA where he met Brittani Bleazard, a wonderful girl who also served a mission and whom I would be delighted to call my sister. I often miss Chris and Rusty and look forward to the holidays when we all get together. With no other immediate relatives close by, I've tried to maintain close relationships with all my siblings and am grateful I can count them as four of the most important people in my life with my adorable nephew as a big fifth.
    I mention all this because my family is very important to me and a big part of my life. These names will be popping up frequently in future blogs as I spend a majority of my free time with these people. Outside the family circle, I only have one or two friends I see socially since everyone I know is married or in a relationship.
Here's my favorite picture of me with my siblings taken Feb. 2007. From L to R: Chris, Me, Mary, Mike and Rusty. The baby is Calvin.

    As for the parent situation, after my Mom remarried in 1992 (in the temple, the details of which I'll have to explain in another blog along with Dad's excommunication from the church and Mom's bitterness) the pressure was on for me to hurry up and meet someone so I could start giving her grandchildren. Mom and I don't talk much anymore. My stepdad, Alan Scholes, is a good man but hesitant to form a close relationship because after I returned from my mission in 1999 they basically told me, "Go find your own husband". As an adult I began reaching out to my biological Dad who lives in Seattle, WA, making frequent trips at my own expense to visit him. He was always happy to have me while I'd keep any judgements about his living situation with different women to myself. It was almost easier to think of him as a favorite uncle instead of a father. When I returned from these trips, it usually took two weeks before Mom would even speak to me after my "fraternizing with the enemy". My siblings, after their own visits, also experienced the same hypocritical silence from Mom which only increased the sibling bond we share-putting up with the woman who gave birth to all of us. I'll admit it, sometimes I really envy Nephi (Google the very first verse in The Book of Mormon if you don't get that).

       When denied a husband, home, and family of one's own, the leaders of my church have counseled single members like me to go out and serve others. That was one of the reasons I graduated with a Bachelor's in Elementary Education. Growing up the oldest of five, I always believed motherhood would be my calling and if that didn't work out then I would satisfy my desires in a classroom of my own-molding young minds, making a difference and getting paid considerably more than what I made babysitting as a teen. When that didn't work out, I returned to school to see if Nursing was my calling. When THAT didn't work out I was grateful to my sister, Mary, who came to my rescue offering her new baby boy as my sitting charge so she could go back to work helping to supplement her husband's income.

    I know I sound crazy for saying this but I absolutely loved caring for my new nephew. Feeding, rocking, changing his diaper, I relished every opportunity I had to spend time with him. It's true that you don't just love the children you're blessed with, you fall in love with them. I began thinking of myself as a vicarious mother and when Calvin began learning to talk sometimes he'd slip. One day he apologized for this, "I'm sorry I called you mommy, eh'chelle."
    "That's OK," I smiled swallowing the sudden emotion in my throat, "You can call me mommy any time you want!"

     A glorified babysitter as the oldest of five, a glorified babysitter as a substitute teacher trying to break into a new career in the Salt Lake valley, glorified babysitter to Calvin and a glorified babysitter when I worked as a CNA in a nursing home last year. Out of them all, the times I get to spend with my nephew are most rewarding. I'm grateful that for a few hours a week, or whenever I can spare the time to help out, I can experience vicarious motherhood and for those few hours that huge, gaping hole in my heart, where my maternal clock ticks, can be filled, at least temporarily.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Dealing With Ambigous Loss

       First, a little intro about me. Despite my parent's temple marriage and subsequent divorce when I was 13-so my biological father could continue living the single life without the responsibilities of parenthood-I'm with the pro-marriage between a man and woman party. I've been a good Mormon girl all my life. Born and raised in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Served a mission to Atlanta Georgia (1997-99) and have many stories (song and dance not included) that I look forward to sharing but I'll save that for a future post. I'm currently going back to school to get a second bachelor's degree. Another long story that'll have to wait for a future post. I love reading, writing, music, hiking, I try to stay busy...but I'm still single. 

    As far as romance goes, I've never experienced anything. Quite the opposite actually. In high school no one asked me to prom, I never had a boyfriend, I had a small group of girlfriends but no guyfriends. At my (Hurricane) High School graduation party in 1993 my best friend and I were both voted "Most likely to still be single in ten years". This prediction came true. She's now married with children which I'd never know if it weren't for Facebook. Once everyone you know gets married and settled down, the chriping of the crickets can get really loud. 
     A few dissapointments in my life include a few times where some guys have been real jerks like when I was 21 attending Dixie College (1995) I was sexually molested when a young man entered our apartment and woke me up attempting to rape me. My screams woke my roomates and he fled. We never found out who he was but since I was the oldest among the six of us, I was kinda glad it had happened to me. It was a terrifying incident. One I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. I don't talk about it much, perhaps I'll dedicate a future entry to the incident because years later I found myself relating to Elizabeth Smart as that was one of the reasons I served a mission. I left for Georgia hoping God would compensate me with romance upon my return eighteen months later. It didn't come to pass. I pray Elizabeth has better luck.

    Fast forward to age 31, living in Salt Lake working in the food service industry and being sexually harrassed at my job by a married coworker while trying to break into public teaching. Since he was superior to me I was quickly let go. I'm not bitter about that because it led me to my next job, also as a food service worker, at a busy hospital. No one harrasses me there. I made many new friends and it's a good job that pays the bills. I've been there six years now, everyone I work with is very nice and I'm grateful. But I'm still single

    Like I mentioned before, I've since returned to school to further my education. The dissapointment in not landing a well paying job in a career I worked hard in school for is yet another future story I'll have to post sometime.

    The disastrous blind date stories I could tell could also fill an entire future post. As I continued my college years all my friends and roomates kept setting me up with their own dating rejects. Big boost to my self-esteem knowing I made a good consolation prize going out with these losers. 

    I had some good dates too which I promise to include in that same future post but none of them to led to any steamy hot-in-my-pants-for-you relationships. Then one day I woke up and realized my dating season was pretty much over. Several bouts of tears followed because here I was, almost 30 and my season was over before it ever really began. 

     Life has settled down yet it continues to pass me by. I often feel like a forgotten patron at a restaurant. My stomach growls as I watch everyone else being served their delicious meals and though I continue to signal the waiter his only excuse to me is, "Just keep waiting patiently". Sometimes I feel like a lone sailor trying to navigate the stormy sea in my solitary boat or a second string player on the football team who begs, "Please, Coach, send me in, I want to help, I can do it, just give me a chance!" The frustration can be overwhelming at times enough that I just want to quit this lousy restauraunt with its bad service, jump ship, or desert the team. Yet, I know I can't do that. I've made certain commitments and choices which I must stick to. My religion promises me that one day, I'll be compensated but, darn it, I want it NOW! 
    Is there something wrong with me? Why didn't any decent guy who shared the same standards and interests as me find me attractive enough to pursue me and ask me to marry him? I've been told I'm pretty, have attractive features and I'm not overweight. I clean up pretty good, actually. So, come on guys!

    So, I guess I should probably address the subject of my first post now. For those who might be wondering, Ambigous Loss is a sense of mourning for something that can't be defined or pinned down. Since my discovery of this word I've felt an instant connection to it as the above examples testify.

   I'm the oldest in my family (I'll save introductions for my next post) so I never felt like I had anyone I could really talk to about my ambigous loss-dysfunctional family, spectacular career failures, disappointment in romance, ect. Aristotle said the arts are a means of catharsis. Throughout my life I've always had this burning desire to write. So, here I am. 

   How am I dealing with my loss? I learned to be independant.  I live alone now, having broken away from living with roomates. I keep busy with work and school, family and friends and I always try to have something to look forward to which helps keep the depression and crying spells at bay. I'd love to know how others like me are surviving. Living in a culture that puts such emphasis on family and marriage and motherhood I send this question out to all single adults who can relate to this topic-How are YOU surviving?

Next up: glorified babysitting