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.

Friday, December 28, 2012

A Marginal Christmas

  I had the opportunity to take African American Literature this last semester at the University of Utah, the only ethnics course offered by the English department and since an ethinicity course is required for graduation I took it. I also got an A.
   Two new terms were introduced that I really connected with: "marginal" and "liminal" which my professor, Dr. Wilfred Samuels, used frequently in lecture to describe the social and economic state of blacks in this country. I immediately connected these words to the state of the single woman and a future blog post began to take shape in my head. I went online and found this helpful article from which I will be borrowing many of my best lines. Here's the link so the English major won't get in trouble for plagerism:  http://www.liminality.org/about/whatisliminality/
   We live in a ritual society. We also have a need to catagorize and organize everyone into their proper place, pigeonholed with the correct label. This is especially true here in Utah where the Mormon religion helps shape our lives with this familiar lifescript: (see November 11, 2011 "The Single Ones") 16  > date > marriage > career > children. Still generally accepted as rites of passage, even in our post-familial world, http://www.newgeography.com/content/003133-the-rise-post-familialism-humanitys-future, another new term referencing a study done about the decrease of traditional marriage and households headed by traditional husband and wife. Young men and women are expected to grow up, have dating relationships, graduate from college, and, if you live in Utah, get married and have kids; not necessarily in that order. This puts single, never married women with no male breadwinner, or children to identify them, in a bit of a quandry. A wedding is one of the biggest rites of passage in a woman's life. Soon as you hit 16 the pressure is on to start dating and find a partner. Getting married means we are no longer in that single, "liminal" betwixt and between, standing at the threshold of life, temportaty state. Married folks have crossed through that doorway and assimilated, successfully. Those that fail to marry are forced to eke out their own marginal exisitance, pushed to the fringes, excluded to inferior positions in our communities and basically ignored.
   A marginal, inferior, and liminal lifestyle is not always by choice. For Christians, life is liminal, a temporary state that ends with death, the hope that there will be something better waiting for us on the other side, and if that means a husband and family, well, I suppose that's an encouraging thought. Almost makes me wants to go out and join some of those groups I've read about who choose to opt-out, prefering instead to live a marginal life on the edge of society or refuse to cross the threshold into social acceptance. A few examples: the tea party groups, the homeless man who chooses the hobo/hippy lifestyle on the street, the mostly married Mormon feminists who want wear the pants and hold the priesthood at the same time, then there's the LGBT groups who are also demanding the right to marry and be recognized by society. Not to mention the spiritual groups like monks or the pologymists in Texas and Hildale, Utah who not only choose a marginal existance but perfer to shop at Wal-Mart.
   What about those who choose chastity, honesty and virtue? We are the group that is becoming increasingly marginalized. We are also a minoirty group, struggling to climb out of the crack we've been pushed into. We, the single, never married women who want very much to cross the threshold of liminality and find social acceptance with a husband, home and family of our own. An identity of our own. Freedom is nice, living alone is nice, having the remote control all to yourself and a freezer full of ice cream you don't have to share with anyone is nice too, but, it's Christmas. We didn't CHOOSE this lifestyle. Don't we deserve a website too?

   Luckily I have my brothers, friends and my faith to keep me going. If this single lot is getting you down, I recommend rounding up some of your best friends and going to a movie like we did:
   Hope all my readers had a Merry Christmas and I wish you all a very Happy New Year!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Waiting for a Catcher's Mitt

     Crude photo, I know, I apologize, but I'm in a hurry to add my two bits, for whatever it's worth. From the single woman's perspective, the defeat of our beloved, adopted Utah boy rattled my unshakeable faith to the point that I actually considered not attending church this Sunday.
     I've recently accepted a teaching position in the Primary (Mormon translation: Sunday School for Kids) and get to see Calvin every week. I love being around these sweet spirits and discovered those kids don't give a darn about my being an awkward Oldmaidmormon with no husband or family of my own. Sure, I voted for the losing team but I'll bounce back.
    With the lowering of the mission age and the controversy in the Middle East I was one of the believers in Mitt Romney being THE ONE to open the doors of mainland China and Asia to LDS proselyting, raise awareness of the benefits of marriage before cohabitation and encourage young men to grow up and be men. Guess it's up to Jon Huntsman now and I don't mean as a 2016 GOP candidate. Romney lost because nobody wants a general authority/RS president in a political office.
     In my reading of the post election buzz, I was both surprised and alarmed that I'm in the minority as a single, white woman who didn't vote for Obama. I voted for him in 2008, but that was mainly to piss off my severly conservative Mom for whom voting a straight party Republican ticket is a family obligation (her brother in Virginia is best buds with Orrin Hatch).
    Apparently, females who think the idea of being a single mom from Mexico is just fine, thank you, and think "Fifty Shades of Grey" is the greatest book ever written, flocked in droves to the Obama wagon. The idea of government bailout for all the problems a risky lifestyle of sexual promiscuity and the hook-up culture creates is enough to win the popular vote. That worries me. Am I really the only thirtysomething single woman who believes women should NOT start viewing the government as the new alpha male breadwinner?
    I like Obama. I think I can support him. Maybe even pray for him. After all, he once did a Bill Cosby and pointed a stern finger at those deadbeat males. As long as he doesn't pull a Lewinsky on us and remains a good family man, I agree with the call to America, "Extend the olive branch and let's all work together."
      Hot topic issues of the past four years like the economy, health care, and Guantanamo Bay never really affected me. I blanch at the idea of casual sex and the hook-up culture, my IHC hamburger job provides me with health insurance, I live within my humble means by driving the same car for twelve years and keep a carefully guarded budget. I don't need the government to bail me out. I blame the state of Utah in failing to create more jobs in the field of education. The only torture I worry about are the silent voices of women and children, their heads trapped under the heels of evil, unholy men who are lovers of their own selves caught up in webs of human trafficking, pornography, money, power and greed. As single women we must encourage each other to not succomb to the hook-up culture. We must be strong. It sucks to live in a dying patriarchal America as a strong man or father figure to provide comfort and support both financially and emotionally become harder to find, but there's a degree of happpiness to be found in resisting the temptation to look for it in dangerous places.
    Let's pray we're not going to need that catcher's mitt. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Mission vs Marriage

"I was going to serve a mission, but I got married instead."

     These were the words spoken to me ten years ago as I sat chatting with a woman my age one Sunday at church. I'd starting attending a family ward and I was all alone. Having a bachelors degree, wearing my "badge of honor" that came with being an RM, looking forward to starting a career, suddenly it all seemed very mediocre compared to what SHE had managed to "catch".

     So, for those who haven't heard the news, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has just announced a change in the age in which young people can now be recommended to serve missions. It comes as no surprise to this old maid that while 18 year old boys recieved this news with nary a shrug before returning to their iPhones, the young women went nuts beating a pathway to the bishop's office and completing the required paperwork before the weekend was over. I'm all for girl power but I can't get my cynical side to shut up.

     After some pondering and reading through my old Journals when I was 19 and 20 recalling my frustration at the lack of boyfriend and dating opportunites even at that early age in the mid 90's, struggling what I should do with my life, if the time had come for me to move out of my parent's house yet and the pathways I should take, I can't say I blame these brave young girls. If I'd had the opportunity to serve at 19 would I have gone? The answer is a resounding YES. Yet, I feel someone has to ask the question:

Is the dating pool really that bad?

      It will be exciting watching the drama unfold: the inundation of sister missionaries who will rush to the temple to take out their endowments, come home after 18 months to graduate and launch themselves into successful careers. As the years pass, I foresee these noble women making the best out of celibate living despite the pressure the world puts upon them to cohabitate and "settle". I hope the temple experience, while beautiful, won't turn sour for them as it has for me over the years with no one to share it with.

     I wonder how many will come flocking to my blog, looking for support and encouragement to stay chaste while breaking the old stereotype that missions are merely "a fallback for the wallflower". Will single sisters in the church start thinking of themselves at age 19 as the new old maid? I hope not. Will the church lower the dating age from 16 to 14? As Elder Holland said, "One miracle at a time!" Instead, I anticipate we will all have a good laugh as the brethern of the church continue to beg and plead for the young men to get up and not be intimidated by what I forsee as the rising of the "New Mormon Woman". Young men will continue to hear the old lecture to put down the video game controller, serve a mission, get a degree, date, court, marry and GET A LIFE! Yes, some things will never change.

     While the influx of righteous young women in the mission field is a good thing, the down side to all this, my cynical side continues to scream, is the fact that single young men, both Mormon and Non aren't looking for potential mothers to future children, women who are intelligent, strong and chaste. In today's 21st century dating and hanging-out culture, all that matters, all that will continue to matter is

                                                            HOW SEXY ARE YOU?

     Therin lies the rub. If I could trade all my talents (music, cooking, reading and writing) all my wholesomeness for the opportunity to be sexually attractive and have a date every weekend I would say no thanks. I'm tired of being objectified. But the sad truth is, in the eyes of single men in today's culture, there is NOTHING sexy about being a returned sister missionary.

    Kudos to all my companions who somehow managed to find eternal companions and start creating families of their own after they got home. I'm not saying you'll be an automatic loser for the rest of your life as a young woman who chooses to serve a mission. But, as many married women in the church will validate for you, as my opening statements support, it sure seems that way sometimes.

     The purpose of this blog is to reach out to all the others, like me, for whom serving a mission was not an automatic, Get Out of Single Ward/Jail Free Card. Sometimes a mission is just a mission. God is good but too many nights I've laid awake wondering what I might have done different to prevent this tragedy of sleeping alone for the rest of my life from occuring.

     Serving a mission can be both traumatic-filled with rejection on all sides by those who perceive all virtuous unmarried women as a threat-and it can also be profoundly beneficial in the many opportuinites it provides for service and bearing testimony of the restored gospel. It is my sincere hope that all these gung-ho sisters will have better experiences than some of the ones I had in Atlanta, Georgia. I couldn't get over all the cohabitation and divorce. The poverty and self incurring debt that was making life miserable for so many innocent children. I came home feeling like I'd just fought a terrible war and my side had lost! I came home discuraged hoping better days were ahead. Those Southern Baptists will kill you, if the humidity doesn't get you first! But I came home stronger for the experience.
     I recently celebrated my 38th birthday. My favorite brother, Mike, is on my right, my favorite nephew Calvin in orange, my favorite little sister Mary holding my second favorite nephew Charlie and Calvin's cousin Frankie is there at the end. I hope this picture serves to shut up my cynical side because life isn't all self-pity, even when you're an old maid.

     The boys in this photo will one day take their place in the mission field, serve honarably and return ready to launch into life as good family men like their dads. Not all young men are hopeless addicts, drifting along in the sea of life. Some do grow up to serve missions, marry in the temple and become positive role models for other young men their age. How blessed I am to be part of such a family!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What Jesus Being Married Means to Singles

Here's the link to this Deseret News article: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/765605862/Hamblin-and-Peterson-Does-papyrus-prove-Jesus-was-married.html.
And here's the one that caught everyone's attention last week http://news.yahoo.com/jesus-married-papyrus-fragment-fuels-debate-212627918.html (Why is that not hotlinking? Oh well.)

Was Jesus married? New papyrus fragment fuels debate

This is big news. An unproven fragment which scholars say won't change the debate between Agnostics and Christians over the celibacy of Jesus Christ, but, nevertheless, it still gives me hope. For those who are pro-marriage, it means the introduction of a two-edged sword. In a world where everyone is claiming that cohabition and gay marriage are perfectly acceptable while heterosexual marriage is obsolete, the claim that Dan Brown's theory might be true after all means we're in a whole new ballgame and for the pro-marriage and family party this is a big victory. "The implications (are) staggering," (Hamblin and Peterson).
This is also big news for Mormons in general. As members of the church that bears His name, aren't we, in fact, the ultimate authority on all things Jesus? Shouldn't we be stepping forward to back up this debate? With this new finding about the (possibility) of Jesus being married it raises the question, "Do we claim to worship a married Christ?"
I am a scholar of the scriptures. That well-worn, studied-to-death Bible and Book of Mormon (triple combination) in the photo above I've been using since my high school seminary days. I brought them to Atlanta, Georgia in 1997-99, and I've taken the New Testement class at every college and university LDS Institute I've ever attended.
Now, in every single New Testement class I've ever sat in, without fail, this question has always come up, "Was Jesus married?" and every single teacher/professor in said class has always given the same answer, "Well, the church has never made an official statement but many Bible scholars agree that, yes, he most likely was and that his wife was most likely Mary Magdalene." The teacher would then site several references in the New Testament to back up the claims-such as all the examples where Mary is present during important times in the Savior's ministry.
I agree with all my teachers who support these claims, that Jesus was married.
With General Conference coming up in just a couple weeks, wouldn't it be nice if one of the bretheren (Elder Holland?) would step forward and give an official statement to make it final? Two years ago Elder Packer made strong statements regarding homosexuality. I could totally see the same thing happening here. Another challenge to those who would tear down and make light of what should be the most important decision we ever make on earth-backed up by Jesus himself! 
And who better to agree with such claims than us single, never married women who yearn for a more feminine friendly world instead of the misogyonistic drenched one we are currenly forced to live in? A married Christ means a more feminine Christ. A married Christ means a movement back to domesticity and procreation within the bonds of holy matrimony.
The arguments of those against such statements will crumble like sand, wait and see.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Temple Marriage is Like Olympic Gold

We’ve been training for this our entire lives. As early as age twelve we begin hearing, “One day you will start dating so prepare now.” The minute we turn sixteen we hear, “Don’t settle for anything less than temple marriage,” and “You marry who you date so choose wisely”. We all want the gold. We all want to be winners. We dedicate ourselves to our goal and promise our coaches we will not waver. Our eyes are wide open. We’ve trained and worked hard, but some of us end up getting benched for no good reason. We’re not even called, let alone chosen, to go out on many dates. Some of us are just not dating while Molly Mormon meets Peter Priesthood. He asks her out and three months later they’re off printing wedding announcements and planning the reception.

They make it look so easy.

What’s it all for, anyway? This training was supposed to lead us to that Olympic gold-the temple. We see married people like the demi-Gods of the Olympics. Endowed with special talents, super-powers, they’re able to summon a soul-mate right into their lap with a single smile. They did the time. They put forth the effort. They worked hard and now they are reaping the success. They won their “Olympic Gold”.

They make it look so easy.

Meanwhile, the rest of us are stuck waiting for the blue light special to visit the meat market we attend each Sunday. Will this be the year I finally win the gold? I know my eternal companion is out there, I just have to keep working and training. Yet, you never even saw that mob of eighteen year old freshmen descending like vultures, crowding out all the competition.

They make it look so easy.

Winning “Olympic Gold” at increasingly younger ages has become the norm. Yet, for older participants who fear they may have “aged out” there is hope. Some managed to beat the odds, even after being told their season for an “Olympic Gold” had long passed them by. You know who these people are. They stuck to their goal and didn’t give up. They were blessed for their patience.

Now, your sixth roommate, best friend, and second cousin have all announced their engagements to you in the same week. Suddenly, patience is a hard virtue to call upon. You swallow that lump in your throat and force a happy smile as you watch them mount the podium and receive their medal as the music plays. You know the last thing you want to do is exercise good sportsmanship and be happy for them in their success but you will do it, because your coach is counting on you to set the example. 

With the passing of time, anyone who repeatedly endures this particular Olympic event with no victory forthcoming deserves a gold medal!

You make it look so easy.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Porn Hurts Everyone

Pornography kills.
Porn hurts everyone. We all know the names: Susan Powell, Trolley Square, Columbine and we can now add Aurora, Colorado. Men, young and old, are going crazy and no one can really say why.
I can.
In light of recent current events I feel the need to comment. My half baked idea/opinion may not count for much, my claim to connect the evils of pornography with the motives of mass shooters like James Holmes, Sulejman Talovic, and al-Qaeda may seem pretty out there but I feel strongly that there is a connection. Does the name Jerry Sandusky ring any bells? And how about Chick-Fill-A's awesome statement condoning gay marriage? All of it can be traced back to pornograhy.
Single unmarried women know. If more young men put down the electronics and started focusing more on all the gorgeous women surrounding them, they wouldn't be attracted to it and would be more inclined to ask us out on dates. I read an article (which I will post link to if I ever find it) that really stuck with me about a study done where young men who turned off the TV, put down the video game controllers and electronic devices, after a certain length of time, reported being more attracted to the young women in their social circles, school and college classes.
If only Josh Powell turned off the computer.
If only James Holmes had applied his intellegence for good, instead of choosing the dark side. Maybe police won't ever reveal the pornographic images they will find on his computer because it won't seem relevant to the case. Same goes with Sulejman Tolovic. Do you know what they do to female victims of pornography in Iran and Iraq? They stone them to death.
July is the time to celebrate our independence. So while we shoot off fireworks and fire up the BBQ let's also take a leaf from Professor Moody's book from Harry Potter: Constant Vigilance!
We can raise awareness. We all know someone who is struggling with this evil addiction. We can teach our young boys to be like Joseph in the Old Testament and RUN AWAY when temptation grabs their jacket, even if it means being ridiculed by friends. The time is coming when we must all start choosing sides.
Even if it means losing customers who walk out of your fast food restaurant in offense.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

One Year Later

"Little House in the Big Woods" by Laura Ingalls Wilder, p. 185
"Ramona and Her Father" by Beverly Cleary, p.159

      It was one year ago, June 2011 when I created this blog. I was getting REALLY tired of being single. I wondered if there were others out there who felt the same. Others who were looking for a support group. A place to share and vent the frustrations of wanting to fill the measure of their creation without getting kicked out of their religous organization. A place to gather in support of how desperately the world needs more good family men, husbands, fathers and providers-such as the two featured in the above illustrations. I feel strongly it's up to us women-both married and single-to remind the rest of the world of the importance of maintaining these now "old fashioned values" and that the "Ozzie and Harriet" life is not dead.
     As a novice writer it was also a place to experiment and improve the quality of my art for writing is truly an art. Writing is the ability to manipulate the english language to create impressions on human hearts that stand the test of time. If my writing can even come close to the genius of Wilder or Cleary I will have reached my goal. I will continue to work hard at the University to earn my second bachelors in English. I will also continue to write and post here. I need the practice.
     As June is the month to celebrate Father's Day I thought I'd post two illustrations from two of the most beloved children's authors of the last century (and two of my own personal writing heroes) Laura Ingalls Wilder and Beverly Cleary. The paperback copies I owned by these two women I literally wore out in my reading as a young girl. With my own biological father pretty much MIA I had to look for father figures elsewhere. I found them in books and the religious magazines published by my church. Bono of U2 is also such a father. See my post for April 2012 here:  http://www.oldmaidmormon.blogspot.com/2012/04/family-vs-u2.html
     Both those illustrations always bring a tear to my eye. Lucky girls, Ramona and Laura, happy and secure with Daddy and Pa. What must it be like to enjoy that kind of relationship with the person who gave you life? But I need not cry for long. Good men are out there and I can be grateful my two nephews have such a father in their lives. Someone who is always there, even for seemingly insignificant moments like just snuggling on a couch as well as someone to help you fight your dragons and cheer you on. I just read in the paper the other day about a father who beat the hell out of a man he caught molesting his daughter. Yes, we needn't despair. All over the world good men are quietly doing their jobs as husbands and fathers for the sake of their children. In celebrating Father's Day I hope those who have such father figures in their lives will tell them thank you.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Difficult Day for Singles

     Is Father's Day as hard for single, never-married men as Mother's Day is for single never-married women? Unrequited love is just one of life's catastrophes but it leaves far too many good women isolated and trapped in their own bitter disappointment. While the rest of the world celebrates the ultra-feminine fairytale of virgin girls who married a good husband, father and provider, had a busload of squeaky clean kids who adored her and they all lived happily ever after; the earth shattering reality is that this picture has become very rare indeed. The fact is all women-young and old-live with a ticking time bomb of a maternal clock while men are free to prance around as the playboys of the western world. Society has gradually turned a blind eye to these changing lifestyles. As a result America is rapidly turning into a nation of unhappily blended and divorced families. Mother's Day will never be the same.
     I'll come right out and say it, I'm sick and tired of the LGBT groups hogging the spotlight of marriage and parenthood rights while those of us who remain true to our V-cards are labeled second-class citizens. Let the gauntlet be thrown down in the battle for who yearns the most to become a spouse and parent to precious children conceived in wedlock legal and binding. LGBT groups better want it bad cause the ever shrinking moral majority of America still exists and we're gonna put up a fight. Hang in there my fellow single sisters, the moral right WILL prevail! One day we WILL have the opportunity to become wives and mothers to busloads of our own and we too will live happily ever after. We can sympathize with LGBT groups but the fact remains sex outside of marriage is never acceptable, has proved a threat to society and must not be condoned. We will all have the oppportunity to fill the measure of our creation. Don't ask me how that's going to work-I just write what my heart tells me and leave the rest up to God.
     So, with that out of the way, I'm glad we have this day to honor the unrecognized and unsung heroes in the lives of good people-your mother. She's the one person Jesus himself called "Woman" for a person's mother should always be the "Ultimate Woman" revered and honored above all other women. This is especially true if you're a young single man. When you're a single unmarried woman, I say Mother's Day is the perfect excuse to give yourself a day off-so I skipped church today.
     As I've gotten older and moved into my own solitary apartment, Mother's Day has only grown harder. I have fond memories of my own mother sewing clothes and making dolls, reading me stories, teaching me how to make my first batch of brownies while struggling to get along with a man she didn't love. Then I grew up and committed the unforgivable sin of not getting asked out on lots of dates, marrying and providing my divorced and remarried mother with grandchildren. I'm independant, a non-yuppie who never had a career and I refuse to "settle" for anyone just so I can have a man in my life. That's what I told my dear old mother and our relationship has been rocky ever since.
     So, for everyone out there who does enjoy a nurturing and special relationship with your own wise and supportive mother while living the yuppie life-I'm happy for you. Go call her and if she has any good advice on how to deal with the lonely, hard-knock life swimming in the ever shrinking dating pool of potential husbands, please-share!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Family vs. U2


 Hard to believe it was ten years ago at this time-April 2002-I bought my very first U2 album and became an immediate fan on an unsuspecting Saturday afternoon. I was living in Cedar City, Utah going to school at Southern Utah University. I spent my weekdays commuting to the Wal-Mart Distribution Center forty miles south in Hurricane with homework, laundry, cleaning the apartment I shared with my roomates on Saturdays and church on Sundays. Though my days were full and busy I yearned for the unconventional simple life of homemaker, wife and mother. I was so tired of working to support myself. I was tired of all the competition among the large population of college girls just like me clinging desperately to the hope that one day we could obey our church leaders, cast off the shackles of our careers and live the humble productive lives our mothers and grandmothers once enjoyed. Fill the measure of our creation.
     Alas, in a town with a population of twenty year old females greatly outnumbering the males-good men who aspire to be husbands and providers to future families of their own are hard to come by. Which is what led me to the (only) local Wal-Mart that fateful Saturday after I'd finished my chores at the laundromat proceeding to do my weekly grocery shopping. My daily commute was long, surrounding mountains made the one local alternative rock station hard to tune into and I'd been wanting some new music to help pass the time. Walking out with "All That You Can't Leave Behind" I had no idea just how literally that title would apply to my life.
     Didn't realize it at the time but I fell in love that day. Here were four men who were dedicated to their family, partners, children, yet had managed to make inspiring, uplifting music. Sure, I'd heard of "The Joshua Tree" who wasn't familar with such warhorse hits as "With or Without You" and "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" but this new album really opened my eyes and for three solid weeks it stayed in my car's CD player. Who were these musicians? Why had I never bought any of their music before? I went online to find out and discovered the fan websites, biographies and mailing lists. I checked out "The Unforgettable Fire" Washington County library's one and only book about the band and devoured it. If blogs had exisited back then...
     It was an instant connection. Here were four men who understood the old school traditions of wooing a woman while rocking the world. Here were good men who believed in that old-time religion and sought to make it a part of their lives while following their dreams. They had succeeded and they made me believe my own humble dreams had just as good a chance of becoming possible. I had found what I was looking for.
     By Christmas of 2003 I was living alone in St. George, finishing my student teaching while working nights at the warehouse and trying not to let my obsession with Bono cloud my judgements. He was one of the reasons I moved up to Salt Lake after the new year. I'd missed their last concert tour and when U2 next came to town I realized the only venue big enough to hold them would be in our capitol city and that I needed to be there.
     I moved to the Salt Lake area in January 2003 and never looked back. I joined my little sister in her apartment and threw myself into substitute teaching. When a career in this field never presented itself, I turned, like a druggie, to the music of U2 and found comfort and solace.
     Sitting in one of the sealing rooms of the Salt Lake Temple, watching that same little sister cross the threshold from singleton into the land of eternal matrimony, it was the music of "Mysterious Ways" playing in my head like an iPod yet to be invented, that comforted me. The meaningful stares from my mother were hard to miss as I, the oldest daughter, had failed in accomplishing the greatest task she was sent here to do-multiply and replenish the earth-even if that meant marrying just for the sake of being married, which I refused to do. I turned up my nose at losers with no prospects, weak testimonies and ambitions. If I did marry, I wanted someone with the qualities of a U2 frontman: a leader, a committed family man whose desires to follow God and choose the right paralleled mine. Bono was anything but a loser. He'd set the bar for the kind of man I wanted to marry and I wouldn't "settle" for anything less.
     Time passed and Mary gave birth to a darling baby boy. I didn't realize it at the time but the minute Calvin was placed in my arms, that spot Bono had occupied on my "pedestal" for so many years was replaced by another. Poor Bono. He never stood a chance. Who could compete with such an adorable little face? Why settle for an aging idol who doesn't even know my name when, for the first time in my life, the love I was giving was being returned threefold by a little child?
     I now have a second little nephew to expand my growing circle of love. Meanwhile, the sparkling glow of my old U2 obsession grows dimmer with each passing year. Bono and company will always have a special place in my heart, of course, but something of far greater value and worth has slowly creeped in and taken over, Edge-ing out (pun intended) all other competition!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Paddy's Day

Meet my new nephew, Charles Kay Williams, just over two weeks old today. My thanks to sister Mary for letting me get a photo with him and not freaking out about posting it online.
I had the opportunity to babysit him last week while Mary took Calvin to preschool before heading to a doctor's appointment. He was just so sweet to rock and cuddle and burp while his blue eyes stared in newborn wonder at this strange woman cooing down at him.
I hung out at their house for a good part of the afternoon, spending time with my two favorite nephews.
Forget the dirty looks I'm about to get from all the Betty Friedan's out there, life on planet earth just doesn't get any better than this. If I could have my wish I'd gladly give up living the Virginia Woolf dream-having a room of my own and a modest income a year in order to create and write. I'd rather be mommyblogging and, since it's St. Patrick's Day, married to this guy:
Too bad he's alrady taken!
May the luck of Irish grant the deepest desires of all the single, unmarrieds like me out there.
Next post: celebrating my ten year anniversary as a U2 fan

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Single Valentine

Yes, I'll admit it. I bought myself a box of assorted See's Candies for Valentine's Day. Maybe next year I'll have the courage to go all out and buy a heart-shaped box. Excuse me while I go sharpen that knife to plunge into my chest.
It was an award winning performance. Gliding up to the counter, a demure smile for the friendly salesman, let him think I wasn't just buying for myself. "Yes, I'd like a one-pound assorted box please. Let's start with four toffee-ettes that's mine, I mean, OUR favorite." Me, myself and I "One chocolate almond, peanut, caramel...is that a walnut sqaure? Yes, we likes those." Must have the precious "Thank you, it's been years since we've enjoyed one of your boxes of delicious chocolate." Nasty, selfish, bachelors, we hates them!
Just doing my part to keep our economy afloat. After all, if it weren't for single women like me, forced to buy candy for herself on Valentine's Day, old fashioned confectioners like See's Candies would be out of business.
After all, this is the day to celebrate a holiday dedicated to our true loves and mine happens to be chocolate and nuts- just not the Josh Powell kind!
Now to curl up under my old quilt, watch season three of "The Mentalist" and let myself fall quite comfortably into the arms of Simon Baker while stuffing my face with candy. I'll have a LOTR trilogy marathon next week. Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Trials of Sundance

     With 31 days to slog through, January is one of the hardest months for a single adult to endure. The holidays are over, nothing to look forward to. Ring in the blahs!
     But if you're blessed to live in the Salt Lake area (and how glad I am that I moved up here from Southern Utah all those years ago) the month of January gives Utahns like me one thing to look forward to-the Sundance Film Festival! Lauralee Broschinsky, a good friend of mine, and I have made a tradition of attending every year. I am blessed to have a VERY small circle of friends outside my family to socialize with.
     So, in the picture, that's Jon Header, who played Napolean Dynamite in the popular movie. Next to him is the lucky fan who managed to snag a quick picture after seeing, "For Ellen" in which Jon played a minor role to Paul Dano, with whom I also got to exchange a few brief words after the movie. Both actors were very gracious and accomodating to all the fans who wanted pictures and autographs.
     Laura, Whitney and I got lunch and returned to strolling Park City's main drag, killing time before heading for the wait list line for the next movie. So far I've learned if you want meet any famous celebrities, the best place to see anyone famous is to attend a screening of one of their movies. The rest of Sundance experience was filled with lots of laughter and the simple pleasure of enjoying a girls day out.

     We also stopped by the Family History Center where the older missionary couple, with beaming smiles, invited us downstairs to watch a new video about families *warning bells!* Now, don't get me wrong, one thing I love about being a Mormon is the Church's devotion to the importance of traditional family values but this particular video about a traditional nuclear family reminiscing about how much they mean to each other on the eve of oldest daughter's temple wedding was just as overly cheesy and unrealistic as I feared. It felt awkward because it seems nobody is following that life script anymore.
       This became even more evident after we saw the next Sundance movie "Nobody Walks" about a blended family-mom, stepdad, 16 year old daughter-all sleeping around and having sex with everybody without any consequences. Ironic. On one hand we have the voices of the world screaming that divorce, infidelity and sexual harrassment of young girls is perfectly OK. On the other hand we have the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that pretends nobody does these things and that we're all still living in the 1960's when flirting led to dating which led to courtship which led to marriage and children. Then we have three single adult women-like my friends and I-wondering "Where do I fit in?"

In case you're wondering where this segway is going, I propose a few answers:
     A few years ago I read this book "I Need Thee Every Hour" by David P. Vandagriff. An inspirational read about applying the atonement in everyday life, I won't recommend anyone reading this run out and buy it, it's merely OK, nothing special. But one section of the book on p. 97 did stand out to me as a frustrated single adult and I'd like to share it here.
     In the section titled "Reasons for Our Suffering" Vandagriff quotes (the late) LDS apostle Neal A. Maxwell, who classified different types of trials. Since I'm just as analytical and logical as Elder Maxwell (our own Mr. Spock of the gospel if I may be so bold to call him) this really stood out to me as a new concept and since I like nice, organized lists explaining things here's Elder Maxwell's list for the three classes of trials everyone on this earth must go through at some time or other and, most importantly, the WHY of these trials:

     Class One Trials: The mistakes we make that result in unhappy consequences. Read the paper, watch the news, go to the movies, these are the trials being glorified yet, I believe are also responsible for many of the ills of society: murderers, rapists, addicts who whine about being punished, those who chose to live beyond their means, the people who made a wrong choice, the deadbeat dad who suddenly wants custody of the kids, the immigrants who came to this country illegally, the gay and lesbian communities who whine about the right to maintain a certain lifestyle. Everyone makes mistakes and everyone, sooner or later, must pay the penalty for their error be it short-term foolishness, or, growing more common, severe enough to turn this mortal life into a nightmare yet-deep down those who suffer from Class One Trials know they have no one to blame but themselves.

     Class Two Trials: These are the "Act of God" trials, the bad things that can happen to good people trials, over which we have absolutely no control: illness, physical handicaps, old age, cancer, famine, flood, fire, drought. For members of The Chruch of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, these trials are easy to accept and understand because we've been taught how to deal with them and there's usually a network of support, help and aid that arrives when such disasters occur.

    Class Three Trials: These are the hardest. These are the ones that are JUST NOT FAIR: good, faithful, chaste women-their lives filled with service and faith-never have the opportunity to marry, (GEE, THAT RINGS FAMILIAR) the nuclear family man who, like Job in the Bible, suddenly loses everything-career, house, wife and/or children for no apparent reason, the missionary or military man who catches a stray bullet while serving in the field now confined to wheelchair for the rest of his life, the victims of divorce, pornography, rape, abuse and torture who struggle to pick up the pieces of their lives and move on. In short, these are the trials brought about by the choices of others! These are trials which can also bring unnecessary suffering as the victim wonders what he/she did wrong, or must repent of in order to be free from this pain.

     That's what I'll end on today, what I must try to keep in mind and if anyone reading this is also suffering I hope this helps. Class Three Trials really struck a chord with me. I must stop this mental self-flailing with the cords as I spiral downward into self-pity while the words of well meaning friends and family members echo in my head-the blame the victim game, like Job's wife and friends played with him-you brought this on yourself, you better repent, conform, assimilate. Thus I miss the important lesson the Lord is trying to teach me.

     Repentance is also important. Vandagriff is not providing excuses for those suffering from Class One or Two Trials the same message is given over every pulpit on Sundays and at every General Conference-if you made a mistake, you CAN change and repent.

     What I wish the good brethern and leaders of the church would focus MORE on is how innocent folks like you and me, who have very little support network, can best endure these Class Three Trials. Exactly WHAT lesson is the Lord trying to teach me here? Give me something to look forward to, nix these 30-plus LDS singles ward and activities, quit telling me the only way to experience dating is look for it online, and come up with something better to encourage real life dating, courship and marriage among young and older singles in the church.

     Perhaps we should start a petition? I welcome ideas. Have a great day and I'll try to post more often...if anyone even cares.