Thursday, January 22, 2009


I often wonder what people really think of me. I mean the truth. What was your first impression of me? Am I quiet? Nice? Scary? Loud? Funny? A geek? Smart? Naïve? Clumsy? Sophisticated (ha!)? Lazy? Bored? Maybe a little “rock star”?  I probably spend entirely too much time thinking about it, but I really do want to know. The problem is, I know that nobody will ever tell me the truth on this one.
Not even Josh. And he NEVER lies to me. But when I ask him his first impression with me he always takes the opportunity to say something incredibly sappy and kind like “I thought you were the most beautiful person I’d ever seen and I couldn’t wait to marry you.” Given that we were 17 years old, at EFY and he had girls crawling all over him, I kindof doubt that, but I’m OK with him saying it anyway. That’s just the kind of generous person I am.
 So, last week when I heard myself talking to the nice lady doing my hair, I realized just how Mormon I sound. Really.
It was just polite small talk, but everything about me, my entire life experience, shouts “I AM A MORMON!!!!”
Where are you from? Utah County.
What do you do for work? I work at the Church Office Building.
Where did you go to school? LDS Business College.
Where did you meet your husband? EFY. Summer camp for Mormons.
What’d you do last weekend? Prepared my lesson and taught Relief Society.
Everything. All that I am is wrapped up in the church somehow.
It’s not that I think that it’s a bad thing, or that I’m embarrassed to be a member of the Church, I’m not. In fact, I’m quite proud of it and I certainly wouldn’t have it any other way.
But it seems like when I’m talking to somebody who is not a member, they (and probably I) immediately rule out any possibility of common ground. Those who are not members of this church talk about different things.
What’d you do this weekend? Me. Went to church. Her. Partied and got too drunk to remember.
Remember that one crazy party in college? Me. No. Her. No. But for different reasons.
Don’t you hate it when your ex-boyfriend calls to tell you he has an STD? Me. Ummm…..we don’t say S.T.D. in my house. Her. Yes! But that hasn’t happened to me for like a year. I’m pretty lucky.
You know that club downtown? It’s just down the street from where you work…. Me. Don’t know, don’t care. Her. Oh. It’s the best one so if you ever decide to go clubbin' start there.
I know it isn’t fair to assume that all people who are not members of the church lead a lifestyle involving drinking and an indefinite number of sexual partners, but really my life is different in a lot of ways because of the church. I happen to think it’s different in a very good way, but once in a while I’d like to say “I grew up in a family, I have siblings, I’m married, my husband and I enjoy being outside, playing games, seeing movies, and traveling. I lived a life that isn’t that different from yours, and you and I can have a conversation that doesn’t end in the baptismal challenge.”
When it really comes down to it, we’ve both felt happy and sad, we’ve had good haircuts and bad ones, we’ve probably lost someone we loved and found the love of our lives. Chances are that you have a family and so do I. I’ll bet you slid down the stairs in a sleeping bag, but not as fast as I did because I am the undisputed champion of that game and I have the scars (emotional and physical) to prove it!
Why is it that in Utah of all places, I feel so different for being a member of the Church? How is it possible that I suddenly feel so uncomfortable when the person across from me has clearly decided that the two of us have nothing in common. I know better. One thing is for sure, I don’t want to be the one assuming that we have nothing in common based on one tiny (or gigantic) aspect of a life.

1 comment:

  1. My first impression of you was that you looked like an owl in the ultrasound picture. Nope. That was Nate.

    Anywayz, you are pretty churchy. You should think of different ways to answer those questions like when they ask where you went to school, salt lake, where you work, downtown salt lake, where you met Josh, at a youth summer camp. That way people will know you're a Mormon but you're trying your best to pretend like you've had a normal life.

    Or you could pierce your nose.


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