Shame on singlehood!

I had planned to write another piece following up on my last post about Polygamy and Mormon’s. And then I went to work and I sat talking for a while with a man who has been married for almost 50 years to the same woman. He was giving me a little fatherly advice on dating and marriage and such. I was happy and quite content when the conversation started and while I know he meant well, by the end of the conversation I was feeling more than a little sad.

Not the down and out I hate my life and wish someone would roll over me with an 18 wheeler kind of sad. Not even the I need to sit in my room with a box of tissues and an even bigger bucket of Ben and Jerry’s kind of sad. Just a deep sigh of I want something more kind of sad.

You see, Im single, and thirty and sometimes I just feel really alone. This is a world built for couples, for families and I am tired of being just me.

There was a time, and not so very long ago that I would have been a little ashamed to admit that so openly and brazenly. But its true. Somehow its easy to feel ashamed of those desires as though by saying that I want to be married I am admitting to being a mindless knit wit of a girl who sees value in herself only if she is loved by someone. It’s not that I feel that I am getting so old, or that I see all my friends married and feel left out, it’s not that I feel that I must be unlovable if I don’t have some man doting on me and getting down on one knee to propose. It’s not even that I am often lonely, although I am. It’s none of those things.

I am a pretty confident person, I have made my own way in the world, determined my path in life, set out on an adventure that I never would have dreamed possible, traveled the world, met all kinds of people, seen some really amazing and some really awful things. I have lived alone in my own place and enjoyed the independence of doing what I want when I want without worrying about another person. I have earned a degree, written a book, performed on stage, had many different experiences that I am really glad that I have had.

But I want to find out what married couples fight about and start fighting…and making up. I want to have someone who calls during the day just to see how my day was. To have someone who will hold me when I am having pain, who will listen when I need to talk and who will talk with me. I want to go to the grocery store and buy for more than one. I want to pick up someone else’s clothes and put them in the hamper when he forgets. I want to have inside jokes and memories that come with years of living with a person and knowing them so well that you can get as much from a look as you could from a whole paragraph.

I want a family, a baby, children, a mess in the house, piles of laundry to do. I want the bad days when dinner burns, the baby wont stop crying, the dishwasher broke and I just want to sit on the floor in defeat and wonder if I am crazy to be trying this at all. And I want the good days too where everything goes well and my husband arrives home to a tasty dinner on the table and our brilliant children quietly helping with chores and me looking more beautiful than ever greeting him at the door with a kiss. (Ok so maybe that’s asking for a bit much) I want to bring a spirit into this world, a human being and watch them grow, and teach them and see them grow into an individual. I want the satisfaction of knowing that I created something so complete and perfect, and amazing as a little person! I have loved being by myself! I really have but now I want to start spending the rest of my life with someone. I want to start a family and look forward to grand kids, I want to move on. What I don’t want is to be married just to get it done. I am happy single…most of the time. But I would still rather be single and unhappy than married and unhappy. At least then you have something to look forward to. I read this quote today from a book called the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie society. It goes like this. ” I can’t think of anything lonelier than spending the rest of my life with someone I can’t talk to, or worse, someone I can’t be silent with.”
And so at the end of the day, when I come home and briefly cross paths with my roommates ( who I love and adore), eat my dinner alone and then sit here and complain to the universe at large about my desire to be married. I refuse to feel small and insignificant, I wont feel like a simple, sweet, girl, who just wants to be married. I will be happy with my life and accomplishments, I will look forward to the next stage of life. I will feel like a grown woman who wants more out of life than what I have and I wont be ashamed.

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What’s in a name?

I’ve been reading a number of column’s, articles, and blogs lately that have to do with Polygamy. Since Mitt Romney is running for president there seem to be a lot of people interested in his religion and what exactly it is that he believes, and rightly so. It’s brought to mind for me several things that are rather a pet peeve of mine so I figured, what better place than here to put in my two cents worth and see if I can help clarify some really common misunderstandings that people seem to have about Mormons and Polygamists.

Probably the most common theme that I seem to see is people trying to figure out where the Mormon church ends and polygamy begins and just how they all fit together. It’s really common to read an article such as this one written by a non-mormon writer, who actually is pretty accurate in a lot of what he has to say. http://www.delsjourney.com/close-ups/us/travels_sw/mormons_and_polygamy.htm

He say’s this however

“There are several ultra-orthodox offshoots of the Mormon Church though, especially in rural parts of Utah, which quietly practice polygamy today basically under a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.”

Which ia misleading because the literal definition of offshoot is

a branch or lateral shootfrom a main stem, as of a plant.

and if you look up branch it will say
“a division or subdivision of the stem or axis of a tree, shrub, or other plant.”
so when someone refers to polygamists as an “offshoot” or as I have seen in some cases, a “subgroup” it is easy to assume that the Mormon church consists of “Main stream” Mormons and then several “offshoots or branches who practice polygamy.”
Lets look at it this way.
In the 16th century Martin Luther led a reform group within the Roman Catholic church. Those who followed him were referred to as Lutherans. Today if you were to suggest that Lutherans were Catholic both parties would protest that, that is not the case. They are two separate and distinct religions. And yet the Lutheran church could be considered an “offshoot, a branch, or a sub group” of the Catholic church. So it is with the Mormon’s and the polygamists.
In the early days of the Mormon church, its leaders taught and encouraged the practice of polygamy. Later for various reasons (which could be an entire post of by itself) the church changed its position on polygamy and outlawed its practice, excommunicating any members who continued its practice.
So why, you ask, is there so much confusion in the case of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints and the polygamists? I’ll tell you why. It all has to do with the name.
You see the Lutherans and others like them were happy to separate from the catholic church and be called by a new name. The polygamists arent.
In the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants which both the Polygamists and the Mormons view as scripture, Christ tells the only name that his church will be known by; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Since both groups believe in those books and both groups claim to have the truth they both want access to that name.
The nickname that the LDS church has been given; “the Mormon’s” further adds to the confusion as since it is just a nickname it is easier for both groups to claim, especially since they both believe in the Book of Mormon the nick name in all fairness applies. This is why the leaders of the LDS church encourage that their members use the given name.
In fact recently one of the 12 apostles of the LDS church said the following,

“Our members have been called Mormons because we believe in the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Others may try to use the word Mormon more broadly to include and refer to those who have left the Church and formed various splinter groups. Such use only leads to confusion. We are grateful for the efforts of the media to refrain from using the word Mormon in a way that may cause the public to confuse the Church with polygamists or other fundamentalist groups. Let me state clearly that no polygamist group, including those calling themselves fundamentalist Mormons or other derivatives of our name, has any affiliation whatsoever with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/10/the-importance-of-a-name?lang=eng

Having come from one church and converted to the other, I feel that I have an understanding of this issue more than most. I have personally heard polygamists claim that they were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints. I have heard them insist that they are Mormons. I have heard them claim that the differences are cultural. The truth is…and even they would agree with me on this;
1.) They believe that the official leaders of the LDS church do not have authority from God, are not inspired and directed by him and they don’t listen to or respect their teachings.
2.) They believe that the LDS church has given up the fullness of the gospel and their beliefs about several of their teachings (more than just polygamy) are quite different.
3.) They attend totally different church meetings.
4.) Neither organization would accept the baptism of the other and both would require a denial of former beliefs in the case of conversion.
I don’t know about you but to me this sounds like more than cultural differences, more than a “branch or offshoot”. It sounds to me like a different religion.

I work at a detention center for youth who are in trouble. The other day I saw some interesting behavior from one of the boys. He mooned another boy who had a history of sexual abuse and then he was afraid that the boy was going to press charges and that he would find himself going from juvenile prison to the real thing.

For weeks he was worried that this other boy would press charges. One day as they were passing in the hall he punched the other boy in the face. One would think that if he was worried that he would get into worse trouble and end up in jail, punching the kid in the face would NOT be the most effective strategy. It would be easy to judge his intelligence if I didn’t know that we often do that kind of thing. The thing that we fear the most we tend to bring into our lives.

Here’s an example, I knew a lady when I was a little girl who hadn’t married until her 40th birthday. from the time I remember I was worried that, that would be me. The funny thing is that in a polygamist culture that really doesn’t happen. People just get married. They just do. I went to my dad one day and just wanted to know what would happen if I didn’t marry. “You will he assured me, stop worrying about it.”

But what if I don’t? I asked, “I just want to know what would happen. Say I’m thirty and still not married, do I move away from home? Do I get a job? (Both things that an unmarried girl in my culture wouldn’t have done) What happens then?”

I never got an answer.

As I approached 22 I went to him again. I was concerned because I was bored. I wasnt going to school, I wasn’t working, I wasn’t married, All my friends were married, my sisters were married and having children and I wondered what I was supposed to do.

I suddenly saw the next ten years looming ahead and me sitting at home doing dishes and emptying the trash. I wondered again what I was supposed to be doing with my life. I wanted to know at what point I branched out and did something different.

Still I didn’t get an answer

This year I turned 30. AHHHHHH yep still single

Fortunately for me I am not still sitting at home doing dishes and taking out the trash. I am training to be an EMT. I recently finished my associates degree and am working towards a bachelor’s in Communications. I have a job I love and some great work experience. I have awesome roommates and great friends. No husband, but I’m happy.

But I digress, my point is that I have noticed that I tend to sabotage myself. For example here is a followup to a previous post. If you haven’t read it yet read https://acowintheocean.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/a-clingon-adventure/

I ended up kind of liking Jake. He was sweet and funny and we talked easily and I enjoyed his company. The fact that he was really cute wasn’t lost on me. Better yet he seemed interested in me. I am not afraid to admit that I really blew it with him. It wasn’t until later that I started to see a pattern in my behavior and realized that I was self-sabotaging.

Shortly after our first date Jake and I were talking and he offered to help me study for one of my classes. I went to his place and we studied. He offered me something to eat and drink and I only saw it as a study session.

That weekend he called and asked me if I would like to have dinner with him. I told him no. I could have explained that I didn’t have access to a vehicle to drive to his house, If I had told him about my family, I could have explained that it was awkward for me to admit to my parents that I was spending time with a guy after all their years of teaching that it was sinful and wrong. And that since it was Sunday I was worried about telling them were I was going.

But I didn’t I just told him that I already ate and wasn’t hungry.

Another time after class he wanted to hang out and play the piano, I left him waiting in the hallway for me for over an hour while I visited with a friend. Since the friend happened to be male I am pretty sure it sent the wrong message.

So for those of you who were curious about how things ended with Jake….that’s how. I blew him off over and over again and eventually he stopped trying. Why do we do that? Why do we self sabotage?

One of these days I will see if I can find the answer and then I will post it. In the mean time, feel free to leave me your opinion.

Also Don’t forgot that during the month of February you can email me your story and enter to win the dating story contest. See details on  https://acowintheocean.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/valentines-day/

Self Sabatage

Love at Lake Bonnevile

My most romantic date yet happened a little over a year ago at Christmas time. I wasnt expecting much because my boyfriend at the time wasnt the romantic type. He was your typical guy, really in to sports, politics, action movies etc. I am quite certain that the idea of planning something ahead of time was one that was new and strange to him.

During the first week of December I had gone on a cruise. Ryan (my boyfriend) and I had talked on the phone until the very last-minute that the ship sailed and I could no longer use my phone without racking up ridiculous charges. He loved cruises and kept telling me all the things that I needed to make sure that I did. The main thing he really wanted me to do was to go snorkeling. I had never been before, had only recently learned how to swim, and have always been a little phobic about water on my face. Since none of my family were willing to try it I knew I would have to do it on my own if I did. So I told Ryan that I wasnt going to try it on my own.

He begged me to just try it and told me over and over how much I would love it. I told him that maybe one day he and I could go snorkeling and he could show me how. I figured maybe one day if we got married and went on a cruise together or something than we could try it then. I never dreamed that he would find a way to take me snorkeling on Christmas Eve in Utah.

Several days before Christmas Ryan and I were cuddling and watching a movie.

“Are you working on Christmas Eve?” he asked

“No why”

“Can I take you on a date then?” I thought it was really cute that he was asking days in advance and in this way. It was very much not like him.

“Ok. sure” I said.

“I am going to need you all day” I was starting to get curious what he had up his sleeve.

“What are we going to do?”

“I can’t tell, you will just have to wait and see.” (just a hint here for the guys, girls love to be surprised. Ryan won major bonus points by keeping this a secret and even more by the flirtatious way he kept me guessing in the mean time.)

I let it go and was super excited to see what he had in mind. The day before our planned date he texted me. “Can you be ready to go at 7am” he asked. Of course I agreed and than I begged him for clues. “Well I can tell you that you wont be wearing much!” he told me. “Oh and bring some lettuce with you. We will need lots of lettuce.” Needless to say he had my full attention and I was more lost then ever.

He arrived early to pick me up and we started to drive North toward Salt Lake. When we turned on to I 80 headed west the only thing I could possibly think of was that we were going to Wendover. Ryan assured me that we were not. I didn’t have the first clue until we pulled into a little place called Sea Base.

Turns out there is a remnant of Lake Bonneville out near Grantsville Utah. This unique place has small but very deep ponds filled with all kinds of fish. Including Sting Rays and Sharks. You can go snorkeling or scuba diving and since they are covered you can even go in the winter.

Ryan and I changed into Swimsuits and spent the rest of the day feeding fish and keeping an eye out for the 10 foot shark. Later we showered off and then shivering just a little we climbed into the car and went to find something to eat. I couldn’t have been more impressed that Ryan had remembered our conversation about snorkeling and then done something about it. He had kept it a surprise and really built up the suspense and anticipation in the days leading up to it.

I will never forget sitting in that water, and looking at the man across from me, his hair dripping wet, goggles firmly attached to his face leaving him looking ever so slightly like a giant beetle, and thinking that he was about the sexiest man I had ever seen. I felt cherished in that moment and even though I had shied away from using the infamous L word with him up to this point I was sure thinking it.

Tell me about your most romantic date ever and you may win a date to Sea Base and dinner at a nearby restaurant. Email me your story @ diddadowrite@gmail.com. The person with the most comments or likes on their post at midnight on February 29th is the winner. See more details on the post Valentine’s day

Valentine’s Day

I remember the first Valentine I ever got. It was in second grade and I had never even heard of Valentine’s day before. I went to class one day and there were all these little envelops on my desk with little cards and hearts and stuff. I remember being really embarrassed that I didnt know what was going on and everyone thought I was crazy. I also wished that I had known in advance so that I could have returned the favor. My family never did holidays though and Valentine’s day certainly wasnt high on the list of things for them to inform me about.

In more recent years Valentine’s day became something to laugh about. Single awareness day… and then once I had a boyfriend and we celebrated our first Valentines Day together I thought it was kind of sweet. The other day my roommate told me the story that is speculated as being the beginning of Valentine’s day. I was touched by the beautiful story. Appearantly a roman emperor in an effort to keep the men forcused on being soldiers and fighting decided to ban all marriage. A priest by the name of Valentine secretly performed marriages in spite of the ban. He was got and sentenced to death. While in prison notes were passed from person to person requesting prayers on his behalf. The slogan of these notes was remember your Valentine.

In honor of Valentine’s day during the month of February I am looking for stories. This time I want romantic ones. So I am doing a contest. Send me your stories, your most romantic date, your love story, maybe the love story of someone you know a family member who’s story is particularly touching etc. Send me an email @diddadowrite@gmail.com with your story and encourage your friends to like your post. At the end of the month the person with the most likes and comments will win a fantastic date. So get your typing fingers warmed up and get prepared to share your stories.

Note: Seabase has graciously provided a gift certificate to the winner of this competition and will provide a days adventure, complete with snorkeling, feeding the fish, and some education about their facility. All you have to do is bring yourself, a date, and your snorkeling equipment. (If you don’t have any, Seabase will rent to you for a reasonable price.) Dinner for two will also be provided at a nearby restuarant. More details to follow on that.

A Clingon Adventure

My roommates and I have this little habit of giving people nicknames based on things that we know about them or on how they look. Names like The Rock, Foxface, Horse butt, Caveman and Captain Awkward are just a few. My third date ( i don’t remember if it was actually my third date overall or not but its the next one that sticks out in my memory) wasnt actually all that bad. Although it had its moments. The name he earned was Mr. Clingon

I had been invited to attend a semi private performance that a friend of mine was giving. He happened to be a fantastic singer, had done a bunch of stuff on broadway and a couple of movies, had a few CD’s out etc. He was giving a concert that was invitation only for a number of fairly well-known people in the area and he invited me to attend. Not wanting to go alone I decided that this would be the perfect time to try asking someone out.

I had noticed a guy in one of my classes that I thought was really cute, we will call him Jake. I had managed to get up the courage to talk to him a couple of times and I knew that he was really into music and even played the piano quite well. One day after class I started talking to him, and very casually ( i hoped) asked if he would be interested in going to a concert with me. I didn’t give him the details of how it was that I happened to be invited or even who it was that was performing. Just asked if he wanted to go to a concert with me. He agreed and we made arrangements to meet up on campus.

I arrived a little early extremely nervous but also looking forward to getting to spend some time with Jake. I had a feeling that this date would be better than the others that I had been on so far. I was sitting on a bench when Jake walked up. He looked great, and had a big smile on his face. And then he got close enough for me to get a closer look and….he had a booger hanging from his nose. You know the dry flaky kind that flutter in the breeze of each breathe but somehow manage not to detach from the tip of your nose? Yeah it was one of those.

I didn’t know what to do. Should I tell him? I couldn’t look at him without focusing on the thing dangling precariously from the tip of his nose. we started to walk and as we talked I looked him square in the face and rubbed my nose hoping that it would trigger a response in him to do the same, or maybe he would ask or something. But he seemed oblivious. I decided to try to forget about it and focus on our conversation but I couldn’t. I kept worrying about where the thing was going to go. I had visions of him talking and it coming loose and fluttering down to his mouth or worse yet what if he knocked it off and it floated gently through the air to land…heaven forbid…on me!

The concert started and the music was beautiful. Jake couldn’t believe that I had gotten us into this concert he raved about my friend ( who I had failed to mention was a friend) He had heard his music before and was quite a fan. He also started pointing out to me various other people in the room that he was familiar with. The first person he pointed to and whispered, “see that guy over there? His name is Mr. A” (again obviously not his real name) he then proceeded to tell me about this man and his accomplishments. I didn’t know what to say. The man happened to be practically like a father to me. I spent as much time at his home as I did at my parents and was great friends with some of his children. But Jake seemed to be enjoying telling me about him and I didn’t want to ruin his story so I let him continue.

“Oh and see Mr. B over there?” Again I knew the man well. I was best friends with his daughter. This scene played out several more times as he pointed  Mr. C , Mrs. D etc. and I didn’t know how to artfully let him know that I knew all of these people really well. Besides I enjoyed hearing him sing their praises.

At some point in the evening ( i don’t know when exactly because I was doing my best to avoid looking at him and seeing his little friend hanging from his nose) he must have brushed it loose. I was relieved but concerned about where it had gone. After the concert ended We stood to leave and Mr. A came over to say hello. He gave me a hug and I introduced him to Jake. ” Young man” he said, You do know you are on a date with my daughter right?”

I blushed at having not explained earlier about our relationship. Jake looked like he had got his hand caught in the cookie jar. “Not literally I clarified but practically.” After a few more fatherly comments the man left only to leave others in his wake. One by one each of the people who Jake had pointed out to me came and with a firm pat on the shoulder and questions about whether he was treating me right they said their hello. The last was my friend, the musician. He came and gave me a hug and asked if he could get a picture taken with me. I agreed and went to pose with him for some pictures. I could see Jake with his mouth hanging open just a little in surprise. I hadn’t meant to handle it this way buy I had to admit it was kind of fun.

Afterwards Jake and I hung around and played the piano together and just talked. In spite of the cling-on booger I had a really great time and hoped I would see Jake again.