Thursday, April 28, 2011

So Sweet

He apologized the other night for not holding my hand. We were out walking in my neighborhood and it was hot out and about a half-mile in he suddenly says, "Hey. Sorry I'm not holding your hand right now. I get sweaty palms and don't really dig holding hands outside when it's like this."

"Oh. Well, I wasn't worried. I mean, I'd thought about it, but I wasn't stressing or anything."

"Ok good. I'm glad."

And then this afternoon, he apologized for not texting me yet. It wasn't that he wasn't thinking about me, just that some other stuff has been on his mind today and sometimes that makes him a little anti-social.

+10 for thoughtfulness

Monday, April 18, 2011

Roxie and the Single's Ward

All three of us have had our experiences with single's/student wards and stakes. And since the LDS Church announced last week that they are doing away with the "student" designation of those units and instead designating them all as YSA (young single adult) units for all single people between the ages of 18 and 30, this seemed like a good time to talk about the different experiences we've had, because they have been different.

I actually started life in a single's ward. My dad had been in a leadership position when he got married and they asked him to stay on after he got married. So my mom married into a single's ward and I was soon on the way. Shortly after I was born they released my dad and our family moved into a family ward.

My single's ward experiences of memory mainly came during college. I went to BYU and attended the student wards the whole time I was there. For the most part they were pretty good. And while I was that age they served their purpose. My last year though I could tell I was starting to out grow them (at the ripe old age of 23). And there were a few things they were doing that really rubbed me wrong.

Yes, this is a family oriented church, and I'll have more on that at a later date. But the point of the gospel is to bring salvation to our souls, not to get everyone married as fast as possible. And the last two stakes I was in at BYU seemed to have that a little backwards.

The stake I was in the summer before my last year had a fireside for all the engaged, and prospectively engaged, couples in the stake. I didn't go, as there was something wrong with me in college that I didn't date, but my roommate went. And my roommate and her fiancé actually walked out early. In an effort to talk about how important talking and communication is in a marriage, including about sex, they had very well drawn images of the different parts of the body involved in sex that they showed everyone and talked about. Seems a little off for a Sunday evening fireside in a large group setting. Seems a little more appropriate for an individual meeting with a bishop.

After that summer I moved apartments and ended up in a different stake. This stake had a stated policy of changing which apartments met together for Monday night every month so that people would meet more people and get married faster. They also kept statistics on each ward in the stake and made graphs of how many people were attending sacrament meeting, how many were attending Sunday School, how many were doing their home and visiting teaching, and the last graph was of how many people in each ward got engaged each month. Seriously!? I was very proud to never be on that graph. And when I moved out of that apartment after graduation I also left the single's wards.

I was in a family ward for the next six years and loved it. It was a younger ward (we had nine nurseries at one point and only ever had one young man). I didn't feel at all like an outsider. I fit in. I served in several callings. Some of my best friends are from that ward. And it was because of that ward that I met the man who eventually became my husband (one of my friends in the ward set us up). It was not a single's ward that put us together. In fact, if I had been in a single's ward I'm not so sure we would have met. I actually got set up several times while I was in that ward (something about being married makes you set up your friends), comb-over guy was one of those.

When my next move, at 29, took me out of Utah, I told my mom I would give the single's wards another try. I originally said six months, she told me I had to give it a year. 52 Sundays later I was done and was back in a family ward. The single's ward felt far too much like a continuation of the Young Women's program rather than a progression, both spiritually and socially. Relief Society is supposed to help me learn how to enrich my home, not paint my nails. And you can only watch couples make-out in sacrament meeting for so long before you start to puke.

I'm not going to say that all single's wards are bad, but they are definitely different. They have their time and place and for some people they really are just what they need. Each ward is different as well. I'm just a person who would rather hear sacrament talks on more topics than just getting married and I'd rather hear testimonies about the gospel rather than about loving your roommates or how you aren't good enough for your fiancé.

The family wards I was in when I was single were wonderful wards where I felt welcome and never felt strange that I didn't have a husband. And you don't need a single's ward to get married, in fact, sometimes it works out better without them.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Be Excellent To Each Other

Disclaimer: Allusions to strong language and a plea not to use certain terms.

When I first heard the c-word for a woman, I was relatively unphased. I had escaped the previous 20 years or so not knowing of its existence and, therefore, was unaware of the weight it carried. Eventually, that changed. I came to realize how harsh and unkind it really was and it was added to the list of words the truly shock and offend me when I hear it, no matter the context.

And now, I can't seem to escape it. Somehow, certain people I follow online seem to toss that word around like it means nothing, among other random occurrences. While I usually don't care if someone needs to vent about a co-worker or roommate, hearing them referred to as such a cruel term makes my heart hurt. Similarly, it kills me a little inside when I hear females calling each other "whore" or worse, a la Mean Girls.

Fortunately, I have never been called any of those things, at least not to my face. Although, if anyone ever did call me a "ho", you can bet this would happen with lightning speed: How Not To Address a Lady and most of the time I hear things like this, I want to shout "Stop it! Are they really a ____? No, so be nice!"

Unfortunately, I am not innocent of using less heavy terms but with similar sentiment. I don't just throw it around in my everyday parlance, but I have been know to refer to someone else as a female dog, usually in extreme jest. But even in jest and to a party who knows without a doubt I don't really think that of them, is it really necessary?

No. It is not.

Maybe it's the pseudo-Southern girl in me, but I really do strive to be nice to everyone, sometimes to a fault. I don't like everyone I meet, not by a long shot, but I'm at least nice to them. I'm even nice to my neighbor who launches into a tirade about something new every time we see each other.

So why would I call my friends unkind terms? Why should anyone?

I really wish we wouldn't, and I hereby resolve to do a better job and live by this standard:

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~Plato

Life is hard enough without us being mean to each other all the time. No one is perfect, but I'm willing to bet that most of us are actually trying to be a good person and do good things, and we shouldn't discount that.

So, what do you think? Are you with me?