Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Single 20ish Mormon Blogger

A while ago, my sister encouraged me to submit a few blogs for MormonTimes.com on being a 20ish, single Mormon. Some are more polished than others, but funny insights into the dating (or lack thereof) world of mine. Even though I didn't make the first cut, I thought these were pretty funny.



Mormon. Single. Adult.

These words don’t make any sense. They don’t go together. As a matter of fact, if you were to combine all of those words into a title or sentence, it would be an oxymoron.

It’s a phase of adulthood with puberty-like moments of awkwardness and growth spurts. You’re too old to be young, but way too young to be considered old. You attend church where there are 18 year-olds with their high school cap tassel hanging from their rear view mirror and 29-year-old doctors finishing their first residency. Some have rarely dated while others have been previously married. There are so many of us entering or exiting different phases of life and the only thing we have in common is…

We’re single, Mormon adults. We’re oxy-Mormons. We’re single adults in a marriage-encouraging, family-oriented, kid-producing Church.

During our first adolescence, Church leaders strongly advised an appropriate division between guys and girls. This was very evident in the stake dances I attended as a teenager. At first, I thought they were traditional Jewish weddings because the guys would be on one side of the dance floor and the girls would be on the other. Only the boldest of young men dared to cross the room to ask a young woman to dance. We heard cautions of “no dating before age 16” and “no steady dating period!” preached at every youth fireside and Sunday mutual lesson.

But as adults, we find that, though the Church doctrine remains unchanged, the message is much different. We no longer “hang out” with the opposite gender, but, instead, we’re counseled to earnestly seek out a potential mate. In fact, the first major difference that I noticed from my childhood ward to my singles ward is the social aspect. Now we have activities like mix-and-mingles so you can flirt with others right after church. Why wait until Friday night? There’re dances, service projects, FHE groups all designed for one purpose—matrimony, moving us out of this gangly, second-teenage-hood.

I don’t mind this awkward stage of life, of being an oxy-Mormon. It’s uncomfortable at times, much like my braces and glasses were at age 15. But I hope I can emerge from this second adolescence confident and stronger and, hopefully, without the acne.

Dead love life? Don't worry! There's still hope! Ya just gotta die first!

I am what I like to call, an oxy-Mormon. I’m 26, Mormon and single. And it’s okay to be all three attributes at one time.

Not only do I bear that weird title, but I feel I’m at a strange, like in between stages of life. I’m too young to be the innocent, dependent 21 year old, but also not old enough to get kicked out of my singles ward, (just yet.)

I served a mission, attempted to graduated from BYU-I Do, but my diploma actually says BYU-I Didn’t-Get-the-Ring, started one of those grown up jobs, bought a car and a place on my own within a year and now here I am. . . writing a blog on something people like me would like to see . . . .


Every CES Fireside, combined Relief Society and Priesthood meeting, General Conference talk on dating and being single is pretty much the same! It starts off with a message to the men and it goes something like this:

“Men, serve an honorable mission, come home, get an education, date, find a wife, start your career, raise a family and then celebrate your 23rd birthday."

“Women, get an education, prepare for a single life and always say yes to dates.”

And then they’ll sum it up in the most sincere and almost apologetic tone of voice. If I could type this next part in a little cute and crafty vinyl lettering font, I would.

“However, some of you may never marry in this life. (They’ll traditionally pause for three seconds, sigh and then they’ll hang their head) The Lord blesses you for your efforts in his own time he will fulfill your righteous desire. Just hang in there and endure to the end.”

I sit there and do you know what this oxy-Mormon is thinking? If I’m one of those people who never get ‘the opportunity,’ I’m better off dead when it comes to my love life!! Isn’t that what they’re saying? Because you tried to date and failed at it, your dating will be better once you’re dead.

Okay, I really don’t think that . . . it’s just a nice back up plan if you don’t get to the eternal jump off in this life.

But still. . . there is a bit of truth to that, isn’t there? (I need some ice-cream now. . .maybe I'll die from a heart attack and that'll be the start of a great love story! Come on Ben and Jerry! Help a sista out!)

Tap Dancing Blind Date

My blind date is tap dancing in the restaurant. While we’re eating. And everyone is looking at us.

Now, let me back up. Everything was normal before we got to this point in the evening. Brandon and I (names have been changed to protect the innocent and the embarrassed) went through the traditional blind date rituals: tentative Facebooking, brief texting and finally agreeing to a face-to-face meeting. We agreed on a restaurant and the date was set.

He seemed normal, outgoing and fun to be with. He was a returned missionary, went to BYU, was employed and active in his ward. What could go wrong?

As we ordered our food, I learned that Brandon was a dancer while at BYU and his forte was tap and clogging. Holding to true to blind date etiquette, I asked him about this hobby of his. That’s what we do on blind dates: learn about other people and their interests. Brandon’s response was enthusiastic, to say the least. He was still talking about the finer points of clogging when our food arrived.

As soon as the waitress left, Brandon leaned forward and revealed a fascinating tap dancing tidbit: “There are five different ways tap dancers can land on their feet. Do you know what they are?”

“Uh, I don’t know,” I said, while lifting my fork to my mouth. “Let’s see. . .flat footed, on your heel, on your toe and. . .I’m not quite sure about the rest.”

“Here,” Brandon said while standing up and placing his napkin on his chair. “Let me show you.”

He got up from our booth and performed a 45 second tap dance routine. In the restaurant. A public restaurant. All of a sudden the sound of causal eating ceased and all eyes were on us. I knew right away this was going to be a very interesting evening.

Now, I’d like to pause the story just like they freeze the frame in the movies. Picture me at the restaurant, watching Brandon dance and everyone is looking at him. . . or me. . . I had a choice right then and there. I could choose to think this was going to be the worst date of my life, or hoping I would never see Brandon after tonight, I could change my attitude and enjoy this talented, yet very unique kid for just a few more hours.

Dating is about choice. You choose to date, or you choose not to. You chose to flirt, or be serious. However, the most important choice a single, 20ish Mormon can make, is choosing to be happy. You choose to be happy or miserable. . . to learn new things or not.

As for me, I choose to learn.

Did you know that there are five different ways a tap dancer can land on his foot?


ExpressJodi said...

Great expectations

Life is full of surprises, particularly if you are a newly - wed . Expressjodi you a glimpse into the future and tells how to be prepared to face married life

Love is all about romance whereas marriage is a lot about responsibility. When two different individuals from different backgrounds live together, differences of opinion on things like spending habits, career, having and raising a baby, sharing household responsibilities etc, are bound to crop up, the key is to broaden your outlook and accept all the changes that marriage brings, and to remember that marriage is a momentous change for you and your spouse. And, fear not, over a period of time, you will find a way to make it work.


With marriage comes a whole lot of responsibility. "From the time you ger married, the decisions you make will not be yours alone, but your partner's as well. This is because your choices will impact both of you. But this doesn't mean that you're tied to a ball and chain. "It only means you have a companion with you for life. In fact, in your capacity as a spouse, you become your partner's caretaker, friend, confidante and even punching bag etc.


Arguments over money are bound to happen, so be prepared for it. And unless you establish some ground rules for dealing with financial issues, you will continue to have these arguments. Bear in mind that you are now a part of a unit, and no longer flying solo.

In - laws or outlaws?

if you thought that marriage is all about sharing your life with your significant other, think again, and this time, factor in your in - laws into the equation. When you're used to a particular lifestyle, moving in with your in - laws can be a rude shock. You will be required to make changes in your daily routine. Like waking up a little earlier to help around the house or rescheduling your plans on weekends or even modifying some of your eating habits. these might seem like an additional burden, particularly if you are a working woman. Remember to keep an open mind when it comes to handling your in - laws. They may be rigid in their ways, but there is always a way to work out a compromise.

Sharing space

Marriage involves sharing everything - whether it is sadness or glad tidings, chores or finance, which can be a difficult task. This is why marriage necessitates an equal contribution from both side. " Sharing is absolutely essential for a happy marriage,. Besides making it easier to run the show, it also brings you closer to your partner, and cement a bond in a way that only experience can.
Differnces of opinion

Shaadi brings two different individuals together, as well as two sets of arguments for everything. Remember that your husband is as new to the marriage and the relationship as you, and he is facing the same issue for the first time as well.Irrespective of the nature of the relationship, any two people are bound to have differences of opinion at some point of time, It is how you handle these differences that mtters. The best antidote for deviant interest lies in adapting to the situation. "Be carteful not to retaliate for the sake of it,"

Planning for the future

As a single independent working woman, you may be used to your lifestyle, going on holidays or splurging on the latest pair of Jimmy Choos. But married life is a journey and you need to plan carefully to get to your destination. "Planning is the key. Make sure you and your husband are on the same page as far as long - term goal are concerned," "Whether or not you plan to have a baby or deciding on investments for the future and are thing that you should discuss in advbance, if you want to avoid unpleasant surprises in you married life,"

ExpressJodi said...

Brahmin Shaadi
Historically, the Brahmins in india were divided into two major groups based on geographical origin of the people. The Brahmin groups that lived to the north of the vindhyas were referred to as Dravida Brahmins. Each group was further divided into five sections according to the regions of their settlement.

The Sagaai or the engagement ceremony symbolises commitment However, the South Indian Brahmin do not lay stress on the presence of bride and the groom in their Sagaai, rather it focuses on commitment between the parents of the groom and the bride. 'Latto' i.e., 'engagement plate' Which consist of coconut, flowers, turmeric, betel leaves and betel nuts hold more importance, in their engagement ceremony. The Maithil Brahmin bride of bihar makes her wedding affair stand apart by receiving the blessing from the Dhobi's (washerman's) wife - a compulsory tradition in the Bihari Brahmin wedding.

In Haldi ceremony turmeric powder is mixed with milk, almond oil and sandalwood and applied to the bride and the groom. In Kashmiri Pandit this ceremony has a twist becuase cold, white yoghurt is poured on the bride as an alternative to haldi. ritual is followed by a special custom called Shankha (shell) Paula (coral) in bengali Brahmins, where seven married women embellish the bride's hand with red and white bangles, the shell is supposed to calm the bride and the coral is believed to
be beneficial for health. Mehndi is also applied on every bride's hands during the Mehndi ceremony. However, a Bengali Brahmin bride applies alta (red dye).

After the ceremonious arrival of the groom, the garlands are exchanged between the groom and the bride, while the priests chant mantras. Jaimala is the symbol of unifying two souls into one. But in tamil nadu, "Oonjal", a unique jaimala ceremony is performed and could be best decribed as a tug of war. In this ceremony, the women sing songs to encourage the bride and groom to exchange the garlands while the uncles persuade the soon to be couple not to Exchange the garlands.Before the ceremony of jaimala, the bride makes a majestic entry in Bengali weddings.

Mangal Phere
Fire is considered the most pious element in the Brahmin weddings and seven circles around that fire holds the seven promises that the nuptial couple make to each other amidst the Vedic mantras. The Brahmin wedding is deemed incomplete without the seven rounds around the sacred fire. Unlike other Brahmin weddings, in Gujarati weddings only four pheras are taken which are called the mangalpheras where the pheras represent four basic human goals of Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Miksha (religious, moral, prosperity and salvation). Likewise in Malayalee Brahmin weddings, pheras are taken only thrice.

Post wedding ceremony vidaai
After pheras, the bride's family and friend bid her teary vidaai (farewell). The Kashmiri pundits make their vidaai even more special. their charming ritual, "roth khabar" is performed on a saturday or tuesday after the wedding. In Roth
khabar, the bride's parents send a roth (bread decorated with nuts) to their son - in - law's family. But the bride accompanies She stay with her parents and returns only when someone from in laws comes to fetch her back.

Griha pravesh
The new bride is greeted by her mother - in - law with Arti and tilak. The bride, who is regarded as the Goddess laxmi, enters the groom's house after the groom's house after kicking rice - filled pot. In Kannada Brahmin marriages, the groom changes the name of his wife in the name change ceremony where he decides a name for his wife and inscribes it on a plate containing rice with a ring. In Bihar, a very strange ritual is performs at the groom's place.