Friday, October 30, 2009

Trick or Treat

So I’ll admit it. I was so excited to wear my costume today to work that I didn’t sleep last night. It was like Christmas Eve. The anticipation was killing me. It reminded me of when I was a kid and we got to dress up in homemade costumes and parade around from classroom to classroom at school showing off our creative concoctions. We’d scramble the night before at home turning pillow sheets into a anything from a toga, to a ghost, to a mummy, to a tube of toothpaste. It’s funny how the fun hasn’t worn off yet. Here it is 20 years later and the only thing that’s changed is that I wasn’t scrambling last night to get my costume put together.
I also had fun carving my alma mater into a pumpkin. Go Aggies! Not bad for a beginner. I won't mention the number of hours and bloody knuckles that were sacrificed for this fine piece of art.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Another One Bites the Dust!

There’s nothing as entertaining as my lovely dating stories. So, to humor you all, I went on another date. I don’t know why I put myself through this self-inflicted pain. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’ve been taught "after much tribulation comes the blessings,” “the best is yet to come,” or if I’m just being hopeful. But I keep saying “yes” to these dates knowing full well that it’s probably going to lead to more great text on another page in my best-selling novel, yet to be written, about the joys of dating.

My dear, sweet sister-in-law encourages me to do on-line dating. At this point in life, why not? It’s not like Ogden, Utah is swarming with 30-something year old single men. Actually, it is. But the majority of them hang out at the homeless shelter. Let me rephrase that. It’s not like Ogden, Utah is swarming with dashing, temple-worthy, self-supportive, intelligent, funny, incredible 30-something year old, single men. Because of that, I’m willing to take different avenues to meeting men. I know online dating is not the most reliable source. But it’s a simple way to find a lot of men at once and weed out the weirdos without having to go out with them to find out how weird they really are.

I’ve been on a couple of sights. The majority of the men who show they are interested, are divorced, inactive, social drinkers. Winner! Winner! Chicken dinner! Once again, I ask, how hard is it to find a a descent man? Am I demanding too much? I think not. So, when these oh so tempting men wink at me or send me an email, I polite say “no thanks.” However, there was one guy who I decided to give a chance. In his profile he mentioned he grew up LDS, but wasn’t active. I wondered what his story was and if he was bitter or if he just needed a good push to get back into the church. It’s not like I want a project. But I was curious. I responded to his wink and we emailed a few times. Email leads to texting, which leads to talking on the phone, which leads to going on a date.

We somehow went from texting one day to meeting the next day. I should have seen the warning signs from the beginning. The fact that he took up to 30 minutes to respond to my text message with a one-word answer, should have given me some clue that he’s a little slow. I just figured he was busy or occupied and was texting when he could. Rather than inviting me to join him for dinner, he just said, “so when are going to meet?” I responded with “whenever you get the guts to ask me out.” Did I mention that I’m kind of bitter when it comes to dating? I’m so tired of getting hurt, getting my hopes up and trying so hard to impress a guy. Hence my blunt, not so sweet response. He replied with “where do you want to meet?” My gosh! The guy can’t even plan a date? Do I seriously have to hold his hand through this whole process? Needless to say, I planned where and when and gave him directions of how to get there.

We, I mean I decided that we should meet at the Pizzaria. It’s casual, good food, and not too expensive. I arrived promptly at 7 p.m. After getting through a game or two of Solitaire on my cell phone, he finally showed up. I love it when people who date online put pictures of themselves on their profile that are 10 years old, 50 pounds lighter. It’s always a pleasant surprise to see how they really look now. He was kind of attractive. He had pretty eyes. With each awkward date like this one, I attempt to give it my all and at least have fun for the evening. That’s what I did. I asked him several questions about himself, thinking he’d respond and then ask me about me. Nope! I sure learned a lot about him. I learned that he has no interest in coming back to the church, he has a major coffee addiction, and he thinks I’m denying myself opportunities to experience life because my religion teaches me not to drink. Where did I find this dude? Why did I agree to go out with him?

By 8:30 p.m. I was in my car driving home. That was my shortest date ever! Thanks goodness! I think had it gone any longer, a vicious side of me would have come out and I would have given him a piece of my mind. The best part is that when I was driving home, he texted me. I figured he’d say “thanks” or “no thanks.” All he said was “so.” Are you freakin kidding me? He can’t even take the initiative to tell me this isn’t going to work out? The guy has no spine. I was really ticked. I told him exactly what I thought. I said, “So, it obvious we have different lifestyles and this isn’t going to go anywhere.” He simply said, “I agree.” I think if I would have said, “I had a blast and we should do this again sometime,” he would have responded with “I agree.” Anyway, it’s obvious this wasn’t a match made in heaven. He did send one last text saying “you’re a cute lady and you will find the right guy.” That was nice of him.

I went home, laughed with my roommate as we discussed my wonderful date, and enjoyed the comfort of a good pair of pjs and a good movie. I just have one question. How do I get this awful taste out of my mouth? I guess I’ll keep on praying, preparing, being patient, and trusting in the Lord. There has got to be a reason for all this. If nothing else, all of these wonderful dating experiences will help me appreciate my husband so much more someday when we finally find each other.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Since When is 31 Considered Old?

I finally took the plunge, to a new ward that is. As much as I loved being the mother hen of my former ward, it feels great to be a baby chick again. I was in my former ward for 4 years. Needless to say, I was very comfortable and could probably name every member in the ward. I had a blast in that ward and made so many life-long friends.

A few months before my last birthday, I approached my bishop and told him I’d be turning 31. Not 31!!! That’s the official booting age in a student ward. I asked him what his rules were and was ready to accept his answer that I would have to move to another ward. He was so kind and told me I could stay as long as I needed. That was a relief. But at the same time, I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do.

It’s not the most fun thing going to church and trying to relate to a 20 year old who thinks she’s never getting married because she just broke up with her boyfriend. The best part is when the 20 year old finds out my age. Once the shocked, bug-eye expression disappears from her face, she asks me how I’ve done it. Done what? Managed to keep a smile on my face because I’m single? I didn’t know that happiness begins once you get married. In fact, I’ve heard just the opposite.

Anyways, my bishop gave me permission to stay in the ward. I decided to stay for a little while and explore my options. I did go and check out an “older” ward in Salt Lake. I’ll admit I was a little freaked out. These people were not only balding, but they had wrinkles and kept calling me darling. I was waiting for someone’s dentures to fall out during one of the hymns. I wondered how they play church basketball with all the walkers in the way. I felt so out of place. So, I continued to go to my old ward for a few more months. As summer came, the ward changed due to school ending and people coming and going for work opportunities. It was such a young crowd that moved in. I got more and more antsy and knew I needed to move on.

After much fasting and praying, I decided to attend the “Senior Citizen” ward once again with a different attitude. Low and behold, this time around it was so different. People were so kind to me and they were really welcoming. Yes, there are some people who are balding. But as I listened to them talk, teach the lessons and share their testimonies, I realized that people are in the same boat that I am in, and we can relate to each other. I can carry on a normal conversation with them. It’s such a drastic change talking to a 30-something year old compared to an 18 year old. I decided to give the ward a try. Now, not just anyone can attend. They have strict rules, which helps enforce that if you’re coming to the ward, you’ll have a calling and be active. It screens out the folks that are ward hopping. I’ve been there a month and have proven that I will be active. Next comes an interview with one of the counselors and then the bishop. Once the bishop has met me and knows I’m serious about attending this ward, he’ll request my records. I guess what I’m saying, is that I’m off the hook with a calling and visiting teaching for a month or two. I should enjoy the free time while I have it.

I’m looking forward to the new friends that I’ll meet and the new experiences waiting to happen. Who knows if Mr. Right attends this ward. I’d like to be hopeful and keep my fingers crossed. But I’m taking a new approach and not worrying about it. I attend church for the spiritual side of thing and for the fun of it all. If I happen to meet an amazing guy, that’s just icing on the cake!