Nature is a language, can't you read?

Farmer Ted only made me cry once during Morrissey week. Which isn't bad considering I went to the Monday night show with him, that's when I made him cry. On Tuesday, I had to watch him with his girlfriend from the mezzanine. But Morrissey makes everything feel better, for a few hours.

Before the last concert, Ted sent me an ugly text reply to my teasing one. He was upset because I didn't help him move to BedStuy with my car. !!! Seriously, what in the world would induce me to help that man move?? I am not his girlfriend, we have a weird friendship which borders on the abusive, he didn't ask, furniture will not fit in my car, he has a good job so he can afford movers, I had friends in town, two of which I hadn't seen in 2 years, AND I had Morrissey tickets for that night! It's not my fault he chose that weekend to move. Not only do I have all those reasons, but there is NO WAY I am ever driving my car into BedStuy! If I never step foot in BedStuy again, it will be too soon. He knows how bad it was for me. What a creep!

I told him not to move there. Of course, he knows better than I do. "It's the nice part of the neighborhood." Umh-huh. We'll see. Ted's attitude is asking for trouble. Folks in the hood don't mess with white girls, aside from the occasional "Hey did you see Jungle Fever?" However, arrogant, young, skinny, snot-nosed white boys parading through the neighborhood are different. Especially if someone sees how disrespectful he is to his little girlfriend. I can see him making some smart-a** comment to a dude sitting on the stoop who might jeer him . . . I just hope he has the wisdom to keep his mouth shut. But maybe I'm wrong. I hope so.

Regardless, this is finally it for me with Farmer Ted. (I can't stop blogging about him because he is such a piece of work.) He has finally killed the last of my sad romantic feelings for him. (So I'm not sure why I cried on Sunday . . .)

I have figured out why I haven't walked away already. The mildly abusive nature of our relationship feels like family to me. That's what you do with family, put up with them, and keep going back for more.


Why don't you go find out for yourself?

You didn't think I could go without blogging about his 5 night stint in the city, did you?

Je Suis Morrissey?! Only Moz himself would wear and/or sell a shirt like that. Such is the madness of a Morrissey concert! (No stage rushers could get past the security at the first show and only one or two made it to the stage the 2nd night. By the weekend, Morrissey must have told the guards to let the ones he touched get through. So if he took their hand and helped them up, the guards backed off. Quite a few made it onstage to hug Morrissey to the cheers of the crowd. --Photo on the right by Juan Miranda Pix. posted on Morrissey-solo.com Photo on the left by Eric M. Townsend: LoudPIX.com.

Still sporting the Pompadour. . .
Morrissey Week in the NYC has sadly ended. I went to 4 of the 5 shows. They were AWESOME. He played the best sets I have ever heard from him. He wasn't there to promote his newest album, Ringleader of the Tormenters.* He was there just to enjoy performing and to satiate the crowd. And that he did.

Each night he played slightly different sets. The highlights were new arrangements of "The Loop" and "Death of a Disco Dancer", some people were in tears. I got goosebumps. And of course, the crowd favorites, "Please, please, please, let me get what I want", and "How Soon is Now". He ended each night with How Soon. The other exciting thing was that he played some rarely performed songs, like "Interesting Drug", "National Front Disco", and (See the setlist for details below). Altogether, the sets oozed with somber emotion and unrequited love --that which Moz does best. Made even better by his new, exceptionally tight band, which backs him with 3 guitars, a gong(!), Keys/synth which simulate Marr's guitar on How Soon, and, of course, Boz Boorer.

I know, I know, his solo work isn't monumental and life-changing and/or influential,like The Smiths. But his performances are the best shows I have ever attended. EVER. And I have seen an awful lot of bands play live. Even the concerts of my favorite bands were not this fun. He is so engaging and enthralling that all the obsessions and ruminations in my mind go silent. What would I pay for 90 minutes of mental peace and the pleasure of being soaked in my favorite songs? I did pay $75 for one night, $55, and $35 twice. But I would pay a lot more.

Three of my best friends came up to go to the concerts and stayed with me. I had so much fun. We had dinner a very yummy dinner at Yaffa's in the East Village, went boutique shopping in Hoboken, watched movies at home, AND I got to drive to the Hammerstein for the last show with the 4 of us. We paid $34 to park in the garage right next to the venue. It took 30 minutes from door to door, only because of the tunnel traffic. It felt so incredibly decadent!

My friend Paul crossed to the other side, he was veclempt at the performance immediately. He even said "I'm having a sexual experience watching him." Steff replied: "I know. Why do you think we go to all of his shows?" Because, when Moz is in a good mood, his sexual charisma permeates the venue. It's a non-vulgar thrill for us celibates. He doesn't strip or get nasty (except for losing his shirt) he is just SEXY.

*Critics are calling Ringleaders Morrissey's best solo work. (Read the album review)
Morrissey has never sung better, not so much soulfully as with an emotional elegance that consistently snaps the icy, burning words to attention.

Visconti[the producer] treats him as a handsome Latino melodramatist suffering from a kitsch surfeit of imagination as much as a damp, exiled Mancunian miserabilist with a cold tendency to nostalgic self-obsession. Ultimately, Visconti helps transform Morrissey's dogged oddness and phenomenal fussiness into pure magic. Love him or hate him, there's no one better at loving and hating.
--by Paul Morley

Here are his set lists from the shows I attended. Taken from Morrissey-solo.com
Oct 28th, Morrissey at Hammerstein Ballroom
Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before / Billy Budd / Interesting Drug / Shoplifters Of The World Unite / Irish Blood, English Heart / I Just Want To See The Boy Happy / Girlfriend In A Coma / The Last Of The Famous International Playboys / Human Being / I Like You / Jack The Ripper / Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself? / Stretch Out And Wait / The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores / Good Looking Man About Town / Sister, I'm A Poet / Death Of A Disco Dancer / I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris / You Have Killed Me / Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want / How Soon Is Now? // First Of The Gang To Die

setlist provided by Amsden

NOTE: The Sunday show was cut short due to a wardrobe malfunction following a shirt change after Death of a Disco Dancer. Moz was so upset by it when he noticed, that he talked to his band and they skipped to the last song. Poor thing. He was horrified. I don't want to discuss it because the man brings so much pleasure into my life, that I don't want to further his humiliation.

Oct. 27th
Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before / The Last Of The Famous International Playboys / You Have Killed Me / The Boy With The Thorn In His Side / Irish Blood, English Heart / I Like You / Jack The Ripper / I Just Want To See The Boy Happy / The National Front Disco / Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me / Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself? / All You Need Is Me / The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores / Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want / I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris / Sister, I'm A Poet / The Loop / Death Of A Disco Dancer / Stretch Out And Wait / Dear God, Please Help Me / How Soon Is Now? // First Of The Gang To Die

setlist provided by Amsden
Note: David Johanssen was in attendance and acknowledged by Moz on either Sunday or Saturday. The band played a rousing cover of the New York Dolls "Human Being".

Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before / Billy Budd / All You Need Is Me / Irish Blood, English Heart / The Boy With The Thorn In His Side / Human Being / I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris / Tomorrow / That's How People Grow Up / Jack The Ripper / One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell / The Loop / Sister, I'm A Poet / Stretch Out And Wait / The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores / Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want / Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself? / Death Of A Disco Dancer / Disappointed / Dear God, Please Help Me / How Soon Is Now? // First Of The Gang To Die

setlist provided by NYCWolf
Tuesday's set was my favorite. But I think Saturday's performance was the best.

Oct. 22:
Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before / Tomorrow / Sister, I'm A Poet / London / The Loop / That's How People Grow Up / Jack The Ripper / I Like You / Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself? / Stretch Out And Wait / The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores / Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me / Billy Budd / All You Need Is Me / Death Of A Disco Dancer / Irish Blood, English Heart / Shoplifters Of The World Unite / One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell / You Have Killed Me / How Soon Is Now? // First Of The Gang To Die

setlist provided by NYCWolf

As a final note, the Hammerstein Ballroom is a fabulous venue. There are no bad seats, and it was so well air-conditioned, that we had to put on sweaters.

Goodbye until next time!

Stretch Out and Wait

Too much is happening. Two Morrissey concerts saturated with volatile emotion, dear friends visiting on the weekend--and more Morrissey, disgust with Farmer Ted, sorrow for his sweet girlfriend, confusion at work, the best observation ever!, the best students ever!, my mother's breast cancer, new medicine headaches . . . and then, there is this . . . some knot that lives deep inside me unraveled itself and released its dark burden. I felt something strange in my center, a glowy lightness that had not been there before. My friend said it was Hope.

Someone I call 'George', wants to renew our friendship. I still don't believe it. I won't believe it for a long time. Our conversation, so excited, and full, woven with concurrent patterns like a torn tapestry re-aligned for mending, feels like memory. A voice I used to know falls back into place. As if the wretched crucible of my last four years never happened, all gone but for my hard-won maturity. His voice too, has a change in timbre, his words slightly edged with scars. My natural instinct is to run while I still can. But I won't do that again. I will 'stretch out and wait' for good things.

These days, I sit in the middle of a whirlwind of emotion, plans, ringing phones, too many people, dreams, good and bad memories, email, surprises, songs, appointments, and fears. . . fears. There is no time to think, no peace to place myself in events, no analysis here: No slicing or dicing or looking for answers. No predictions, and no calculations can map what's ahead. Time now, one can only march forward and pray to make no mistakes. Blindly, I crash into life. More likely, life has crashed into me.


Called to Serve

My talk with the Bishop has born fruit already. He did listen to me and take me seriously! Since then, late August, the ward has gotten CES missionaries for the first time, started Institute classes, started monthly family home evening, and the Bishop has called me twice just to check up on me, missionaries have dropped by, and I had a home teacher visit. Very, very impressive. On top of all that, he has also given me a calling (a volunteer church job), because I asked for one. (Singles, go talk to your Bishops! It works! They really have no idea what we need.)

Well, when he said he wanted me in Young Women (program for teenage girls), it made me cry. Being the nursery babysitter is the only calling I wanted less. The last time I was in Young Women, I went inactive because it overwhelmed me. So I tried to talk him out of it. I told him how much I disliked the program. I also explained that the girls look up to you and I don't feel worthy. He said he had faith in me and gave me a blessing. Ok, I did ask for it. But now, so has the ward . . .

The program seemed so weird and silly when I was a teenager. My high school friends were doing lots of drugs, having lots of sex, and literally trying to kill themselves, someone was always being sent to the ER ... My parents hated each other and lived on opposite ends of the house. I wanted to die and had to fight to go on each day . . . "and now it's time for our Mia Maid Class! Gather around girls, we've got the pretty table cloth and fake flowers ready. Now lets look up at the pink posters and chant our values". . . I remember the jarring discontinuity between the YW lessons and my life. They were always about marrying a Return Missionary, serving your family to keep everyone happy, and remaining virtuous. Everything was about 'eternal marriage,' 'temple wedding', 'families are forever' . If you had asked me then, I would have told you that sounded like a nightmare to me. (I was a very angry child.)

My other problem: I feel like a hypocrite teaching the girls to follow the standards in 'For the Strength of Youth'. Honestly, I don't follow most of them myself. I prefer to use my own judgment, which has kept me straight so far. But that's not going to fly. I can see it now:
  • "Girls, never let boys touch your bo*bs! Even though I might have let so-and-so do it last night. But you shouldn't until you are married!"
  • "I know I have a collection of rated R zombie movies in my house, and yes, I went to the 6 hour horror festival, but you should only see movies that are rated PG."
  • "Yes, that is a pen*s (google-blocking the pervs) in the Picasso print hanging over my bed, but it is art! And my Jesus picture is next to my mirror."
  • "Hey! I did not come here for you kids to judge me! I'm a 31 year old virgin, if you're a virgin at my age, then we can talk, until then . . ."
Tsk, tsk. Not pretty.

It did occur to me that this is my chance to clean up my act, a do-over.  But, I like the way I am. We'll see what happens.

Young Women Rewind

I will take this calling seriously. Despite my whining, I am grateful to have the opportunity. I desperately need to do more service and get out of my own head. As part of my commitment, I have come up with a list of things I wish I had learned in Young Women. Because, I don't know that I learned anything applicable to my life. This may be too harsh, something clearly sunk in since I am still hanging on for dear life to 'my virtue'.

Things I wish I had learned in my Young Women's classes:
  1. How to say 'No' when appropriate. Especially how and when to say 'no' to men. That skill would have saved me a few years of agony in college.
  2. When it's necessary to be rude, i.e. to stave off the drunks trying to hit on you. As opposed to re-enforcing the docile and submissive behavior that good girls are supposed to always exhibit, teach me to stand up for myself as a daughter of God that deserves respect.
  3. What qualities really make a man marriageable: no, being a return missionary and priesthood holder does not automatically qualify a man as good marriage material, nor does dental school. (What's the deal with all the Mo's becoming dentists?)
  4. How to tell when you are dating a loser.
  5. How to get rid of said loser.
  6. Exactly which sins/offenses need to be shared with the Bishop. (I still don't know.)
  7. Etiquette for turning down alcohol at social events.
  8. Etiquette for serving/not serving alcohol at your own social events. I deal with this by telling my party guests to brink their own beverages. Though I find that practice very tacky.
  9. Smart dating strategies. More than just saying "Don't date until you are 16." Teach the girls to avoid risky situations.
  10. Nutrition for healthy living.
  11. How to take care of yourself in a loving and respectful way. The importance of taking care of yourself emotionally as opposed to sacrificing your sanity to serve the family. "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."
  12. Learning how to love yourself.
  13. Career Planning, i.e. don't spend your youth pursuing a doctorate in the humanities.
  14. Study skills.
  15. Teach me the truth, that a temple marriage does not guarantee happiness, and being a 'good girl' does not shield you from pain or tragedy. (I already knew these things in high school, the fact that my teachers wouldn't tell this truth made me suspicious of everything else they said.)
  16. Teach me to use my voice to express my feelings and my needs so I don't grow up to be a depressed housewife on Prozac.
Now is the time when we dance! Add your own lessons to the wishlist, but don't touch my monkey!


Reel around the Fountain

After all these years. I can hardly believe it.

Exactly what I said would happen, has. Only, I expected it to take longer, and for his sake, I wanted to be wrong. My old boyfriend George, the best man I ever dated and the one I wanted to marry, the one who hurt me the most, the one I believed was for me . . . and now this.

Interesting timing. Last week I decided I was done with Farmer Ted for the 13th time. But this time I called him a pig with a text message to seal the deal (childish, I know). It didn't work. He apologized, I crumbled. . . Then I came to my senses again. I do want to be done with him. I want to leave him alone to wallow in the bed he made with his girlfriend. Obviously, I'm still weak for the men who treat me like dog doo, despite all my better judgement, therapy, education and enlightenment. Beyond scary.

That's what made George so different. He didn't trea t me like garbage, he was kind, and I still loved him. I loved him with my brain and my heart. That scared me so profoundly I couldn't breathe a word of it to him, I couldn't let him know. I couldn't give any person that much power over me. But I let him break my heart thrice, in secret.

In the 'Tainted Love' posts about George, I described what happened after we dated, the second heartbreak. And last year, when I sought closure, I described the third heartbreak, my pain over his unhappiness. The short version: We got together, I quickly fell in love, we broke up, I moved to NY, we stayed best friends and he planned to move up to NY when he finished school, but then he ran off and eloped with his roommate after they dated for one month. It sounded to me like he probably slept with her and then married her to assuage his guilt. I guessed the girl had manipulated the whole thing, he had been a virgin and was very naive about women. But, what do I know?

The woman was not religious. After they eloped, she got baptized. Baptisms for love tend not to stick. He told me last year he wasn't going to church. That hurt me for him too, I knew how much he had wanted the whole Mormon family deal.

All of this happened in 2002-2003. I promised in my posts to write our dating stories, they're good ones, yet I could never do it. Maybe I should try now.

My sister called me last night with some news. "Guess who is single again?" "Your loser ex-boyfriend Brent?" "No." "I don't know, who?" "GEORGE!" "Really. Hmm. And how do you know this?" Through his MySpace page. Really. My sister was MySpacing and she clicked on my empty page--that I made last year so I could email him. There she saw my friends: herself, MySpace Tom, George and George's band. She looked at George's page. Status: Single. All the pictures of his wife: gone. He's had a haircut and looks much better now.

I remained non-plussed. We didn't know the story or situation, and he is still in Georgia. I logged in to see if he had tried to contact me. He had. He sent a message in August, said we had some catching up to do and asked me to email him. So, I did. Then I went to bed and did not sleep. I don't know how to deal with this information.


The Best Worst Movie Ever!: "Troll 2" and the Mormons

"Troll 2? Never heard of it, there was a Troll 1?"
"Yes, but this movie had nothing to do with the first one. And there are no trolls in it."

While on one of our non-date movie outings, Farmer Ted asked if I wanted to see "Troll 2" at a special midnight showing. Sure.

Later, he mentioned that 'his girl' was going too. Excuse me? Did you just invite me on your date with your girlfriend? "Oh? Well, then I'm going to bring my friend Mike. I don't want to be a third wheel." He did not like this at all. Too bad.

The four of us met at the theater, but the tickets were sold out. Um, Troll 2 has sold out? Are you freaking kidding me? Nope. So, we scrounged up a plan and got in line anyway. These people make minimum wage, they don't care if you have the right tickets. Yes, my friends and I are a bunch of over-grown juvenile delinquents.

In the lobby, we saw a small movie crew. One of the actors from the 20 year old film was shooting a documentary about the cult status of 'Troll 2'. Some of the super-fans dressed in goblin costumes, some wore all green, one woman dressed like a crazy witch. It's been a long time since I've seen this kind of crowd. I remarked that we were definitely too sober to see this movie. (Visit the official site here for photos of the mad fans!)

Once inside, we had to split up our little group into two rows. I stayed with my friend, and Farmer Ted had to sit with his lady, who promptly draped herself all over him. He didn't respond in kind.

The movie. What a freaking good time!! My face hurt I laughed so much. It might be the funniest movie I've ever seen. The crowd added another element of fun by quoting the movie, shouting out wisecracks and even doing a synchronized 80s dance routine. But the movie does not need the extra entertainment. Every scene is worse than the previous one. I'd think that it couldn't possibly get any worse, but it did. This is the perfect bad movie: crappy effects, bad costumes, non-sensical plot, poor taste, horrible acting, comedic soundtrack, homo-erotic undertones, 80s cheese, green goo, a mini-van, anorexic sex-object, floating head dead grandpa... and the memorable line: "You can't piss on hospitality!" The use of which was literal, not metaphoric. And...... redneck Utahn Mormon extras!!!! The extras are the scariest thing in the movie. (That's right, folks! This little flick was filmed in the backwoods of Utah.) If you look at the scary sheriff's hands as he drives, you can see his CTR ring.

After the movie, some of the actors did a Q & A session with two comedians. You can imagine the questions asked by this cynical, mostly drunk, film-school drop-out filled audience: (I'll give you an example as soon as I remember one)

The dentist, whom I called 'Sexy Dad', explained how the tour got started. He called Blair up to the front, a nice boy from Provo. Blair is an RM-looking dude who told us his movie club watched Troll 2. A member of his club said he went to church with one of the actors. So, Blair decided to look up all the actors. He figured they still lived in Utah since they obviously weren't living large in L.A. due to their fame and success. He was right! He found most of them in the local phone books. He organized a screening in Salt Lake. The theater sold out. Then they took the movie and Q&A on tour. Good times.

Ted and his date wanted to leave right after the movie. She obviously didn't like it. He was either tired or in a bad mood. But my buddy wanted to stay. I told Ted he could leave without us. I had a great time, as did my friend and the strange guy sitting next to me named "Casper". We laughed together the whole time. (I unabashedly chatted up Casper for Farmer Ted's benefit. Isn't that evil? Maybe I'm from Nilbog too!)

Every B movie fan and obscure Mormon pop culturist must see Troll 2!

A clarification of diction

I used the term 'emo boys' in this previous post. One reader asked what an 'emo boy' is. Having thought about it, I realized I do not know what an emo boy is. And, upon further reflection, the gentlemen to which I referred were really wannabe 'hipsters'. If you'd like to know exactly what a hipster is, watch this video of the Hipster Olympics. Very Entertaining and wickedly accurate. The boys at the party were cleaner than real hipsters, and not quite as hung-over because they were still in their early 20s. They won't look that bad until the pass that 25-year-old hill.

The same post also sparked a discussion about my use of the word 'boring' to describe a 'nice' girl in a derogatory way, the assumption being that 'boring' is the opposite of crazy. I did use the word 'boring' to denote the girl's shyness, politeness, bland clothes AND lack of interesting conversation; i.e. her horridly snoozerific stories about traveling in Switzerland when she had a crisis of fear on the meter high dive and how it was one of the defining moments of her life, or the one about the train station with the out of place box sitting on a bench--yes, you read that correctly, a plain brown box was there and did not belong!... THAT is why I called her boring. Believe me, I know that the nicest, quietest folks in the crowd can be the sickest mofos there. I enjoy finding that out about them and usually try to engage the wallflowers in conversation, when I am not holding up the wall myself. But this girl disappointed, I offered to pass out the mustard just to get away from her.

Back to church, with a broken heart, again

The ironic thing about meeting Farmer Ted is that he has scared me into going back to church. Knowing how close I came, how much I wanted to give up this chastity thing, and how resentful it made me, showed me how far I have gone from the Lord. He showed me I need to get my behind back on the pew every Sunday.

So, I did go to church, on that Sunday after he told me about his 'new girl'. The ward completely ignored me again. As I sat there before the meeting, I watched the bishopric walk around introducing themselves to all the new people. The bishop glanced at me. No one came over. No one said hello. I knew they didn't know who I was. Some missionaries sat next to me because they had no other choice. I had spent the entire weekend in my apartment doing nothing. I already felt lonely and rejected, and this happened at church again! I needed some attention, I needed some love from somewhere. I was not going to get it here, in the 'house of the Lord'.

By the time sacrament ended, I felt so bad I couldn't stay any longer. I got up and walked out of the chapel. As I came through the lobby, I saw the huge painting of Jesus Christ with his open arms extended in love and welcome. I burst into tears. The irony! I started running down the stairs to get out of there. "Wait!" I turned and looked up. One of the missionaries. He had followed me out. He asked my name. What was my phone number, could they come visit? I choked out a yes, said that the sisters had been visiting me. I tried to hide my red blotchy face from him. He told me to call if I ever needed anything. Ok...bye. What a sweetheart...Then I drove home.

Instead of waiting for Farmer Ted to not call, I went to bed and cried myself to sleep. When I awoke, I semi-waited, but I knew. The call never came. He was getting serious about the girl. It was not even about him, really. He wasn't that great a catch, I could do better. It was the rejection, again that hurt me. Having my hopes destroyed once again caused an unbelievable pain that wrenched through my body. Alone again, while he was having lots of sex with the boring girl. I screamed into my couch pillows and beat the floor in frustration. Would this never end?!! How much heartbreak can one person take!?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME??? Then I sobbed for hours.

There was something seriously wrong with me. I am 31 years old and could see no end. The hours and force of my tears made my chest hurt, my lungs sore, and my head throb...the thought of the rest of my life continuing this way... a loveless life seems absolutely unbearable. As I choked on my sobs, I wished I could stop breathing. I wished I really would choke, so this could be over...Then I pictured myself filling the bathtub and holding my head under the water, flooding my lungs and escaping the pain. Surely hell is better than this... No one is meant to live this way.

Suicide fantasies?! Holy crap!--it's been 10 years! Someone help me!...This is very very bad. I called my Bishop but got no answer and no voicemail. Of course. I remembered the sweet missionary from church, I dug out his number and called. I left a message, the words stuttered with sobs. Finally, the Bishop called, who had heard from the Elder. He asked what I needed? I told him that I felt so alone I didn't think I could go on anymore. This was it for me. It was too hard. I didn't know what more to do. The Bishop didn't understand me. After some talking, he agreed to come over.

They came. He gave me a copy of the 'Every Single One' story from the Ensign, which I had read. He wanted to know what I thought of it. I told him it didn't go far enough. I told him that church was the loneliest place in the world. He wanted to know why. I said that as a single person, I am alone all the time. No one cares if I come or go, get sick, or anything. So when I go to church, I need to be noticed instead of completely ignored. I told him no one had said hello to me that morning. Then he said he remembered seeing me but didn't know why he didn't talk to me.

I explained that I needed a family, that I found no support at church. I had no home teachers, nothing. And because church was not a source of comfort and support to me, it made these men who wanted me all the more tempting... how was I supposed to keep resisting them and the "love" they offered when I had no other place to go? Then he understood. He hung his head in shame and his eyes filled with tears. He admitted that he had been negligent with the singles. He wanted to know what they could do. So I told him. I gave him a list, starting with Family Home Evening. He promised to do something.

Then he gave me a blessing. The other brother offered to be my hometeacher.

I did feel better. I did feel comforted. I didn't drown myself in the bathtub that night.


Poll: Aug. 2007

When should you tell your date you are religious and celibate?

2--Right when you meet
4--On the first date
**16--After first date, but before they ask you to come home with them
1--When they start groping you
4--Never! Live and let live baby.

And the winner is: After the first date, but before they ask you to come home with them.


Meet 'Farmer Ted', nee International Playboy

He is no playboy. He has no idea what to do with two women. He hasn't the slightest clue what he is doing, nor what game he plays. My girlfriend has renamed him 'Farmer Ted' from "16 Candles," because he bumbles about like an inexperienced adolescent. See for yourself . . .

Farmer Ted and I have continued our flirtations, despite the fact he is seeing someone else.
I met his new 'girl'. She was a nice girl, not the kind of skank you bring home for a bootycall. A girlfriend-kind of girl. I expected her to be some beer-soaked ho from a nearby bar. Nope. I tried to be nice and friendly to her, but she was so boring, which surprised me most of all. And yet, it shouldn't have, that's how it always goes. Men choose the boring girls because they deem them to be 'easier' (or in this case because they put out and don't get psycho). It's 'Age of Innocence' over and over again. The exciting, challenging woman who is just too much work, gets cast aside by the cowardly man for the seemingly simple woman. Take heed men, NO WOMAN IS SIMPLE! There is no such thing. If she seems so, then she is acting. But, I digress.

During his party, I flirted with the other boys there. (I took my last Xanax beforehand, I had saved it for two years, knowing that one day I would need chemical relaxation.) It worked. I made a spectacle of myself, dancing and laughing and entertaining the emo kids/hipsters. At one point, Ted said, "see, you're mingling. I like it," then he smiled. Later, he held his hand out to me. So I took it, and he held me there for what felt like a long time. In front of everyone! What are you trying to do??

At 10 pm, the party got kicked off the roof by the doorman, so we moved into his apartment. By then I had two little emo boys following me around. But it was time for me to go, so I looked for Ted to say goodbye. I took the elevator to the roof, with one of my boys in tow. As the door opened, Ted and the girl came in. So we rode down with them. Awkward. Ted and I talked, but the others didn't. At his floor, his girl and my boy got off. We stayed on and rode down, we were alone for the first time all night. He gave me a long hug. I said, "She's sweet". He sighed, "yeah".

He went to see the doorman to get his deposit back, so I walked with him. I asked if we were still on for the movies this weekend. We could go out on Saturday, in the afternoon. We kept talking, until he gave me another hug and I left.

Saturday, we met for a double-feature: Rear Window and Rope. We sat together for 3 hours in the tense darkness. I didn't remember Rear Window as such a sexy movie. He turned away from me during the first Grace Kelly kissing scene. When the second one began, he got up and left, returning afterwards with a coke. And a few minutes later, I felt something wet and cold on my arm. Huh? I looked down and saw his hand slowly dragging a piece of ice down my bare arm. What did he think he was he doing??? He saw me looking at him and dropped the ice. I picked it up and threw it in his crotch. That made us laugh.

When the movie ended, he said he wanted to do something again the next day. I said maybe.

I came home so confused. I wanted to do the friend thing with him, but he acted like he wanted more. It didn't make any sense to me. I have never kissed a man and then tried being friends, I've only done it the other way around. Where do we draw the lines between us? How do I know what he wants from me when he acts like he wants something romantic/sexual, but says something else? Being friends was his idea, why should I be the one to enforce the rules? What are the rules?--it's different now that he is seeing someone.

He stood me up the next day. Called that night to apologize. He blew me off the next weekend too. After the second time, I had enough. He made his choice. He wanted sex more than he wanted me. Too bad for him.

September Spawn . . .

What a wild ride this month has been, drama, change, drama, change.... all is a whirlwind. Too much to keep up with on here. Mostly good things. Things that need their own posts, their own detailed examinations, things I need to share:
  • what happened when I confronted the bishop about how much the singles are neglected in our ward,
  • Why International Playboy earned the new name 'Farmer Ted' (of 16 Candles fame),
  • How my faith in my life choices has been restored--celibacy specifically,
  • Why I love NYC
  • The best worst movie ever made and the Mormon connection
  • The undergraduate class that shall heretofore be known as 'the gift from God'
  • My first business trip with room service
  • The corporation that therapists built
  • and the Canadian who makes Farmer Ted look like, Farmer Ted....

    Where to begin? Since it is Sunday, I should start with the faith-affirming events. But, I know my readers may be most interested in the unfolding of the I.P/Farmer Ted drama. Aha! They are one and the same my friends...
  • 8.20.2007

    Sell Out!

    I accepted the corporate job as an Admin Assistant to the Sales team of a global HR consulting company. I turned it down twice, but they wouldn't accept my answer. The truth is that it was obviously the better and grown up choice, I just didn't want to do it. However, I am also going to be teaching one night class this semester.

    Am I excited about the job? No. I had to bite the bullet. But these people want me to finish my degree and stay on with them so they can promote me up. And, they have offices in the UK and Dublin, so maybe I will eventually have the possibility of moving.

    Teaching was not working, I was not getting my research done.

    I know this was the right choice because after each time I turned the job down, I started crying. But after I accepted the job, I felt ok. That's the best I can hope for. It is enough.


    Beyond Normal

    I know I promised new dating stories this week, but, a crisis hit. My sad adjuncting/graduate student career and the suffering which has ensued as a result of it, may have reached an end. An end for which I am not prepared.

    This summer, I had no classes to teach. That means I had no income. That is a very bad thing. In late April, I began looking for summer work, temp jobs or a more stable full time job. I did nothing but look for a job this whole summer. Very, very depressing. Rejection after rejection.

    Now, a 6 inch high pile of bills sits on my coffee table. I can't even make myself open the envelopes. My cell phone got shut off this week. (Actually a good thing because all 7 of my credit cards called me constantly wanting their money.) As a teacher in the state of NY, I do not qualify for unemployment benefits. So I used my credit cards for food, rent and transportation. Then my credit ran out. My pops spotted me some cash for rent.

    Meanwhile, one company began interviewing me in June. They made me take an IQ and spelling test and then sent this whole packet to my house that took me 8 hours to complete. 5 interviews later, they offered me the Admin Assistant job on Monday. It pays 40k and has great benefits.

    So? I have 5 classes scheduled to start in two weeks. My take home pay should be equivalent, minus benefits. I do not want to sit in a windowless crowded cubicle for 40 hours a week. I do not want to be a secretary. I have started to enjoy teaching again. Though my schedule this fall will be absolutely brutal.

    I don't know what to do. I had a blessing last week from the missionaries. I've prayed and prayed. The day after they made their offer, when I told the recruiter I needed two days, he called me saying they needed to know by 5 pm. So I said I wasn't going to be pressured into it and if that's how they are going to be then my answer is 'No'. He flipped out. Many phone calls and emails later --he ruined my whole day, they decided to give me more time because they really want me. I even had to go cry in the bathroom after I turned the job down.

    I heard myself turning down the solution to almost all of my problems. A steady paycheck, structure, schedule, easy job, easy commute, health insurance... The company is ridiculously employee-friendly, they told me I could take a few more weeks before I start to give the schools time to find a replacement for me. That made me think it would be foolishness to turn them down.

    The choice is more complicated than it appears. They seem to be equally bad and equally good choices.

    What scares me about the corporate job: That I won't be able to get back into academia when I want to, that I am throwing away my ticket to a full-time professor job in Brooklyn, that the cubicle will drive me crazy, that I will feel like crap about myself for 'selling out', that this may put me back on the road to crazy-town... having just emerged from my 3 year stint there, this thought terrifies me. Also, I am not good at being a secretary. I will have to get back on Ritalin to control my severe ADD. Feeling incompetent is very very bad for my emotional stability.

    What upsets me about turning down the job: This means I am choosing to continue to suffer, struggling every month to find an affordable shrink, pay 3-400 each month for my meds, the breaks between semesters when I have no pay, having no guarantee of any employment the following semester or the amount of employment, the total exhaustion from teaching 5 classes at two campuses, the running around, the fact that I do not seem capable of doing my own research while I am teaching (because I want nothing to do with it by the time I get home), which means I will never finish my doctorate or get out of this hole.

    Why do I want to teach? Because I am basically my own boss, no cubicle, no office building, no 40 hour week, sometimes I have fun, it is satisfying, and it is important work that matters. I know I can survive this without going crazy, because I survived last semester, although, I have more classes in the fall and will teach everyday instead of 3 days a week. This devil I know. I love having colleagues that I respect and enjoy talking to. My confidence is coming back and I'm starting to feel like a good teacher again.

    Not knowing how long my emotional stability will last this time, makes the decision incredibly difficult. The corporate job is a gamble, which could pay off tremendously. The teaching job sucks, but I know I can handle it --(Maybe).

    So, not much eating or sleeping. I have to make a decision ASAP. My head hurts.


    Note: 'You can't always get what you want . . . You get what you need.'

    Amen, Brother Mick. I need a friend, not another man trying to get into my pants.

    International Playboy and I did go to another movie, "Sunshine", which was amazing. (It felt like a '2001' on steroids, but with Danny Boyle's touch of genius.) We had an awesome time. I've decided he is a good guy and he does really want to be friends. I don't think he has a creepy agenda or is trying to play any weird games with me. Surprised?--I was. Likewise, I will have no creepy agenda for him. We're just two people who like the same stuff and hang out (and who happened to kiss each other a whole lot one night and would probably like to do it again.) This experience has ripped my ingrained cynicism a new one, which is a good thing. It needed it.

    Now that it looks like we're starting a real friendship, I don't want to blog about him to the whole universe behind his back. So that's the end. This concludes our 'International Playboy' series of posts.

    Fear not, my voyeuristic readers! I went out with 4 other men this summer, and most of them could not even share the same zip code as the word 'normal'. Those stories to come starting this week . . .


    The 'International Playboy' Reconsidered

    Just because I was angry, and I had a bad time, I assumed we couldn't be friends. How self-centered of me! Then a few days passed, I had some conversations, posted my blog therapy, and reconsidered things. Why did I think he was angry? Did he do anything angry? Nope. Nothing at all.

    He spent the whole evening laughing. Even when I told him to do something obscene, and meant it as an insult, he doubled over howling. At one point during the movie, he slowly turned his head around to look at me, and I snapped, 'What are you looking at?' Again, he busted out laughing and said, "I guess nothing." He told me all about his weekend, all his stories made me laugh.

    After the movie, we talked about trying to sneak into 'Sunshine'. Then he realized he couldn't because he wanted to catch a band at midnight. He said we'd go see 'Sunshine' the following week. I figured he didn't really mean it and I wouldn't hear from him again. Yet, I sent him an email the next day thanking him for joining me, just because it's the polite thing to do. He wrote back immediately, asking if I still wanted to see the movie next week. Yes, I told him to pick the day.

    This really made me rethink the situation. One more date after a rejection is a pity date, I've had a few of those. Two more dates after a rejection is something completely different. But, these aren't dates. What are they? I have no idea. This is totally new. Clearly, he had a better time than I did at '16 Candles'. And, I only had a bad time because I was so upset. Did he seriously want to be friends? He's a straight man, that's weird, right? Unless he thinks we'll be friends for awhile, then I'll fall for him and give it up, which is quite possible.

    International Playboy texted me Sunday asking if Tuesday was a good night for the movie. Absolutely. I decided to just have fun. Let go of the attitude. By the time Tuesday came around, I actually got excited about our whatever-it-was.


    Now my heart is full

    It's a whole new day. Despite the flooded out trains and subways this morning--making a nightmare commute for most New Yorkers, I feel much better. And not just because my commute only took 10 minutes longer than usual. (The woman working next to me spent 4 hours on her bus from Queens!) I feel better because I think my faith in humanity is restored.

    I always believed that a truly good man, whether religious or not, who had serious interest in me, would be willing to wait for sex. Because I had to believe this. It helped me endure all these years through countless rejections, bad dates and weirdos-- 5 this summer alone! But the latest rejection, being solely for sex and from a seemingly good man, nearly obliterated that hope. As my new 'friend' told me last week, it was ironic that the thing which saved me earlier in my life, is now destroying me... (melodramatic, but interesting).

    So, does one have to choose between her faith and the possibility for romantic love?


    Needful Things

    Most readers who responded to my Manifesto said something like, "the spiritual needs of single people are not different from those of married people," and "church is not about meeting one's social needs, it's about the atonement," so, basically, I should get over myself. But I will not. It is true. I need something from the church that married people do not.

    The life of a single person can get very lonely. (I know being married can be lonely too, but that is a different story). Sometimes, single life is not lonely at all, but when it is, it can be devastating.

    Now, imagine living through a fairly lonely period--of about 2 years. After work, you go home to an empty apartment to fix a quick dinner. Maybe make a few phone calls to friends and family. Feed the cats. Clean the kitchen. Then end the evening with a book or by watching tv. The next day, you do the same thing. You can go weeks without any physical contact with another human being. Sometimes, you can't reach anyone on the phone and you can go days without having a personal conversation with another human being. No one needs you. No one misses you or looks forward to seeing you. No one can help you make those major life-changing decisions that crop up from time to time. No one notices if you have been working out, or gained 10 pounds...

    Then, Sunday morning you go to church, where, you feel even lonelier than you did before. But maybe you made it through sacrament meeting without crying this time, so you feel proud of yourself for that. But, you feel like you don't belong. The married men, aka 'priesthood holders and leaders' are afraid to talk to you, because you are a single woman. And the married women look at you with either suspicion, envy or pity. Some kind souls do notice you, and say hello. They smile at you with warmth and shake your hand. And that's when you start crying. These lovely people don't have time for you, they have children and husbands. But they mean well. They are true Christians.

    Then you go home and fall asleep on the bed. When you wake up from your nap, you have to find a way to fill the rest of the day without breaking the sabbath. The easiest thing to do is try to sleep the day away, then watch awful TV all night. On a good Sunday, you might take a walk to watch the sunset reflecting off of Manhattan and the Hudson River.

    So, what? So, what happens when a real flesh and blood man comes along in this scenario and he wants to love you? He wants to comfort you and take away the loneliness and empty nights. But, you'd have to give up your beliefs and covenants. How long can your spirit hold out against this? And if you do manage to resist, how can you do it without anger and bitterness for the church which not only makes you feel lonely, but now seems to be the cause of your loneliness as well?*

    This struggle could be much easier if church were a place of fellowship and comfort. If I could fill my empty nights with church things and people. Single people need more friends than married people. They need more social support. They need to be needed by someone. They need to be noticed and missed. They need to be given responsibilities for others, so they can exercise charity and avoid becoming too selfish. They need to be part of a family. Married people are part of a family, so, ideally, they don't need as much from the church in terms of social support--I understand that this may not be true for all married people, but in an ideal world it would be.

    Single people need family. Eventually, if they do not find this at church, they will find it elsewhere. I suspect that most singles do not find family at church. Hence, the huge rate of apostasy.

    *I know that I am responsible for my own choices and the covenants I have made with God. I am the cause of my loneliness. However, at weak moments, this is extremely hard to remember.


    Hope for Single Mormons

    My intention here is not to bash the Mormon church, or to merely have a space to complain. I wanted to give single members of the church a voice, be someone who could speak for them and to them, because when I started this blog, there was no such entity. I also got tired of telling the same dating stories to all my friends. This way, I could refer them to the blog when they called to inquire about what happened with so and so? (Yes, I am that lazy).

    My Manifesto post stirred up a lot of activity and emotion. It helped me release some anger, but it did more than that as well. Amongst the sea of comments, a few people shared their experiences in their wards, and they sounded great. I wanted to post some of them here to show everyone that there is hope for us, that church doesn't have to be so lonely and painful. And, maybe we can inspire local leaders, and each other to do more to make things better.

    Comment #1:
    Ardis Parshall said...

    It might be impractical to expect a single in the bishopric and RS presidency all the time, but having singles serve when available certainly does improve the lot of singles. My ward's RS *president* has never been married, and this is one of the best Relief Societies I've ever known.

    Our ward recently went to a pattern of having three speakers rather than two in Sacrament meeting. It's amazing to see what that simple change has done for us singles. The old habit of ALWAYS having couples speak has disappeared, and as long as the bishop has to make multiple calls anyway, he tends to ask three unrelated people, regardless of their marital status. Not only does that mean singles are no longer invisible, but it also means we get real talks from both married and single: no more wasting half the time with family introductions and all the how-we-met stories that used to plague meetings when couples were asked to speak.

    Matt said...

    There may be change on the horizon in the Church...

    Here in Huntington Beach,CA and in other stakes in SoCal we have an established "Midsingles" program where all 30-something singles in the stake, all attend the same family ward together. So there's family ward boundaries for families and all 30-something Midsingles in the stake attend as well. So my ward we have over 120 active 30-something singles in a family ward. So we're half midsingles/half families. We have Midsingles FHE, Firesides, Institute, Dances, Dinner Groups, etc, etc.

    And Midsingles practically "run" the ward, so the lessons, talks, comments are geared to both singles and marrieds. In fact our Father & Son outings are called "Father OR Son" outing. If you are a father or a son you can go.

    Also, the marrieds help us with our single activities and vice versa and we have "ward" activities for everyone. It's the best of both worlds.

    Single parents can attend as well since we have a full Primary program just like any other family ward.

    Since most of us have YSA roommates and hang out with them all the time, including joint FHE once a month, most YSAs transition over from one week to the next when turn 31.

    Elder L. Tom Perry came to our last Stake Conference and fully endorsed our efforts with the Midsingles in our stake. Several other stakes are following suit. And soon all stakes in SoCal will have this program.

    We also are developing seperate single adult programs for 40-something singles, 50-something singles, and Senior Singles 60+ so there's a continum of single activities for a little something for everyone.

    Faye said...

    1. I am 23, single, never married and I live in Beijing - we don't have a singles ward, but we have a very strong singles group - anywhere from 10 to 40 singles in our family branch of about 300 expats. The branch takes exceptional care of us and I wish that every single member could have the same experience.

    2. I last spoke on Mother's day 2006, after 10 months of being in the branch. In our branch, there is usually either a youth, single adult speaker or both each Sunday.

    The Beijing branch is exceptionally transient and people are moving in and out all the time, making it hard to keep track of people. There is one counselor in the Branch Presidency that watches out over the YSA like an auxiliary. We have our own Sunday school and usually an older couple to be our counselors. Everyone gets a calling. Most are self-contained. Within the YSA, there are a few Sunday school teachers, 2 reps, a secretary, YSA fireside coordinator, activity coordinators, FHE coordinators, and some people get pulled for "real callings" within the branch depending on the number of YSA we have at the time.

    It took about 18 months of being in the branch before any of the singles had home/visiting teachers and assignments. The single sisters usually got paired up together to visit non-single sisters. Before I came into the branch, the RS president had monthly dinners where all the single sisters would be invited to in lieu of being visit taught.

    6. I do have lots of significant relationships. The single adults is my primary social scene here in Beijing and most of the active single adults rely on each other socially.

    9. I've always felt like an involved contributor who is very much welcomed and a part of the ward/branch I am in or if I start to feel otherwise, I act on it.

    10. I realized a long time ago that I need to feel a sense of belonging in order to be happy and get the best experience out of church so instead of waiting to be welcomed, I've always taken the initiative to befriend other members and create a sense of belonging for them. It took 2-3 months of getting the scattered YSA together by organizing informal activities for them (after I decided that if nobody was going to organize anything to invite me to I had to do the organizing myself) before the branch presidency noticed and gave me the calling of activities coordinator. Branch pianist has been my default calling and I have Mom to thank for that. Whenever I move to a new branch, I look for every opportunity to serve through my piano playing and surprisingly, even in a branch full of people who can play the piano just as well or better, I will never run out of opportunities.

    11. I realize that the Beijing Branch is an exceptional one and a great one to be a single adult in. The branch members here love the single adults and we're always getting invited over for meals (there are no missionaries here so the singles get all the affection and free food).

    We organize a monthly fireside, usually held at a members home where we are fed before the fireside. There's FHE every Monday and Institute every Thursday and activities formal or informal are always going on on either Friday or Saturday. On Sundays, if we don't get an invite to member's homes, we (yes on a Sunday) go out to eat together. We're a really good group, and we rely on each other for friendship so we look forward to every opportunity to hang out together and are excited whenever someone new moves into the branch and adds to our numbers. I wish this could be the experience of every single adult within the church. It really does take just one or two people to take initiative and create that feeling of community within a small group of single adults and you could easily be that person.

    Thank you for the wonderful comments! If you think I missed one that should be here, please copy and paste it in the comments.


    At Chelsea Cinemas

    We* can't be friends! And I am not OK with this.
    *see prior posts here* and here

    We went to see a special showing of '16 Candles' in Chelsea. But, professionals that they are, for the first half hour there was either no sound, or it was in black and white. So the whole theater, mostly full of queens, was very rowdy and restless. Everyone shouted out quotes from Long Duc Dong and cooed over 'Jake Ryan'. Someone asked if there was a lesbian in the house. A man with a deep baritone voice responded, 'Yes!' Everyone there was jovial, except the two of us.

    He looked so cute. He proudly showed me his argyle socks. We talked about our very bad days. We made each other laugh. At some point, we got into a childish "Did not!" - "Did too!" fight about our date, and we weren't joking, it was for real. I think I ended it by smashing my flier in his face. Um, hostile much? Still, I just wanted to reach over and curl up with him. And I could not get the way he smelled on Friday night out of my head.

    Then he said something about my big tote bag, from which I pulled a sandwich, Jr. Mints, a box of granola bars, bottled water, and shoes to switch with my heels. I told him the bag was for teaching, I carry books in it. He said, "Are you going to teach me anything? Oh wait, the question is, 'CAN you teach me anything!'" and he guffawed, "The answer to that--is NO." He laughed and laughed, quite pleased with himself. It pissed me off. This was not the night to mock my battle-fatigued virginity. So, I told him to "Lick - my - clit!" And he shouted, to the whole theater, "I TRIED TO!" Then all the queens got quiet. We both burst out laughing.

    Later, he asked how I was ever going to find someone to marry me. I said, "I might not." And then he started up with advice and pontifications about how bad my situation is -- as if I'm not acutely aware of it. He said, 'It's like only drinking one kind of coffee but there is no Starbucks.' 'You should move to Utah.' 'Is there an M-Date, Like J-Date?' Blah, blah, blah. I asked him to please stop talking about it, because it depressed me. He said, "I'm just concerned about you, you're a great girl." "Yeah, I'm concerned about me too. But I don't need to get depressed, I'll go home and eat more ice cream." It turns out that he spent the weekend after our date getting drunk, while I gorged myself on ice cream and chocolate.

    This does make me angry. I haven't dated anyone like this in 5 years! He's the non-mormon combination of George and my Irish boy. BUT IT WON'T WORK! He's obviously angry too. We both feel rejected, when it's so clear how easily we could fall in love, the fun we would have, the passion, how much we have to give each other... How could we not feel resentful?

    He'll be drinking tonight, since he went out after the movie. And I've already polished off half a pint of Ben & Jerry's. I'll eat the rest when I'm done posting this.


    8 Random Facts

    V tagged me for this post over at his blog, Gravity and Fusion. He is a long-time blog friend with exceptional taste in music.

    Now that I am stuck at home waiting for a phone call to have my meds refilled while enjoying a withdrawal headache, this seemed like a good time.

    1. first, post these rules
    2. post 8 random facts about yourself
    3. write a blogspot about those facts
    4. tag and name 8 more bloggers
    5. tell them that they're tagged at their blog

    Fact 1: I wear a size 10 1/2 shoe. It is worse than wearing an 11, because most shoe makers skip size 10 1/2. Check your shoe catalogues. This is why I only wore men shoes until a few years ago.

    Fact 2:I once spent the night wandering the streets of London with nowhere to sleep. I did catch about 30 minutes of snooze time in the photo booth at Victoria Station, but the custodian threw me out. I also took a return trip to Oxford so I could sleep on the bus. London is a very unfriendly city for the accomodation-less! There are no good benches, they lock the parks...It happened because I am not good with money, or my impulse-control, and had to buy a pair of shoes in Camden Town. Using the last of my cash on these men's shoes, left me without a bed for my last two nights of a 2 month backpacking trip. However, I did wisely spend my last night sleeping at the airport.

    Fact 3: I was in the marching band my last year of Jr. High. I tried to avoid it for as long as I could. But the band teacher got sick of me being first chair in the Intermediate band, 'aka kids not good enough to play in the concert/marching band'. In high school when I had to choose between swim team and band, I threw the spats away.

    Fact 4: One night I had to pay the cover to get into a club because the bouncer thought I was with the Foofighters. I was very P/O'd! All my friends got in free, as usual, but I was last in line and the guys behind me were flirting (turns out they were the Foofighters, sans Noceselic. When I tried to get in the door, the dude held his palm out for the cheddar. The guys had just come from a big concert and explained this to the bouncer. He did not give a rat's tootie who they were and he made them pay the cover. Did they pay for me? No, they did not. Did I talk to them again the rest of the night? No, I did not.

    Fact 5: I do not mind male back hair. It's certainly not a turn-on, but it doesn't gross me out or make me recoil in horror as it does for some women.

    Fact 6: I will be on psychotropic medication for the rest of my life. And we are ok with this. I'm not ok with shelling out a third of my income to pay for these meds, nor the credit card debt I have amassed over the years to buy them. But, until our immoral-for-profit health care industry collapses in on itself or bankrupts every middle-class American, and small business owner, I'm stuck. {Although I plan to move to the UK when I am done with school. NHS, I'm coming home baby!}

    Fact 7: I used to hate The Smiths and Morrissey. Until the day when I got the joke. And yet, even before that, I inexplicably bought "The Smiths Best I", when I went to college. Then I listened to it with increasing regularity...until it dominated my CD player, where it still lives to this day.

    Fact 8: I may take a sell-out full time corporate job. They are threatening to offer me a position at this big company that sells HR consulting. I think I have reached the point when I can no longer sustain myself teaching. My credit card payments have gotten too high, I'm sick of not having health insurance, I'm sick of guaranteed unemployment every summer without any unemployment benefits... but the thought of taking this job makes me sick too. I don't know what to do.

    The End

    Bloggers tagged to post 8 Random Facts:

    1. Michael
    2. Lollygagger
    3. Faye Min
    4. Ann
    5. Smash
    6. House of Payne
    7. Noelle F.
    8. triska


    Such a little thing . . .

    Well, I had my date. After dinner, I told him I was Mormon and didn't believe in pre-marital sex. It was the right thing to do. He was completely freaked out, shocked and confused. But he wasn't mean to me like the last guy. We talked about it for two or three hours. Then we watched a movie while cuddling and kissing. But I came home fairly certain I'd never hear from him again. (Although, nothing had been settled.) But, he surprised me with a gentlemanly email, saying he'd like to try being friends because the other wasn't in the stars for us. He also called me a "sweet girl" which made me want to vomit.

    If I weren't religious, we'd totally be a couple. Our chemistry was ridiculously steamy. He cooked me dinner, but couldn't even wait until afterwards to kiss me. Just grabbed me in the kitchen... It was so refreshing to be with a man that liked the same things I do, and had a healthy ego. It's been years since I've been out with a man like that. Ce la vie.

    I was completely honest with him and put all my cards on the table. When I told him the church boys don't like me, he said, "Of course they don't. You're a punk rock girl." And yet, I am not the one for him.

    What's a punk rock girl to do? . . . "Here kitty, kitty..." I think I'll learn to knit sweaters with cute animals on them.


    ...and you leave on your own, and you go home and you cry... Not this time!

    Oh, does JL have a date this weekend? Why, yes she does! Woo hoo.

    But we aren't going to get too excited yet, because he is not LDS and does not know that she is Mormon and celibate.

    I don't want to give too many details because I know he is an heavy internet user, but,.... A certain performer whom I inordinately love performed in A.C. last night. Since I had no friends to go with, and I knew people in the city would have difficulty getting there, I posted a ride-share ad online. I got a few responses, and ended up with a free ticket and two gentlemen passengers. They were both very sweet and I loved having their company.

    The show was fantastic, as always, but very surreal. This performer does not usually play in fancy casinos. On the way to the concert hall, we had to pass through the lush gilded hotel and gambling rooms filled with elderly people and tourists. Unfortunately, the sound system was abysmal. But the singer was fabulous and broke all our hearts, as always. He enjoyed himself and hammed it up since it was the last performance of the American tour. You can read a review of the concert from V here.

    One of my passengers and I hit it off, and somehow the evening turned into a pre-date date for us. We arrived early and the younger guy wanted to wait in line, but we wanted to eat, since we are crusty old-timers. The over-priced buffet was the only food available. There we sat at a table together talking (he is very cute by the way), in our posh and gauche surroundings. He was very polite, sweet, and funny. It felt like a first date, but without the pressure and with the promise of the show afterwards to make everything better.

    During the show, we stood together and shouted our observations and remarks in each other's ears. We smiled at each other over certain songs, danced together, and sang the same words. I couldn't help feeling as though I might be falling for this man, he who stood by my side as the music washed over us. Sharing such a happy and significant event created a potent intimacy. At one point, it almost felt like he wanted to kiss me, as we looked at each other with contentment during the beautiful, sad, slow song (fans know which one; yes, the slowest and saddest song in the repertoire). Even though I knew all of this was just the thrill of the moment and the music, I enjoyed it while it lasted.

    During the encore, after the dozen or so stage rushes, the performer threw his sweaty shirt into the audience, right next to us. A mob riot ensued for possession of the shirt. It went on for 15-20 minutes. Both of us got pushed and pulled by the fray, but he caught me and held on to keep me from falling to the floor. Then he helped extract me from the dangerous nerdy crowd, by pulling me away with him. On our way out the door, he gave me a big hug.

    The drive home took 3 hours, because I went the wrong way and ended up in Philadelphia, a typical mistake for me. We talked the whole way. The other fan slept in the back seat. As we neared the city, he asked me out. I said yes. He wants to take me dancing.

    Now. I have to tell him about my religion and no-sex thing. He was puzzled by my not drinking and asked about it. To my shame, I was dishonest about the reason why. I said, 'for one thing it's because I'm on medication'. Which is true, but not. My sorry excuse is that I didn't want to ruin the night with truth and reality. Probably a bad call.

    The last non-LDS man I went out with went ballistic when I told him about my celibacy. Even though it was just our first date, he went on and on about how I should have told him earlier. So, I must tell my new friend the news before we go out, right? I guess I should do it on the phone. Maybe he'll be OK with things, being the artsy sensitive type of guy, but...

    The truth is, regular men expect sex to be part of dating, as one of the major reasons to date. Why would they want to date a woman who won't have sex with them, when other women will? Don't they have to be extremely mature or very desperate? I hope I am being overly cynical in my estimation, but I've had men tell me as much.

    Either way, I had a wonderful evening with a lovely man and the best pop music ever made. I did not go home, cry and want to die on this night.


    Singles Survey: How is your ward?

    Ok. I did expect to get negative feedback on my last post, but I did not expect that much. I am frankly surprised by the hostility. Why does my frustration call for other's fierce reprobation? One even went so far as to blame my singleness on my bad attitude. (Thank you for that, by the way.)

    So, fine. Let's hear from the rest of you singles. Is my isolation from the family ward a singular experience (ha,ha)? Is the marginalization of single mormons merely a local cultural problem, or a more universal institutional one?

    If you have a few minutes, and you are a single mormon, please answer the questions below in a comment.

    If you think I am a whiney loser, who expects too much from church (like loving fellowship and inclusion), you may be right. Read the comments from other singles. You will either feel vindicated in your righteous judgement of me, or you might have your eyes opened to something which might be a real problem.

    1. What is your age, sex and single status: never-married, divorced, widowed?

    2. When was the last time you were asked to speak in church?

    3. What is your current calling? How long have you had it?

    4. What is the biggest calling you have ever had? How was it? AND, was this in a struggling branch/ward or a regular ward?

    5. Are you a visiting or home teacher? (when was the last time you were?)

    6. Do you have significant relationships with any members of your ward (real friendships)?

    7. What is your favorite part of church?

    8. What part of church do you wish would change? How would you change it?

    9. In general, do you feel accepted and loved by others at church, or do you feel like an outsider?

    10. For those of us who aren't as enlightened as you, what did you do to mitigate that outsider-feeling and make yourself more included?

    11. Any relevant anecdotes you would like to share?

    My answers:

    1. 31, female, never married;
    2. I was last asked to speak 5 years ago when I moved into a branch in the city.
    3. No calling. I haven't had one in 3 years, despite asking 4 bishops for one.
    4. I was a counselor in the primary. I loved it. It was a struggling branch.
    5. I haven't been a visiting teacher since I was in a singles ward 6 years ago.
    6. No friends. I tired making friends in the ward in Florida, but no one was interested.
    7. I like singing the songs.
    8. See post below for what I would change.
    9. I do not feel included
    10. I'm not enlightened.
    11. No.

    Feel free to skip any questions. Thank you for your time and input! Can't wait to see the answers. I hope it is my fault that I find church so unpleasant, because it's a lot easier to change myself than the whole church.


    The Singles Crisis in the Church: A Manifesto

    No mincing words here. I am fed up.

    My mother told me last year that there are now more singles than marrieds in the church* (Does anyone know where this stat comes from?). You would never know by looking around on Sunday. Single people tend not to go to church. And I can tell you why. Socially, the church acts as an auxilary for the family, the nuclear family. Who wants to drag themselves out of bed and get dressed up every week so they can be made to feel less than a real person? Those single people who are active have my full admiration. I wish I were that strong. I believe in the gospel. I believe in Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon and the prophets. But I hate going to church.

    The function of the church absolutely needs to change. It is past time. They will continue to lose their single members if something major is not done. What should be done?

    First of all, the church needs to become a family for single people. A place where they can go to get unconditional support and love. Structurally, I think that might be achieved in the following ways:

    1. Every ward should have family home evening at church every Monday. there should be a committee which runs it. Everyone is invited to attend. This will not only help singles, but new members who want to get a better understanding of what family home evening is about.

    2. Every ward should have a calling in the bishopric for a single man, who will minister to the needs of single members. He will also voice their needs to the ward leadership, so they will not be left out.

    3. Likewise, every ward should have a single woman in the Relief Society presidency whose job is to minister to the single women.

    4. Once a month, sacrament meeting should be devoted to talks for and by and about the needs of single people. If there are more of us, than there are of you marrieds, then why the heck do we have to listen to crap about how to raise children week after week? That's absurd. Our spiritual needs are different. Trying to live with the law of chastity is extremely difficult, and we need support at church. Trying to maintain one's hope for an eternal family is extremely difficult, and should be supported at church, not undermined as it is now.

    This would also address a problem that few marrieds have likely noticed, single people rarely get asked to talk in church and rarely get important callings. That is also absurd. We have more time than most married people, so we may be able to do more in big callings than family folk.

    In short, it makes no sense that the church is so far behind with the social reality, that Satan is winning, the family is becoming endangered, and most members are not part of a marriage.

    P.S. I expect to get the usual comment from some members, that I should stop complaining and see what I can do to be more Christlike and improve my ward. Blah blah blah. There is a time and a place for anger. Even Jesus got angry. A majority of the church members are being driven away by an outdated institution that marginalizes them. It is time to get angry. It is time for something to be done.

    *I have no knowledge as to the actual veracity of this statistic. See comments for more info.


    Our Frank

    and open, deep conversations,
    they get me nowhere, they bring me down so...

    Yes, I am back to quoting Morrissey. Next week I'm driving down to south to go to the show with my bestest friend in the whole world.

    Back to more pressing issues. What is it still like to STILL be Celibate in the City?


    Do you ever wonder how it is that you've gone through so much, all the drama, all the work, all the gosh darn experience, and yet, you are still in the same place? Still alone and bored on another Saturday night? How did I end up so stuck here? How did I drive my life into the ground like that?

    More importantly, what am I going to do about it? I had hoped it would be an exciting and fun date-filled summer. I had a man all lined up for the job. A great guy. But, he's just not that into me. Crap. I found him online. We went out 3 times, but spent 2 months courting each other via email, text and the phone. I must disappoint in person. The one or two of you who may have e-crushes on my blog personality should keep that in mind. I'm better in your imagination.

    My plunge into insanity did destroy my social life, and I don't know how to re-create it. It gets much harder each year. As people get married and move away, move on, they fade from your phone contact list.

    Any suggestions?

    I'm too old for the singles ward so don't even breathe that blasphemy.

    P.S. When I updated my template to the dumb version, to fix my comments, I thought it said that blogger would save a copy of my old template so I could revert to it later. Yet, I don't see it anywhere. Any help? It makes me sick to think that all the work I did on my blog is just gone. I want to restore all my links to everyone and everything else.


    Comments should be fixed now!

    I apologize for the inconvenience.

    On a side note, I am in the running for a professional blogging job. I will keep you all posted.


    Risen from the dead

    I'm not dead yet! Despite the silence to the contrary.

    I needed to retreat into myself. Writing forces too much self-confrontation, this blog was a mirror from which I needed a rest. I actually started doing much better after that last post. My new medication was raised to a level that finally seemed to work. The never-ending obsessions in my mind quieted and then disappeared. So I came back to NY and back to teaching. Which frightened me.

    Anyway, I've been back in my little apartment in Jersey since late January. I didn't have internet at my house until 2 weeks ago. I didn't think blogging anonymously about my love life was a good idea at work. And I still felt like my footing on the ground was tenuous, liable to slip back into madness at any moment. So I kept things in my life as simple as possible.

    Turns out, I have some sort of unholy combination of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder-Depression-and ADD!! What fun for me! This explains why the depression would never go away, why I tried to kill myself ten years ago to get my head to shut up, and why I felt so unstable and crazy after I went off my meds last year. Good to know.

    I have new dating stories and new observations, if any one out there is still interested. I'll try to start blogging regularly again. But I can't make any promises.

    Remember the movie "Never-ending Story"? The scene at the end when the hero has to face the mirror that shows you as you truly are, this was supposed to be the most difficult challenge of them all, and it never made sense to me as a child. I watched that movie over and over, and always puzzled about that stupid mirror. Big deal, you see yourself as you really are... how hard can that be?

    Now I know. It is devastating. Once you get enough years under your belt, have lived long enough to have regrets and memories you thought you'd forgotten, then being forced to remember and see all your flaws is one of the most painful things I have ever experienced. This was what I was obsessed with, every mistake I ever made. It still comes back now, but only when life makes me unbalanced or stressed. And the noise isn't as loud as it used to be.

    It killed my heart and my soul. So I am rebuilding. Rising from that death. Hopefully.