15 October 2012

so. an anniversary, an opinion thing and a bunch of extraneous pictures meet up in a blog...

last week jon and i hit our we’ve-been-dating-for-a-year-straight! mark.  an anniversary, if you will.  honestly, the whole day i was wondering to myself, anniversary?  do we have one of those??  and well, i wasn’t sure if we were supposed to do anything commemorative.  or if it was even allowed.

i mean, of course.  anniversaries are to be celebrated.  but i found myself in this weird situation of being mormon and having the opportunity to celebrate something that most mormons don’t celebrate – anniversaries for dating.  because really, how many of them even can say “we’ve been dating a year!”??

this guy jon and i?  we’re kind of an anomaly.  and on one hand, it is frustrating.

but on the other hand, it's really not.

frame of reference:  before my institute class began last week, the people next to me were having a conversation i have heard and re-heard and re-hashed a million times already:

            did you hear that so-and-so and whatserface are engaged?
            wow, that was fast.  when did they even start dating?
            not sure, but i think they met at the end of july.

that word typical echoed in my mind constantly throughout that class.

and finally, there was a seriously huge “duh!” moment for me.

i am not typical.  and i’ve never wanted to be typical.  i’m not some (stereo)typical girl who does and likes girly things.  though sometimes i surprise myself.  i am not some (stereo)typical born-and-raised-in-the-church mormon.  and perhaps most significantly, i am not some (stereo)typical mormon girl.

FACT: i love my religion.  i really do.  i love how it makes me feel and think.  i love that it teaches me so many things, including the values and sacredness of marriage and families.  i love that it teaches me to keep these things at the top of my priority list.

what i don’t love is all of mormon subculture.  especially the idea that it’s normal and right for everyone to get married really fast and really young, among other ideas.

(ask me about these other things sometime, if you dare.  i might just rant you to death.)

it is this stupid subculture that makes me unsure and unhappy about a relationship i am otherwise happy and totally in love with.  it makes me feel like i’m not just an anomaly, but even a sinner.  a sinner whose empty ring finger is itself a scarlet letter that’s all the more bloody red and so severely terrible because, can you believe it, i’m not doing everything i can to fix it.

to which i say a few choice words (none of them proper or lady-like), throw in a you've got some nerve! for good measure, and then cower off into a corner wondering if i'm really not doing everything i can.

but of course, i am.

knowing years ago that i’m an atypical mormon girl of sorts, i made a decision.  i refused to get married really young or in any shotgun-like manner.  that's just not for me.

and all of a sudden after that institute class i realized: all of this – this dating and waiting thing i’ve done for so long?  this is what i asked for.  this is what i wanted.  of course after this realization, there was the initial forehead smack.  but it was quickly replaced with a feeling of ease and satisfaction.

i’m doing this my way.  it is right by me.  it is right by us.  and if it’s wrong by the subculture, let that be the cherry on top.  after all, i prefer not to live by it anyway.  :)

postscript... are my eyes not bigger than his in this last picture??  who wants to make the asian jokes now?!

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