Love Mormon Style
Finding love in this life is not always easy. It is even harder in the Mormon church. Not because there are no good men like with the secular men. Mostly because there are no eligible bachelors. Mormons are notorious for marrying young. By the time they graduate from BYU they are already married. So converts like me, who are not raised in the church, who come into the church single usually have a hard time finding a mate.
My attempt at courtship in the church reads like some bad adolescent love story. First there was my home teacher who took me under his wing and didn’t treat me like a leper for being a single mother. So, of course, I immediately fell in love with him. Even when I revealed the darkest part of my soul to him, he didn’t go running into the night screaming-he still accepted me. I was floored. When someone is that accepting of you, you can’t help but love them. He didn’t return my feelings. He cared about me, just not the way I cared about him. Heartbreak #1.
Then along comes another Black Mormon like me. I couldn’t believe it and he was single! I figured God was shining down on me now. Home Teacher Guy had moved to Lancaster and here was this charismatic, smart, Black man who was as into the church as I was. We had similar pasts, though mine was still much more checkered than his- so we got each other. And we had the greatest conversations. It was perfect so I thought. But nothing ever developed between us. Not for the lack of trying or the lack of feeling on my part. When one particular woman would make moves towards him, I wanted to rip her hair out, not very Mormon I know. How dare she push up on my potential husband, there were other men (well sort of) this one was the only Black single Mormon guy-he was mine! I had dibs! I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for him and he seemed to really appreciate the effort I put into making it. He even told his sister he couldn’t see her until after he had dinner at my place! That must mean I am a priority! Maybe I was moving into first place after all. He had told me about this woman he was interested in but I was the one spending time with him…not her. I was already temple worthy….not her. I was the one making him Thanksgiving dinner….not her. He was going to take me to my brother’s house for Christmas……not her! Oh yeah, I was in the lead or so I thought. I was then told he would never marry a Black woman. Okay, well no use trying to change his mind on that count. So once again I picked up my heart and moved on. Heartbreak #2.
Now you would think by this time I would have given up. But being the sucker for punishment, I felt it was time to really obliterate my heart. I mean those two other heartbreaks didn’t shatter it to pieces enough, so now it was time to move on to heartbreak #3. This was the Stake Mid Singles Representative. He was blonde and blue (BAB), which always was a strong draw for me. (Adopted father had sandy blonde hair and adopted mother had the most beautiful blue eyes). I figured he was out my league so I didn’t pay him any mind initially. Besides I was still feeling Black Mormon Guy (BMG) . Then one night BMG didn’t show up to a dinner and social we were throwing at the church and suddenly BAB was doing things. Little things like touching my hand, my shoulder. Saying all these nice things to me like I was the light. He sat in the car for a half hour talking to me about where I was raised. So I thought-okay maybe BAB likes me. Up to that time, I hadn’t given him a second thought but after that night, I started thinking, well maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if we did date. The more I thought about it the more the thought of being Mrs. BAB appealed to me, but I was wise enough to keep that information to myself.
I began to think back on the short time I knew him, he was always sitting next to me at the meetings even when there were other places to sit. I talked to BMG about BAB. I figured it would do one of two things, it would make him realize that he did love me after all. Or he could at least let me know if I was losing my mind and BAB was not interested at all. I figured another guy could read another guy’s intentions. We both saw it as him showing interest. After that everything became confusing. I would get signs of interest, followed by signs that pretty much said, “Yeah keep dreaming babe, it’s not happening. ” So I never knew just where I stood. The next week, I sat next to him at a fireside and after that whatever interest he seemed to show earlier was shot out of the water. Not to mention, another female showed up at said fireside and he was all over her like white on rice. There was a musical fireside going on that night but I didn’t see it, I was too busy in the bathroom kicking myself for letting myself think that he could like me. If I had any more tears left inside me, they would’ve came out. Not because of him specifically but what because he represented. Another rejection, another failure, another hole in the fabric of my faith.
I didn’t understand (and truthfully I still don’t) why did God give me this insatiable desire to marry in the temple, if I was going to be continually rejected by every potential man who could fulfill that desire? It is not like these men hated me, we were friends. It is not like these were men looking for someone they could “hit and run.” It is not like we didn’t have things in common. It wasn’t like talking to each other was like pulling teeth. So why was it so hard? Maybe it was my weight I thought, but I have had plenty of men back in my bad ol’ days before I converted (and even afterwards) who wanted me. One of them looked like he stepped out of the pages of GQ and even my ex-husband was hardly ugly. And he wanted to marry me! So I didn’t understand why I couldn’t find anyone. I could always find someone.
Months went by and the confusing signs continued. He would ask me if I needed a ride though after he initially rejected my request for him to give me a ride home I stopped asking. I figured he was just being nice but still-why would he ask? He would sit next to me at firesides but the minute that other woman showed up, he was gone. He would spend more time talking to her than me. So as much as I hated it, I was getting the message loud and clear-she’s the one I want-not you. So I decided if he wanted to have little blonde haired kids with her, let him. I could do better anyway! Yeah, I wasn’t the least bit bitter. Besides he was a Democrat, how in the world could I ever marry a Democrat? So I went along thinking it was foolish for me to like him because he was obviously into Ms. BAB. Then once again there was an event at our ward-a dance this time. He danced with me, he pulled me back when I tried to leave. He talked to me more than Ms. BAB-now that really confused me. They barely said two words to each other. He gave up his sister’s birthday party and his dance class to come see me do my stand up. He clapped when the other comedienne asked how many of you are here on a date? More than anything that one clap threw me for a loop. I immediately began to think “This is a date? No one told me this was a date! Why is he clapping if this isn’t a date?”
At our last fireside, Ms. BAB wasn’t there. He sat next to me and when someone was looking for a place to sit and sat next to me, he asked if I wanted to sit with him. You never saw a woman move so quickly in your life. He was going to be leaving for Oceanside soon, so I knew I would not see him again. I gave him his gifts. One of them was an apple. I thought that would be cute-he’s a teacher and teachers get apples. Everything else was apple themed. So we are sitting next to each other and each time he reaches in his pocket to get his Blackberry or to put it away his arm rubs up against mine. A bolt of electricity rushes through my arm. Didn’t think you could even have ” the big O” in your arm, but obviously I did. Felt all kinds of wicked when that happened. My son picked out a gift for him and he made sure he got it. Okay, I was through! Anyone who would care that much about some pencils from a little boy really was a good guy and worth pursuing-yeah he was a Dem but everyone has their faults. His kindness more than made up for that one minor thing. Not being able to take it much more, I sent him an email and asked him-Do you like me or not? just more tactful. He tactfully replied, “Or not. ” So ended Heartbreak #3.
Now I am currently working on my fourth one. This one is not only a Mormon but a conservative Republican and a doctor to boot. He has shown no interest-of course not why break the pattern now? and the only contact we have had are handshakes. We talk politics alot and not much else. The man is perfect for me on paper, which as much as I liked #1, #2, and #3, I never thought they were perfect. I mean not only are our politics the same but our dysfunctions are too. We know what makes the other tick because we are fighting the same demons. Of course, nothing is ever going to happen but that is okay because that only means I am getting closer to finding my eternal mate. And when I do this journey of pain will all be worth it.