Hey! It has been a while!
This post was supposed to be about my trip to Jordan–oh what a trip it was! But due to ridiculous circumstances, that will have to be postponed. Speaking of postponed, that is the current state of my homework. I have learned that the more stressed I get, the more reluctant I am to do the work. Writing down what has been happing here is actually pretty therapeutic and helps relieve the stress. So thanks for reading this silly little blog about one human’s life among 7 billion. Your support means a lot to this student. 🙂
So here I am on my couch contemplating the three papers I have to write this weekend while listening to Jane on the opposite couch recount her morning date to her mother on the phone. A third couch sits perpendicular between us. It is a new addition as of last weekend when it appeared on the ward listserv at a steal of a price. Kitty could not pass it up. After all, she will be moving into her own apartment come Fall and will most likely need some furniture.
We are all moving this Fall. Lydia got accepted into Oxford for grad school so she will be moving across the pond in October. Jane decided to move in with a friend in the ward and Kitty is not yet sure where she will be. She wants to stay in the ward but the word on the street is that there is going to be a little shuffling of boundaries and it may not stay the same for long. As for me, I have my sights set on Virginia with Alisha. We are hoping to join the ranks of “Little Provo” and start fresh.
Alisha and I have become fast friends. Our friendship has probably progressed faster than any other I have had, excluding former roommates of course. (It can’t get any faster than waking up to their alarm clock before you can remember what their major is.) We were already talking about living together at the end of our first little hang out and we we have just gelled ever since. If only my other relationships could go so well! 😉
You know those moments where you have been on vacation and seen someone with a BYU shirt? You weirdly felt connected to them because they probably believe the same thing you do? Well, that is kind of what it felt like with Alisha, just a little more pointedly. We met on a Sunday in church and even in our smalltalk it did not take long to realize that I had finally met someone who understood (and lived) the gospel the same way I did. Believe it or not, that is rare out here in the D.C. singles ward.
One of my dearest friends, Kenzie, came out to visit a couple of weekends ago and accompanied me to a Relief Society activity after church. Kenzie was assigned to a different table than mine and I asked if she was okay with that? Of course she was! (She is a good sport.) Halfway through the activity I looked over to make sure she was doing okay and it almost made me jealous to see her so deep in conversation with the other girls. When I asked her later if she had fun she paused and then expressed polite surprise that the girls at her table had been talking about the fluidity of gender. Apparently their interpretations of the role of gender in God’s eternal plan differed from ours.
I had never heard such views from these particular girls before but I have heard a few others express differing opinions. One group believes that LDS women will have to start marrying non-LDS males because of the shortage of “good” men in the current church population. I have a hard time accepting this based on my own understanding (interpretation?) of doctrine concerning covenants and temple marriages. I won’t go into any other views because they are not important, but suffice it to say that these women are still very friendly and dedicated people. They contribute a lot to our ward. We all live the Gospel a little differently from our neighbor and we should be careful not to judge.
That being said, when you have the chance to live with someone who believes in treating Sundays the way you do, who feels comfortable talking about the Gospel like you, and who wants to have the same kind of fun as you do, you take advantage of that. So here Alisha and I are, waiting for our leases to end. For me, August can’t come soon enough!
For those I have disappointed in my lack of dating, my liberal-leaning ward might give you a better idea of why. Michelle, another friend of Alisha’s and mine, would use the term “progressive”, complete with air quotes. She makes me laugh! That is the word the members of our ward use to describe themselves. One of the men called a girl like me too “conservative” for him.
I did go on an interesting date the other week. For those of you who know my dating history, it is not exactly a headline like some of the others, but it did fit the pattern. This gentleman (for he truly was), we will call “Wolverine”. I had been introduced to Wolverine a few weeks earlier by Jane. He is of a stouter build and sports a proud scruffy beard. (Just for the record, I am not a beard person. Five o’clock shadows don’t count.)
Mr. Wolverine found out that I majored in film and enthusiastically told me about his “Intellectual Movie Nights.” He and select friends (you have to be personally invited to the private Facebook group) get together once a month to watch an obscure film and discuss it. He also hosts game nights. Desperate for social interaction (night classes are the worst), I eagerly accepted the invitations. Maybe too eagerly? He commenced a steady stream of texts over the next month asking if I would be able to attend whatever event happened to be that week. I often had homework, a seminar, or other event. Eventually he sent a text (that I am pretty sure I copied in the last post) saying that if I couldn’t make it to anything he would just have to take me to dinner.
I negotiated with him to squeeze lunch in between homework projects on a Saturday. Super stressed with papers, my mind was not in the dating zone. I was waiting in the lobby of the restaurant that happens to be on the same block as my apartment building when I got a text: “I am outside.”
“Great! I am inside.”
“I am outside of your apartment…”
Well, shoot. Bad dating form, Katie. In my defense though, dating in a big city is weird. Most guys don’t have a car so to drop a girl off after a date requires that you pay the money to ride the metro with her and then back to your place. Most guys just say goodbye at the metro station. Same with pick-ups. Most people just meet.
So once we were finally in the same building, our conversation quickly went awry. He told me how raw and moving the new X-Men film, Logan, was. So moving that he cried. Maybe it was an emotional movie, I will probably never know since I will probably never see it, but it was an interesting thing to share on a first date. Let’s be clear, it is TOTALLY fine for men to cry! I just grew up in a family that wrestles, throws food at each other, and is constantly trying to out-whit each other. I don’t cry that often myself. Actually, I tend to cry more when I am mad than when I am sad…
Naturally we moved onto movie ratings. I shared my views on R-rated films and though my reasons may take a different path than your typical Molly Mormon, they still reach the same destination. I just don’t believe that movies are important enough to justify. He kept trying to dive into film interpretations by mentioning random films and asking what I thought about them. He was super sweet for recognizing film as an interest of mine and trying to focus on that, but, unfortunately, the deep analytical work on a Saturday afternoon in between homework projects was off-putting to me.
I changed the subject and asked about him. Little did I know that asking about what brought him to D.C. would reveal his secret life as a contemporary dancer. Okay, so he doesn’t actually keep it a secret but it was very surprising information for me! He started pursuing dance in high school (ballroom) and discovered contemporary dance in college. After graduation he joined a contemporary dance company in Idaho. He moved to D.C. to pursue it further until he felt impressed to go back to school and get a master’s in conflict resolution. Now he just choreographs musicals for a local middle school on the side. No one could have guessed it with this guy. Even my roommates were surprised!
During all this analyzing and storytelling, we discovered that our reservation had been passed over and our table lost. He got a little frustrated at that but I kept repeating that it was fine. I didn’t mind waiting longer. They found a table super fast but it happened to be in a corner against the window with hot sunlight streaming in. We made ourselves as comfortable as we could and ordered. He asked for mayonnaise to be brought over so he could mix it with the catsup and make fry sauce.
Before he ate, he told me that he would have to take out his fake tooth and hoped I was okay with that. I watched him remove a retainer-like wire with a tooth attached to it and asked if there was at least a good story behind the loss of his original one. Poor guy had volunteered his time to play with some scouts in the church cultural hall and had run into one of the accordion dividers. Tooth shattered. That was all it took.
Aside from the waiters forgetting about us multiple times, lunch went rather smoothly. He walked me home like a gentleman and I awkwardly lingered outside as I searched for my key fob. I had no idea if I was supposed to have him walk me to my actual apartment door or if just the apartment building sufficed. The building seemed to do as I found my keys and then we exchanged a hug goodbye.
We have briefly talked since then but I haven’t wanted to encourage anything. The date was good and he was great. I just think we will be better as friends. 😉
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More catching up to come in the next Post….