Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I Don't Care if I Never Get Back

On Monday night I sat watching my local minor league baseball team play in the rain with the fine folks of my singles' ward and I couldn't help but enjoy a snow cone. Or succumb to people watching. I sat in a seat above the rows of solitary, mismatched adults before me and felt more entertained by the folks in the stadium than the boys on the field. (But then I'm rubbish at sports--it took me two solid innings before realizing that it was okay when the grey team struck out because my team was in white.) (I'm also reading too much brit-lit, apparently. Rubbish?)

I love my ward. I really do. I love it because it is easy. I am comfortable if not somewhat aloof on this particular "island of misfit toys". A little too comfortable and aloof, perhaps. But there I sat next to the roommate, reminded, once again, of how very odd we singles' ward folk can be. People, in general, are quirky and peculiar. But, much like the mate-less socks, the remnants and leftovers of Mormon matchmaking are unique to the extreme.

You see, just as one of the endearing members of our elders quorum broke into his clumsy but ever-so energetic jive of celebration--wildly swinging his arms over the heads of neighboring spectators--and a couple of others bellowed unintelligibly and at odd intervals toward the diamond, and another kept trying to start "The Wave" and one of the sweet sisters started snorting elsewhere with raucous laughter heard within a 50 foot radius at something a boy had said, the stranger behind me spat beer from his shocked mouth (soon to be overcome with hysterical, though much quieter, laughter), I took to heart the full weight of the term "ward family."

I kind of wanted to tell the guy to watch it. I had visions of puffing up my chest and telling him nobody calls my sister that but me.

But I refrained. He'd been drinking. And my bishop was present. And I'm the girl who laughs when men puff out their chests at one another.

Family understands the quirks and odd behavior exhibited by other family members. That which society might consider outside its acceptable spectrum of customs and mores becomes quaint and charming, at the very least unsurprising and almost expected by family members. But family, with its many cogs and components, is one thing within the confines of one's home (or ward house). It is another thing entirely in public. The Public forces one to see with eyes anew: the same eyes that might have been slightly shocked during their earlier days in the ward family. "No," these eyes remind you, "this particular behavior really is just a tad left of normal."

While waiting for my copies in the library at church on Sunday, one of the bishopric counselors' wives asked me why more of us didn't date one another. I stammered out some unintelligible answer like, "You're preaching to the choir, sister." (Because, really, what was I supposed to say to that?) Not long after my mother glowed and chided me as I held a friend's infant son, "Look how he just fits there in your arms! You need to get you one of those." I immaturely rolled my eyes and mumbled something about needing a husband first. (As an aside, my mother never seemed to mind my singleness all that much. Until she realized I was nearly 30. Now it appears--in her eyes--that I've chosen this life.)

I wish there was a way to put into words the panoramic circus from my bird's eye view at the baseball game when these "why-are-you-still-single?" moments strike. I could simply display the scene in detail and point and say: "See for yourself. THIS is why I'm still single. THIS is why we're not dating each other. THIS is why I've yet to provide you with more grandchildren."


Stephanie said...

First of all, I love "rubbish." More people need to use it, if for no other reason than I won't feel like such a geek when I say it.

Secondly, amen (to your post)!

Thirdly, and most importantly, we MUST hang out before school starts again!

Finally, I'm glad we're friends. You're the tops...

Terresa said...

You got me at the bit about people watching being more interesting than the boys on the field. (It's always been like that for me. :)

Also, know you are not alone (being LDS & single & erm, older-ish).

There are 3 single adult women in my ward, either 30 or past that. They are all intelligent, employed, and beautiful. Add to the fact my brother is now 31 and not married. We (his older sisters) scratch our heads from time to time over it.

But somehow, it will all work out. (My mom-in-law found her perfect match at nearly 60 yrs old! It's next too late, right?? although I'm pulling for you to find *him* sooner than that! :)

Jen said...

I love the saying, it's better to be happily single than unhappily married. I think you are doing a great job seeing the humor and beauty in life regardless of whether the marriage fairy has left a husband under your pillow or not.