As an addict involved in the LDS Addiction Recovery Program, I had to dig deep to find and embrace my inner Mormon. What follows is my journal from this point forward.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

My Journey Into the Thoughts of a Mormon Woman - Introduction

A twentieth century man once freed a genie from bondage for which the man was given one wish. He only wanted one thing that he could not get for himself. He wanted to go to Hawaii but feared driving and boats.

“Could you build a road from California to Hawaii so that I could drive there?” He asked the Genie.

The Genie was not accustomed to saying no to wishes, but in this case he felt that what was asked was too much. The impact on sea life, the logistics of boat travel, the shock the public would experience of such a structure appearing out of nowhere, and many other issues forced the Genie to ask the man to make another request.

The man understood. It was a seemingly impossible undertaking. He only wanted one other thing. He had broken up with his girlfriend and he didn’t understand what went wrong. He lamented how he could never figure out the differences between what she said and what she meant. He couldn’t understand why certain seemingly small things made her cry. He tried to be good to her, but failed.

“There is only one other thing I would want. I want you make it so I could understand how a woman thinks?”

The Genie nodded thoughtfully. He then took a deep breath and said, “would you like two lanes or four lanes?”

I wrote my first blog entry only to have a female friend read it and oppose me on one of the statements.  It is a statement about the perception of perfection in LDS women and how they often don’t feel loved due to their lack of perfection. I have heard this statement over and over by members of the LDS church, both male and female, but mostly female. I took it as one of those understandings we all have.

My reader friend found annoyance at what she called a blithe brush-off of complex human emotions in women. She mercifully spared me a rant. 

I wasn’t interested in mercy as much as I was in honesty and understanding.  I begged for the rant and she thoroughly obliged. She has always had a reputation for detail and completeness, and this was no exeception.

The problem is that I’m a guy. I pretty much have the whole guy thing working against me. There are a couple exceptions to my guyness: I have very pretty hair and I am just not that into team sports.  As to the first, my hair gorgeous and I feel lucky as it is the only part of me that has endured aging well. But it doesn't matter much as I keep it short just to ease the caring of it. The latter is something I just don’t get. I appreciate athleticism of team sports and to that end, I respect the players. But the fandom of guys watching teams compete is a mystery. Seeing some guy wearing a team jersey while watching his team play is about as silly as seeing grown women going into the movie theater wearing “Team Edward” shirts.  Beyond this, I am pretty much all guy.

Trying to understand complex women’s emotions may be simply beyond my grasp. I often feel like the man and the genie in the story. I know I am missing something, I just don’t know what.

I knew this before I ever received the information from my friend. So I sought help from a few experts, women who were similar to my friend. They are well educated and intelligent, they had given up their secular pursuits for motherhood, and they have experienced struggles with family members who have wandered from the faith in spite of their best efforts.

I sent my request to several different women.  Two accepted to read the letter which I made to be anonymous. One of them decided to give it to somebody else and let them respond. Since I was very selective about my respondents, this didn’t generate excitement. However this was the only response I received. Either nobody else tried to accept or reject my invitation, or they accepted it and did not respond.  It was all pretty disappointing to be honest.

So now I must decipher the difficulties of this message on my own by using my own, limited, guy mind. I guess I should apologize for the responses that I will give. They may not answer any questions or provide any comfort, motivation or solace for my reader friend or any who have similar feelings, of which I suspect are many.

Even so, I need to respond. The letter has been on my mind for weeks now and has occupied much of my thinking. I doubt I will offer any direct advice, as I don’t know what I could give. But I need to get these thoughts together. I need to get them out of my head and written. 

I have an good idea of the direction my writing will take, but I will wait and see. For now, I could use just a little luck.

1 comment:

  1. Good luck! You're going to need it;)