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Monday, November 7, 2011

Shopping spree. And, my happily ever after.

Shopping spree. And my happily ever after.

No, not that kind. (Although I will be accepting donations if you feel so obliged.)

Ward shopping. Not quite hopping, just shopping, before you commit. I would say it’s like trying to find a good house or apartment, but because it becomes your social bubble it’s even more than that.

It’s what my parents did when we moved across the country. Apparently I should have taken better notes, especially when considering the Utah component (i.e. the geographical size).

During the past year and a couple months in which we have lived in our current ward, I have been absolutely dumbfounded by some of the things that have come out of the mouths of some of the people around me. To quote a few…

  • “A working mom is not a happy mom.” (From a visiting teacher to a working-mom visiting teachee.)
  • “You just go to school?” (To my husband who spends more than 40 hours a week preparing for medical school.)
  • “This calling has been really tough on her.” (About me, did anyone account for my 40+ hour profession and the fact that the calling required holding meetings during the day?)
  • “You’re a midget?!” (Just plain rude.)
  • “So-and-so is really frustrated with her husband.” (None of anyone else’s business, especially as ward gossip when I hear about it from the fourth or fifth degree of separation.)
  • “Real men don’t make their wives work.” (About working moms.)
  • “If he really had the priesthood, she wouldn’t have this concern.” (Do I need to elaborate… At. All.?)
I admit it. I’m jaded. But, this is my piece of the world to remember and learn from the observations and mistakes of myself and others.

What is more concerning than the comments, is the single-mindedness of those making the comments.

I am the first to acknowledge that when judging each other, working moms and stay-at-home moms are completely at odds with each other. But then again, I couldn’t care less what someone else chooses. If you work, fantastic! You’re continuing your professional development! If you stay home, great! You’re developing patience and love.

What’s not so great… other people making it their business. Please go back to the fantasy “happily ever after” that you are trying to project on my life and I will actually live mine.

That having been said, I have come to appreciate the goodness in people. While living in this ward I have realized new and exciting talents, will-power and potential, and friendship. I have come to feel sorry for those whose views are so obstructed that they don’t recognize their own tunnel vision, yet I have also realized the importance of teaching by example. I feel lucky to be a student of that example; I have witnessed countless acts of service and selflessness and have seen the petty and thoughtless comments of others disregarded by supreme optimism and a simple benefit of the doubt.

So, while offhanded and offensive comments are unusually common right now, the goodness of others tips the scale and I am grateful to learn from their example.

Shopping spree, maybe later. Right now I’m living my happily ever after.


Alison Rae said...

Utah wards are like a whole different world aren't they? Thanks for this post! Loved it.

Bailee said... the end. you said it perfectly. I'm glad you're not going on a shopping spree just yet, at this moment I can't bare the thought of losing you guys. Just thought I should let you know. Oh and if I ever say something so closed minded your welcome to punch me. love ya!

Kathleen said...

That's really sad that you have to go through that, but I think you are learning an important lesson! I have already decided that my "not-yet-new year's resolution" is that I will be more sensitive to what I say to others and I will be less sensitive about what other people say to me! I hope that by the end of it, it will make me happier :) Satan really uses others to make us feel crappy about ourselves (even if they are oblivious to the fact that they make stupid comments). Be confident and know that you are awesome--and the rude opinions of others can't change that unless you let it!

Shan said...

Wow the working mom stuff isn't the first ward you will hear it in I'm sure. Another one of my friends has heard it as well. And I'm sure people say stuff about the fact that my husband is just doing school as well but I say more power to anyone who does that and has the opportunity to do it.!

Tim and Jennifer said...

Unfortunately people are going to say stuff wherever you live. That's why the gospel is true because of it's foundation, not the people :). Although there are plenty of wonderful people in the church- don't get me wrong!

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