And I suppose, to my friends from high school–my Mormon friends–that is what I am. A crazy woman walking around carrying an ax.
When we were kids, we grew up knowing THESE things were true:
1. We were members of the ONLY TRUE CHURCH.
2. Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.
3. Anybody who left the Church either had an “ax to grind” or somebody hurt their feelings
No, really. THESE THINGS WERE TRUE. And also, Jesus wanted me for a sun-BEAM, but only if you accentuated the BEAM part.
I went looking for Sunbeam videos, and I found these.
This one is TRULY frightening. Who the hell came up with this concept? What is WRONG with you people? And I swear these kids sing “He wants me to live with him on Mars.” I swear!
This one is cute, and although she doesn’t give the “beam” quite as much accentuation as I would like, it still gives you an idea.
One did not escape an LDS upbringing without knowing EVERY WORD of this song. I don’t think this is a Mormon version, however, since they clap for her at the end. Mormons don’t clap at church services. Unless things have changed in the past 30 years.
At any rate, my former friends are now left with ME. And what are they supposed to do with ax-wielding me? You know, I have to have an ax to grind. Why else would I have left. I don’t even know how to GRIND an ax, and trust me, if I tried, it would probably involve dismemberment and hospital visits, and I just don’t see it having a good ending.
Folks, ax to grind, of course, is a funny way of saying “you’re angry.” I’m not angry. I am puzzled with why everyone thinks I am, but one of my good friends who was raised here, but NEVER Mormon, pointed out that even SHE thought my posts were angry. Well, see, I learned early on that if I was not VERY clear, and very straightforward about what I had to say, the Mormons saw it as an opening, and a weakness. And they would DIVE IN and attack.
I don’t really get attacked that much anymore, mostly because I have learned how to speak to them in a language they understand.
But that still leaves me with friends who have no idea what to do with me, or how to compartmentalize, or what we would TALK ABOUT at lunch, even.
Not all of them. A dear friend Pam stopped by my house before she left Utah to return to her home in another state. And we had a great conversation, and shed some tears, and came to some understandings that were really amazing. She also let me know that two other of my closest high school friends really didn’t know what to say or how to act.
Can I blame them? Well, NO. We were not raised to accept this. When it became common knowledge I was not living the Mormon lifestyle, I received a letter from my next door neighbor. Now, mind you, this neighbor never so much as bothered to give me a hello, or a hey at school, or church, and really pretty much treated me as though I was invisible. So when I got THIS LETTER from him, written from his mission, advising me against the pathway I was taking, I was pretty damned offended.
He was in Japan or somewhere like that. How the hell did he even KNOW what pathway I was on? The nude stripping and weekend prostitution was only a way to pay for my college education, since my parents would only ante up the money if we were going on Church missions. I kid, I kid. Well, about the stripping and prostitution part.
The mission part, well, it’s sadly true. LDS families DO pay for their missionaries, and I had a brother and a sister who were both supported on their missions by my parents. College was not included in that little deal, though.
I love my parents, and I understand why they made these choices. Remember, I was RAISED this way. I understand where the belief comes in, although I have never, and probably will never, understand the mindset.
I am, sadly, not a sun-BEAM.
But give me some bling, and I will gladly shine for you each day. Because this girl is all about the bling….
That said, and going back to the dilemma, what DO these friends do with me? Where do they put me? Do they lovebomb me back? (Note to potential love bombers. It ain’t gonna work. Find someone else. Try someone who likes cats. I hear they are lonely.)
Do they IGNORE the giant elephant in the room that is my apostasy?
Just exactly WHAT are they supposed to say?
Well, for starters, how about, “Let’s talk about how teenagers are mutants.” I am damned sure we all have that in common.