Wednesday, August 13, 2014

More tales from the (Mormon) dating trenches

So I see these two images on Google and I had to share. So funny, so true, so... dating in Mormonville. Truth be told, I love it because these stories are so dang funny. And I plan to take my stories and make a cottage industry out of it: The Bizarre World of Dating that is specific to dating in Utah among many, many Mormons.
Yes, I'm Mormon. No, I'm not your typical Mormon. And I love the endless writing material that this gives me.

Dating in Mormonville is endlessly entertaining. As such, I am the development stages of three projects: 1) a closed Facebook group for women in from Ogden to Springville ages 30-55 who are actively dating. This group will provide women with a forum in which they can share stories and, yes, usernames/profiles/names of predatory men they meet on Internet dating sites; 2) a support group where we can meet in person for, say, appetizers and drinks; 3) an internet call-in radio show. Dating anywhere in the world is always an interesting experience but in Utah, and in Mormonville especially, the tales are really odd. As such are my stories for today:

Joe, Kat & Me

I "met" a guy on-line and after exchanging phone numbers, decided that I wasn't interested. I asked my friend, Kat, if she might be. She said maybe so I texted "Joe." I told him that I knew this was odd but I didn't think we were a connection but I'd like to set him up with my friend. I texted him some photos, he said ok, and Kat and Joe had a nice phone conversation. He asked her out on a date to drive up to Midway for dinner and then hang out at a piano bar. She got dressed up and drove to meet him at the mouth of the Provo Canyon so they could drive up together. (I cautioned her that getting in a car with a man she didn't know was pretty brave and maybe not so smart. That aside, off she went.)

When she got there, Joe was in a mini van with his 12 year old son, two women, and another guy. He gave Kat a hug and directed her to the back seat of the van. Yep, it was a group hang-out, which he neglected to tell Kat about at all. Needless to say, she was totally caught off guard. Everyone in the van knew each other well. Kat did her best to blend in and make new friends. They drove the 30 minutes to Midway, ate dinner (all paying Dutch, of course), drove back down to Provo for ice cream, and decided to go to a kid-friendly movie. This was where Kat decided to bow out. After all, no piano bar, no nice one-on-one date... no... well, this was definitely no date. This was a story for Lizzy so she could write about it.

But it gets better...

The next day, I got a text from Joe. "I took Katherine out. She was nice. It went well. I'd still like to take you out. What does your schedule look like?"

Oh.My.Gosh. Was this guy for real? I couldn't resist responding. My text went something like this: You didn't really take Kat out on a date. You invited her to a group hang-out, which is very typical among the singles group in Mormon Utah. But since I'm a Utah transplant, this is not my thing so I'm not interested (and, really, I don't think Kat was either). FYI:  A date is usually a one-on-one activity. Best of luck to you.

He texted me back: You recommended a your friend for me to take out but you only knew her for three weeks. That wasn't cool.

I didn't respond. He was so annoying that I couldn't fathom ever spending another second with this man in my life. He texted me again: And aren't you a raging feminist anyway?

WTF was he talking about. And WTF did this have to do with anything. Well, clearly he was screwy and what did I care.

Next thing you know, he texts Kat: Your friend just ripped me a new one about our date. I didn't know that was so offensive. If you had a problem with it, you should've told me, not complained to her.

(Side note: Kat can tell her friends anything she wants, asshole.)

Kat and Joe's exchange went back and forth. Kat told him his son seemed like a great boy, and she thought he was nice, too. No connection but wished him the best.

After which Joe called me a raging feminist again, and she unreasonable in her dating requirements.

After many texts later, which got more and more strange, Kat deleted Joe as a contact. Moving on.

In the Mormon singles' group here in Utah, there is this whole bizarre "group hang-out" mentality, of which my aunt is a part. I think it's bizarre. These older singles hang out like they were in high school. They backstab each other, go everywhere together (every single day of the week), take their dates to single's activities, and they become a pseudo family/date/friend group. I wouldn't be part of that world if you paid me a million dollars. Gag me with a pitchfork.

Lia & Married Guy

Lia met this guy through a chat room that she's involved with. We'll call this guy Fred. Fred, as it turned out, lives just a few blocks from Lia and he looked very handsome from his photos. They decided to meet up at Beans & Brew for a cappuccino. When Lia saw him, first impressions were good. He looked just like his photos and he gave a great hug.

They sat down. "I didn't think there were too many single people in our neighborhood," she said.

"Well..." he stammered. "I told you my story, right?"

Lia shook her head. "So I'm not divorced yet."

"Ok, but you're separated, right?"

"Well, no."

Long story short, Fred was still living with his wife, they had not legally separated, and had not contacted a single divorce attorney or filed a single paper. Yes, he was totally married, though (wink-wink) they slept in separate bedrooms and didn't have sex anymore.

Have we not all heard this one before?

Turns out, he didn't have money to move out of the house because he didn't have a job and "worked" for his wife's company. One day, if he did get a job, he would move out. He needed to pay off his student loans (OMG, he's 50 years old), find a job, get an income, find a place to live, have "that conversation" with his wife, get an attorney, file papers... Well, let's just say, there's a lot of work ahead of him before he can get divorced.

"So does your wife know you're here with me? Does she know you're looking?"

"Well, no, I told her I was meeting a friend."

Oy vey.

But, now that Fred thought about it, Lia was the most intriguing woman he had ever met. "If I was single, would you date me?" he asked.

Lia, unsure of what she should say, nodded, "You're handsome enough. Probably." Truth was, he wasn't close to being divorced so... well, that was a long ways off.

"That's my incentive. I'm going to start things moving!" Joe said.

Lia stopped him. "No! I am not an incentive or prize for someone getting a divorce. I don't insert myself into the middle of anyone's marriage. You need to figure things out with your wife and do whatever you two need to do without me part of this at all. Divorce is tough enough and I wish you all the best."

Lia doesn't date married or recently separated men. Ever. Dang, if anyone wants to be part of Drama, this is a great way to go about it. Who knowingly "goes there" anyway? No one smart. Lia is smart, I gotta say. She'd never do anything this dumb. If she did, I'd happily choke her myself.

Needy Man

It's not really a "story" but I "met" a guy online. He texted me some basic questions and I responded to them all. Granted, it took me many hours most of the time but eventually, I responded. He texted: You are very difficult to get to know.


He texted it again. I asked him: Whatever are you talking about? Let's not make this difficult! Maybe you should find someone who's "easier."

Delete as contact.

If a guy is already high maintenance and I haven't even met him yet, it's time for him to go away. And fast. I want to SCREAM sometimes "now don't be whiny and needy already." Word of warning, really.

The Interview

So I met up with a guy I met online. He has a great job, is training for a bike race that's intense, he's highly educated, and sort of cute. Our lunch was nice, very entertaining. And somehow, he made our conversation ok, though had I had that same conversation with anyone else, I would have smacked him. Now that is talent! Let's call this guy Guy.

Guy is very staunch Mormon. Like really totally believing Mormon. I had the full on interview. I was wondering if I should follow up with a thank you letter when I was done. I literally got in my car and scratched my head and wondered what the hell was that.

To make a long story short, Guy gave me the summary of what he thought about me towards the end of our lunch. Here goes:
  • I was far more beautiful than he thought through my pictures. So for looks, I hit it out of the ballpark. He requires that anyone he would marry be really beautiful because his ex wife was beautiful. So on this one, check.
  • I was really smart. He requires anyone he would date seriously to be engaging and savvy. I more than met that requirement.
  • I didn't go to the Mormon temple, and that is really important to him. And, probably, I wouldn't be that thrilled to go in the future. And not only if I did agree to go to the temple with him, I probably wouldn't love it enough for his requirement, so I failed on this one.
  • I am Mormon, but probably my absolute knowledge that is everything that the church claims it to be (meaning The One & Only True Church) is a Fail. He wants whoever he marries to have that undying, unwavering faith in the Mormon church.
  • While I might have a close relationship with God, it was more important that my close relationship be with the Mormon Church. Fail on this one.
  • He requires that there be passion so that his wife and him would want to have sex most every day. He thinks that we would have passion. I pass this requirement.
  • His future wife must love to attend all the Mormon meetings, all three hours on Sunday. And all the extra curricular stuff. I probably Fail on this one because I can't stomach more than two hours of the three hour Mormon block and I take liberal church holidays. I fail on this one.
  • His wife needs to want to obey Priesthood authority. My questioning attitude makes me fail on this one.
Overall, we can't be a good match but he really liked me, found me beautiful, fun, engaging, and a real catch. But not for him.

Um... not for me, Guy. But thanks. I guess.

My summary on him (though he never asked): You're not THAT amazingly handsome. Fail.

Passion? Maybe fail, who knows. But I wouldn't give him Date 2 anyway.

His focus on how beautiful I look is odd. A guy might think that, but to bring it up over and over again? Turn off. He went so far as to tell me that a woman he went out with many times had all the components of what his future wife should be. She just wasn't pretty enough. I seriously can't imagine how un-fun dating this guy would be. Fail.

Image, image and more image. Fail.

Oddly enough, I didn't want to punch him in the face. I found him comical and entertaining.

My aunt, who is just eight years older than I am, once told me that dating in Utah was a freak show. I was still in San Diego and I really didn't know what she was talking about. "These men are looking for perfect Barbie Dolls. And the thing is, they're not all that great themselves. Weird." She moved from Seattle and dated a lot before moving to Utah so she had something else to compare the Mormon Utah Dating Scene with. And now that I'm here, I see what she's talking about. Thing is, I'm not ON A MISSION TO GET MARRIED and I really don't care about trying to strike up a relationship with these kinds of men anyway. If they only knew that I just can't wait to get home from my date to come to my laptop and write about them.

And that's all for today, my fearless readers.

xo, Lizzy Smilez