Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Watch Out!

About a month ago I hit that special age - graduation age - that magic number that means you are now too old to go to church with the "Young" Single Adults. You can move on to a "Mid" Single Adult ward. Or accept your "failure" gracefully and move on to a family ward.

The mid-singles ward is for singles 31 to 45. However, hitting that magic age, doesn't always mean they kick you out of the ward immediately. I have been to two different mid-singles wards in the area. In each one, there were more people that looked like they were pushing the 45 limit (possibly even into 50) than those that looked like they were in their early 30's. The mid-singles wards also have a much smaller potential dating/interest pool. My friend and I attended one sacrament meeting together. We both had noticed one guy in particular that we thought was attractive. Out of the entire ward, this was the only guy that we saw. Of course, we felt a little bit foolish when he got up to conduct the meeting - yes, he was a member of the Bishopric - a married member of the Bishopric.

Then there is the family ward. As a single in a family ward you get to go to church by yourself, watch all of the cute families, hear lessons on how to raise said cute families, and feel like the person who got sent back to the factory with a defective stamp on your forehead. I have heard so many horror stories about singles who go to family wards and are treated like they have leprosy. About three months ago one of the counselors in my Bishopric summed up the family ward in this way (no lie - this is word for word what he said) "What do you have to do in a family ward, wait around for someone's spouse to die?" I was surprised when my friend related what she heard from the other counselor in my Bishopric - "how are you going to meet someone in a family ward, break up someone's marriage?"

Based on the opinions of these two good men, I am assured that they are not going to kick me out of the ward anytime soon, which I am grateful for in a way. But I also feel like it is time to move on. I have been in this ward for almost 4 years and I am tired of feeling like the grandma in the ward.

Please, read the sarcasm in what I have said above, I know that I am not a "failure" and I know that there are fabulous people in any ward, including the mid-singles wards. I am not trying to whine and complain as much as I am trying to find some humor in my current situation. Which brings me to my decision. It is time for a break from the meat market. I am going to go to the family ward. I figure with the New Year it is a good time to start with a new ward. That being said, I know that there are two different ways for me to approach this new chapter in my life. I can either sit in a corner and feel sorry for myself or I can come in with guns blazing and make people notice me and put me to work. My natural response would be the first. I am terribly shy and have a hard time meeting new people. But, I know I will be happier if I can let go of some of my fears and dive in. Has anyone out there made the transition? Good or bad - tell me your experiences. Any advice on how to make this a good experience?

My resolution is to report on this blog my efforts to get involved with the ward, make new friends, and not hide in corner. Hopefully my experience will be a positive one, and hopefully it just might help someone else out there going through a similar transition. Watch out family ward - here I come!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Statistically Speaking

And I'm back. Since the last time I posted, I have been trying to deal with some not fun family issues, time consuming church callings, and the usual depression that comes with being an "older" single in our society. So, posting has kind-of been the last thing on my mind. But, I am trying to get back on track in my life, socially, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. And writing seems to be the most effective way for me to deal - emotionally. So, I am going to try to post more often and get some of my feelings written down.

So, the title of my post today. My first or second year of college I took a homemaking class (yes, I was at a church school, why do you ask?) I remember one day the teacher passed around a bowl of candy, and had everyone pick one. She had put in a specific number of each different kind of candy based on how many people were in the class, and then went around telling us what each kind-of candy meant - statistically speaking. So some people got the candy that represented happy marriages while others chose divorce, widowed, and never married. I had picked that candy that matched with the happy marriage and plenty of money category - and of course was thrilled - I was sure this meant that life was going to be grand for me! :) I didn't really pay attention to the never married candy - I never thought that would be me. But, the older I get, the more that lesson worries me because I know that there has to that one person who got the never married piece of candy. Statistically speaking, that is looking more and more like it is going to be me. Of the 14 girls in my high school choir group, I am the only one still single, of the 8 friends that have stuck with me since junior high, I am the only single, of my first set of roommates (6 of us), I am the only single. Of my 8 different companions on my mission, I am the only single. Are you sensing a pattern here? As happy as I am for my friends when they find a wonderful man and get married, there is a little part of me that wishes they would stop ruining my odds. Am I the only one who feels this way?