Hellooooooo? Is anyone out there?
You have done it. You have jumped ship off the Mormon cruise line(see: bon voyage) and now you are floating precariously on a door in the middle of the secular ocean. So what do you do now?
Making friends was very difficult for me after I left the church. I’m outgoing but I was used to having my social events planned for me. Without my pot lucks, FHE’s, institute, CES firesides, and enrichment activities I was lost. I went to bars alone and promptly left as soon as the drunken men grab my ass. I went on tons of bad on-line dates. Most men who wanted to help me find my pussy. I went dancing… alone. I went to concerts…alone. I even tried a few meetup.com groups with little success. One group advertised as single professionals turned out to be a room of 40+ men giving me the eye and a bunch of 40+ woman giving me the stink eye. One night I went to a neat bar where you could drink and play table tennis. I went in…alone. I’m not sure how familiar you are with table tennis but it requires 2 people to play. I stopped a waitress.
“excuse me,” I said to a woman whose hair was so white it could only grow on trees, “Do you have like tournament nights or teams you can join?”
She looked at me “No. You just come with your friends and stuff.”
“Oh well I’m new in town sort of, I mean I grew up here but I’m just…I just don’t have a ton of friends…like any. Ha ha.” What the hell? Why was I telling her this? “You don’t have any like mingle nights?” I stumbled out
“Oh my God that is Sad” her big fake eyelashes fluttered “I have friends and I, like, hang with them and stuff. Why don’t you have friends? You’re cute.”
“No No. I do have friends they just don’t like to go in bars or do stuff outside of church…it’s a religious thing...for them…not me.”
“Oh my God, were you like Amish er something? I hear they don’t even use I-pods when they work out. Is that true?”
What the hell was this woman talking about? “Yes Amish. What’s an I-pod?”
“Oh my God I’m so sorry for you.” She grabbed my arm tenderly and said, “It’s okay. Just don’t do crack. It’s so weird.” Clearly she was speaking from experiance.
This city was just not panning out for me. I noticed on meetup.com that another city a little over an hour away having cool activities all the time. It has a reputation for being a huge party town. I decided it was time to try my luck there.
I noticed a HUGE difference. People were my age, were fun to talk too. We related on a ton of issues. I started going to this city every other night despite the hour drive. I got in with a group of really cool people who introduced me to some very common 20-something activities. We went to concerts and comedy shows. We talked and drank. They supported me when I played at an open mic night. They taught me how to play Beer Pong, and Flip cup. I did my first Kegs stand. I got 45 seconds because the guy was not pumping the Keg so nothing was coming out. (for those who have never seen a keg you have to pump them to make them go) When they realized I had fooled them all they made me do it again. This time I got 2 seconds. How the hell do you drink upside down? Silly. They all had a good laugh. I feel very loved by these people. They know I’m a little odd. Sometimes they are speaking a foreign language. They say things like “Rail Drinks” “Riders” “D.D.” “Assed out” “Shmagled” “DTF” “Job”(not the kind where you make money…hopefully)
It’s not easy making your own social calendar. I miss my pre-planned activities. It’s also tricky navigating the whole “Mormon” Issue. I get three different responses when I tell people I am leaving the Mormon faith. There is the non-chalent “oh yeah. I was Catholic growing up. I get it.” No offence but few of the Catholics I met were as severely indoctrinated as even the most lay Mormons. For example: I had not actually looked at my own vagina until about two months ago. It just felt wrong. The other response is a very solemn “Oh my God! That’s huge. Your life must be upside down right now.” I appreciate the sentiment of these people, but it can get over bearing. They want to know everything you are going through even if you are at Amanda’s birthday party. It’s almost imposable to talk about my life without talking about the church. I really like people who take the time to understand but also don’t dwell on it. I think I’m many ways I just want to feel normal and not be afraid.