I was lying on the couch recovering from the massive concussion I had received from an old man who had decided not to stop at a red light. (See: Car Wreck) Rob was coming over because he felt bad for me. Yeah…right... As we all know, men who are not Mormon are sex addicts. In my mind he was just playing nice in hopes that I would have sex him after I get better. When Rob (see: sleeping with the enemy) arrived and walked in the door he was carrying an XBOX.
“Hey sicky,” He said with a sympathetic smile “I brought you something to do while you’re sick.”
“Wow,” I thought “He must really want to have sex with me, pretending to be so nice.”
He sifted through games and set everything up for me. Then we got to talking.
“Guess what!?” he said “I have a girlfriend.”
I was taken aback as he told me all about his new lover. Why was he being nice to me if he had a girlfriend? Is he hoping he could cheat on her with me? It just didn’t add up. As we were talking an unexpected thought hesitated in brain. What if he was just being a nice guy…? I walked him to the door and gave him a goodbye hug. Then, after he had left, I spilled onto the couch and cried. I was a horrible person. I would like to say it was the concussion that inspired my bitter negative judgmental thoughts. That would be a lie.
Ever since that moment I have paid close attention to my automatic thoughts regarding non-Mormon men. I felt sick before every casual hang out or date. Overwhelm if I was at a party with more men then woman. One time I was trapped in a restaurant booth with 9 non-Mormon men and only 3 non-mormon woman. I nearly spilled a pitcher of beer trying to leap out. I had a panic attack. Thoughts I could not control. Judgments, stereotypes, and most of all fear. I realized that no matter how hard I tried I could not deprogram myself from the Idea that EVERY SINGLE non-Mormon man was a bad guy. Clearly this was a job for my BFF/therapist. I told her about my subconscious bias, that if you set a mormon man with loaded pistol in front of me and a non-Mormon with a puppy I would still choose the Mormon man.
As I was talking to my BFF my mind flashed back to the one dozen non-mormon men I have interacted with. A hobo cat calling me as I jogged through NYC saying “don’t run too much of that off!” The “producer” I met in Harlem who wanted to make me a “star.” I remembered the date I went on with a man who admitted to me he was actually married! (I will have to tell you about this experience in a later post.)
Were these men my only representation of non-Mormon men? How can I be 27 and have so few interactions? I would talk to non-Mormon men. For example, I interacted with them when I bought groceries, or if I bumped into one on the street, or if I wanted to tell one about the church. Oh my God… Did I ever interact with a non-Mormon man on a personal level? No. Why would I? I had my Mormon men who you could date and were so nice. They would do nice things for you like give you a blessing or let you borrow their XBOX…
I realized that I have been painting all non-Mormon men with the same brush you use on hobos/pimps/married sleazeballs. By isolating myself from these men I have let stereotypes pressed on me by my church leaders, and Mormon friends sink in so deep that even a man with a beard had become a threat. So how do I destroy the black hole in my heart? If we have learned anything from the Syfy channel, we know that the only way out of a black hole is to light speed through it. And so I shall. I will boldly go where this girl has never gone before. I’ll go to parties, talk to non-Mormon guys, and break down the barriers. And lastly, in the immortal words of Spock, I will “Live long and prosper.”