Saturday, December 28, 2013

My Christmas Star


What could be better than three men in kilts? They were bagpipers who had been kicked out of a wedding for getting in a fight with the bridesmaids.  Roberta and I were really getting the full Scotland experience. I could not stop laughing as Roberta awkwardly tried to maneuver away from their drunken hands.

It was on my trip to Europe that I first began to voice my doubts about the church. (See: To the Vatican) After exploring the castle that inspired Hogwarts in Harry Potter we decided to wander the enchanted streets of Edinburgh.  We happened upon a small vender selling necklaces.   One of them in particular caught my eye.  I loved the swooping design and how it exploded out of the center.   I asked the vender what it meant. “Parsonal groowth” he said.   SOLD!

And have I ever grown.  I wear that necklace almost every day.  It is my new CTR ring.  To me it stands for “You can do it!”  Leaving the church is not at all easy.  One day at work I made a comment about how difficult the past year had been, and my friendly tattooed co-worker said “This is the year you left the church.  Come on! This is the best year of your life!”   

I wanted to bust out laughing, but I settled for a sarcastic smile.  Those who have never left would think that.   The truth is the first year you leave the church is HELL. It’s like waking up one day in the body of a tiny Asian man and realizing you are on a Japanese game show.  You don’t know the rules and everyone is laughing at you while you are repeatedly being punched in the crotch.  

Over Christmas break I once again found myself heading back to the mothership…Salt Lake City.  I sort of look forward to being around my own kind, it’s somewhat relaxing.  It is tiring having to constantly explain yourself to people who are unfamiliar with the LDS culture.    “How have you never had wine?” “Wait…you’re a virgin?” “Coffee! You are kidding me!”  My most recent disconnect was when I told my co-worker how I felt uncomfortable sleeping in the same bed as a man.  He laughed at me, saying “Why? You just sleep. Put your head on the pillow.”

Seeing my family for Christmas was slightly stressful but mostly wonderful.   I’m out of the closet now.  And my older sister Jacky has finally started talking to me about her story of leaving the church. For the last 8 months she has been avoiding the conversation fearing she would get the blame for my leaving.  I was hurt but I understood.  Her circumstances were very *cough* public.  She did not want to relive it.  It was nice to talk openly with my sister about why she left.  We all assumed it had to do with her being on MTV.  Actually what really pushed her out of the church was having a daughter.  She did not want her daughter to grow up in a religion that is sexist.

I agree that the church has sexist ideas for both men and woman.  However, some people rise above it.   My darling little sister Steph is a BYU anomaly.  She dated her BF for over a year before she finally decided to marry him.  She did not worry when he was unable to finish his degree.  She is a physicist.  She just graduated with her undergrad and accepted a job making 60,000 a year.  That’s right! My little sister is the tits! But she is also the sweetest most loving little 21 year old I know.  I have often talked about my magic necklace from Scotland.  I told her how it symbolized my growing up and leaving the church.  I may even get a tattoo of it someday.   When I opened my Christmas present from Steph my eyes filled with tears.  She had ordered this box from Europe.  She told me she was proud of me for finding my way.  

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Miss. Independent

There is a song I used to listen to called “God Bless the American House Wife”.  A catchy quirky ditty glorifying the role of mommy home maker.  Being a stay at home mom is a tough job.  I have seen the sacrifices my sister has made for her family.  It’s I life I someday may adopt…but not now.  Honestly I never looked forward to it. Yet a year ago I found myself humming this tune over and over again.  It was my battle cry, my mantra, my imposed destiny.  My dream to become a theatrical agent was dwindling fast.   As I watched this dream get euthanized another was artificially inseminated into my brain.   

Pillsbury called me every single day.  He was there for me, emotionally  available and he appeared to love me for who I was.  I trait hard to find for a Mormon girl who watched some R rated movies and occasionally swore.   I was 26.  An old maid.  And no matter how compassionate, or selfless, or  trustworthy a girlfriend I was, I was not good enough.  A “gamble” for any Mormon man.  So when things got more serious with Pillsbury I just let it happen.  I gave up my dream of being a savvy working bitch and traded it in for the responsibility of being Pillsbury’s in home assistant. He and his family told me upfront what was expected of me.  And I agreed to it.  I figured this was the closest thing to love a girl like me deserved.   It was only after I moved to UT that Pillsbury informed me I was not good enough.  I didn’t serve a mission.  My family did not have pioneer heritage.   And he worried that I may “someday drink alcohol.”

As a Mormon woman it is the expectation that you will not get a job and your husband will support the family.  My mother was a working mommy and I saw her constantly judged for it.  But I always looked up to her.  At parties while the stay at homes were discussing different way to clean my mom was talking shop with the boys.  I knew I wanted to have a career and I am proud that I kept that mentality throughout my time at BYU.  Did I lose out on some dates? Of course, but did I really want to be with a man who expected me to stay at home. … Hmmmm…I guess I sort of forgot about that.... 
Though it has been a hard comeback I have re-discovered my independence.  Finding a job has been tricky.  A few weeks ago I did what I do best.  Went out to make friends and network.   When I got to the party I met a guy who seemed rather impressed by my gift of gab.  We exchanged E-mails and less than a week later I was in a second interview for an impressive sales job.  Devin had really put a good word in for me.  He seemed to think I had what it took.  My darling little sister called me to congratulate me.

“Thanks Steph,” I said downtrodden, “I’m a little confused.  This guy doesn’t even know me.  I don’t know why he is sticking his neck out for me.”

“Ummmm…because you are amazing!  I have always felt like I could never live up to you.”  This coming from a girl who was almost accepted to Harvard’s physics program.

“I just don’t know why he is fighting for me to get the job,” I said.

“Because you deserve to be fought for!  You moved to NYC and started your own company.  You walk into a room and everyone wants to be your friend.  In high school people referred to me as ‘Emmas little sister’ till I graduated.   And in collage EVERYONE knew you!  It was so funny watching you on campuses.  You would carry a full deep conversation with someone and as soon as they walked away you would look at me and say “I have no idea who that was.”  You have a gift for getting people to trust you and that is sales.  Have some faith in yourself.  You are worth it.”

You have to fight for what you want.  Sometimes the battles are in your head.  I nailed the interviews and I got the job.  On my first day they showed me around.  I met my co-workers including a very friendly tattooed man.  Then they showed me my desk.  My Desk! No one here expected me to cook and clean.  There was a sentimental moment where I looked at my desk and thought “I’m finally doing it”.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Lady Masturbatetor

Every woman who has left the church should buy herself a vibrator. Period.   I know it is fighting to walk into a Pornography Store but what is more frightening is how very little you know about your body.  It wasn’t until I was a Jr. in collage at BYU that I even knew what an orgasm was.   I had heard the term and loosely associated it with a man’s ding dong.  Then one night I was making out with my boyfriend and something happened.  All my clothes were on.  No inappropriate touching but he was kissing my ear.  My "EAR G-spot" I called it.  I later learned that you can’t just call any place you like being kissed a G-spot.  It’s a real spot downstairs. This feeling kept coming…up…and up…and up…and OH MY GOODNESS!
The next day I told my best friend Roberta what had happened.  Perplexed we decided to call my sister Jacky who was married and also left the church.  We explained what happened.  My sister almost blew the speaker out of my phone

“Are you telling me you do not know what an orgasm is?!” She bellowed.

“I know!” I said, “it’s when a guys penis gets hard…Wait do woman have orgasms? I thought you needed a penis? ”

“Oh my God!  Are you joking. Please tell me that my 24 yr old sis is joking…YES! Yes woman have orgasms! How do you not know this?  You need to masturbate!  Do you even know how to masturbate?  Okay watch some porn.  I’m sending you a link.”

Roberta and I laughed at how ridiculous Jacky sounded on the phone.  Telling us to masturbate and watch porn.  Oh crazy Hollywood Jacky!  

Fast forward three years, and one nervous breakdown, and I am Lobster faced giggling in a sex shop. I felt like Indiana Jones adventuring into cave of ancient artifacts.  You would not believe the strange objects they had in there.  Special pillows, jelly’s, and handcuffs.  They had strappy gizmos a plenty.  Naked pictures. Dildos, vibrates, and something called “anal beads”.  The odd thing to me was seeing cute little animals fastened to each vibrator.  They had butterflies, bunnies, and dolphins all ready and waiting to nibble at your G-spot.  I’m sorry, but I’m not sure putting a mangy rabbits on my clit is going to help me relax?!  I was laughing and hiding my face behind my hands.  Needless to say I left that store know less about sex then when I walked in. 

I bought one  6 dollar vibrator.  And, let me tell you, I got my money’s worth.   Over the next 4 months I went through 5 vibrators.  Some nights I just could not sleep until I got off.  One I had found  fully packaged in my mother’s room.  Someone at her work had given her a gag gift knowing she was a Mormon.  I stole it and burnt that sucker out in less than a month.  When it died I was so sad.  I went to look it up online for a replacement.  Turned out it was a 100 bucks!  No wonder it was such a good fuck!

  Okay Okay I’m not trying to be crass or gross you out.  My point is orgasms are fun, and an important part of growing up.  If you are like me and have decided not to wait till you say “I do”(…er I guess Mormons just say “Yes Joseph smith”)  you need to understand how your own body works.  Then you will know what to expect.  And ladies, level the playing field!  See men can jack off with their hands, but for us woman it is a little more complicated.  It took me a month WITH a vibrator to understand my body.  How to relax and where I liked it best.  Sometimes I felt like I was just mowing the lawn down there.  Knowledge is power, and boy does it feel good.  

Thursday, December 12, 2013

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

I have begun slowly broken to siblings that I may not be riding the Mormon spaceship to the celestial kingdom to great our leader Eloham.  I have had to tailor my approach carefully with each of my siblings. It’s important to consider how they will react and act accordingly.  Jacky, of course, was excited for me to jump onto the heathen Death star.  Next I would tell my brother Danny.  Danny was AP on his mission and has always been a good example. I look up to him. One time I remember sitting next to Danny in church as the sacrament went by. 

Snack time!” I thought.  But Danny did not take any bread.  

“Danny.” I said “What the heck? Why didn’t you take the bread?”

Danny obviously looked uncomfortable. “SHHHHH” he said

"It’s free bread!  It was sitting right there in front of you.” I laughed. 

“I can’t.” He said

I sat for a second confused, “Why not? You just pick it up and eat it.  You on the Atkins diet?”
I laughed at his silly pass on free food.  It wasn’t until later that I learned about ‘Godly Sorrow.’  Danny, I guess, had done something bad and had been forbidden to take sacrament.  He had probably masturbated or seen a picture of a woman in her underwear. Now, looking back, I feel bad that I had mocked him. I’m sure he had felt bad enough. It’s sick that the church asks people to publically acknowledge when they have sinned.

When I told Danny I had no desire to marry in the temple he took it personally. “Why? Don’t you want to raise your family Mormon?” he asked. I replied that I would raise my family with similar ethical goals like honesty and charity but that I would raise them outside the bounds of Mormonism. That did not seem to be good enough for him and he continued his interrogation, “Don’t you like the way Mom and Dad raised us?  Don’t you like being Mormon?”  I awkwardly navigated this question by simply explaining how I liked the church but I did not feel it fit me.  He was bemused but at least he knew.

My brother Jacob is a bit of a sad story.  I like to think the church is good for him but as a 31 year old who has never kissed a girl it is hard to see the light.  Jacob refuses to date outside the church tho his personality and humor are seen as “edgy”.  He really wants to be married but has realized that it will never happen for him. Sure! Makes complete sense for a attractive 30 year old man to give up on finding love.  I have done everything I could to try and save him from his celibate life.  I have asked him questions about the Book of Abraham and Joseph’s wives. But instead of answering me he just tells me I should not leave or I will be punished to Outer Darkness.(See: Sleeping with the enemy)   I never actually plan to tell Jacob I’m leaving but I did drink a big old beer in front of him.  He may not have figured out the picture from BOA, but the beer I drank painted a pretty clear picture for myself.

What about my darling little sister. The one who recently got married while I counted cracks in the sidewalk waiting outside the temple. (see: Off White Wedding)  After her wedding she came home to visit the family. Although she loves her husband, she was missing the freedom that comes with being 20 and single.  The first night she was home I felt sick.  We have always been close. We play guitar together and watch Youtube and swap kissing stories. She did not know I was leaving. I remembered how painful it was for me when Jacky left.  Stephie has always looked up to me and I felt I would disappoint her.  I had to tell her.  I needed to know that she still thought I was a good example.  I came into her room and before I spoke was in tears.  We talked openly.  She told me she still loved me and that I was and always would be a good example.  Then she shared this song with me, a song I have listened to at least 100 times now.  

The Christians and the Pagans