Wednesday, May 18, 2011

(Not So) Breaking News – Or “Don’t You Dare Forget…

…that you are still the world’s worst* daughter-in-law.  And, although it's not possible, you are worse than worst* because now there is a new perfect* daughter-in-law to whom we can compare you.  SHE calls.  Just to chat."

*Post posting edit: This post (as with most others) is LITERALLY littered with hyperbole and sarcasm.  FYI.

Their son, my husband, did something unthinkable*.  He married a woman who is the exact* polar opposite* of his mother (and 3 of his sisters). She's Mormon. I'm anti-Mormonism.  She's conservative politically.  I'm liberal politically.  She's traditional.  I find most traditions to be antiquated, offensive, and stifling.  She had 7 kids and stayed (stays) home to take care of them.  I might have two kids. I will also have a career. She defers* to her husband/priesthood leader.  I'm a loud feminist.  She is obsessed* with having everything* appear perfect. I am obsessed* with being correctly understood and being authentic, true to myself.  I don't think people faking perfection are healthy and the over-emphasis on being/appearing perfect doesn't exactly promote honesty in others. In fact, it puts pressure on others to hide differences and also appear perfect.  (I don't believe that any* Mormon genuinely knows any* other Mormon. Do you?)

We're different, she and I.  And, you know* that she is doing it all* right because she is (at least on the surface) totally* in-line with the teachings of The One True Church, Inc.  I am in the wrong. Always*.  I would be thrilled* if I could just be different and have that be okay.  But, she has God on her side and so it will never* occur to her that different isn't necessarily bad and that what works for her might not be universally right.  Afterall, God has only one plan - conformity. 
What can I say? I am what I am. (Exodus 3:14) I like what I am. I am happy (or at least content) with my life. I'm not changing.  I'm stubborn like that.

*Phew. Did I miss any? I beg you to correct me in the comments if I did.  I take criticism really*, really* well.


  1. Yes, I do think one Mormon can genuinely know another Mormon. Also, I don't think harshly judging all Mormons to be one way is fair or accurate.

  2. You're right, Heather. It's no more fair than (most) Mormon's judging all "apostates" the same way. We were all either too prideful and easily offended, are sinning, or just found the rules too hard. Good, moral, ethical people never leave the church for purely intellectual reasons or because the doctrines just never "rang true" to them.

    But, you ARE correct. It's unfair to lump all members of ANY group. I apologize. I was just feeling raw and ranty because I'm seemingly constantly on the other side of that equation (ie., being judged to be a certain way because I'm not the one true way.)

    Like everyone else, all Mormon's have doubts and faults. I was under intense pressure to hide those doubts and faults. And I think that, unfortunately, most Mormons feel that pressure as well. I believe that as a result, very few, if any, active Mormons are living authentically within that community. I also know that when I tried to be authentic within that community, I was made quite uncomfortable - essentially ostracized. It was SHOCKING how frequently I was told that I didn't actually believe, think, or feel what I claimed. It seemed that people just flat refused to accept and tolerate any differences of opinion.

    Heather, I implore you to create a profile. It's unnerving when someone who provides no information about their own point of view so nitpickingly criticizes mine.

    Also, most people understand that words like 'any' or 'always' or 'every' are often merely hyperbole and can recognize when that is the case. Therefore, I won't apologize for use of that particular rhetorical device in the future. I'm often snarky and sarcastic. If you aren't very good at recognizing snarkiness, ranting, or sarcasm, you should probably skip my blog. As I mentioned, I do my very best to remain authentic on this blog and everywhere. If you don't understand or like me, that's a real pity (sarcasm). But, I appreciate snark and sarcasm in myself and others (in fact, I think it is hilarious) so I'm not changing.

  3. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on what I see as unreasonable expectations for all Mormons to be Cookie Cutter versions of each other (especially women). What you've brought up is one of the things that bothers me about Mormonism (other than the fact that it is filled with lies, cover-ups and contradictions). Being true to oneself is so important to happiness. Trying to be something that a person is not is very detrimental not only to that person's mental well-being, but also that person's physical health. I tried for years to feel the way I thought they wanted me to feel... and to do the things I thought they wanted me to do. But in the end, it was very debilitating for me to try to fit into the LDS mold. Being in the Mormon Church for 52 years, and trying to stuff down my feelings for 50 of those years, definitely took its toll on me. I am so much happier now that I am living an authentic life and being true to myself.

    And BTW, I agree that it is almost impossible for one Mormon to genuinely know another Mormon because most of them are simply putting up a facade for the world to see. I am sure that there are a lot of Mormons who struggle to "keep the faith" and "believe," just as I did. One thing I have learned for certain since leaving Mormonism is that the likelihood of my feelings being unique to me are very slim. I'm sure that I was not alone in my doubts and struggles -- and I know for certain now that I am away from Mormonism and visiting discussion boards and blogs like this one that I am not alone in my views about Mormonism or my disgust for the Mormon view and its rhetoric.

  4. The only Mormons i've ever known who showed themselves wholly and fully are now EX-Mormons (and vastly enjoying their freedom). True story.

  5. As far as I know everything on your side of those couplets (except for the anti-mormonism of course) is just fine with God.

  6. Just fine with who's God? Certainly not my MIL's. Not the God I was taught about growing up.

  7. Actually it is all just fine with your mother in law's God. I know you're not interested in being part of the church but if you were, you could have a temple recommend that would demonstrate that a liberal, untraditional, feminist, career woman, who's authentically imperfect, is just fine with her God.

  8. I most certainly could NOT have a temple recommend for plenty of reasons which have nothing to do with those listed above.

    Second, with an open-minded Bishop, maybe those things listed above would fly and I could get a recommend if he was willing to overlook my bi-weekly orgy attendance. ***wink***

    But, that isn't really the point. The point is that my MIL, like SOOO very many other self-righteous, uppity LDS women, wouldn't think I should have one and doesn't think that I am living in a way that is satisfactory to God as SHE envisions him. Her take on the doctrines and rules of the Church supports her lifestyle. This may be because she envisions God in a way that is convenient for her OR because she is just really good at getting in line with God as she understands him. I happen to think that everyone who believes has a different God - as unique as their own fingerprints. Further, I think that God usually gets in line with the individual FAR more frequently than the individual gets in line with their God.

  9. Right, but the reasons listed above wouldn't prevent you despite your mother in law's opinion. And then she wouldn't just be wrong but demonstrably wrong. Although I don't know if spite is really a good reason to go back to church.