Tonight I attended a special fireside for members in the stake who are 30-39 years of age. I have to admit, part of me wanted to go just because attending would give me a story to tell...
I walked the door with confidence exuding from my 30 year old pores. Then, crossing the threshold from foyer to chapel, the pungent smell of fermented hormones burned my nostrils. I suppose when you get to be my age, exuding confidence is often mistaken for old, crusty hormones? I was now one of "them"... You know, one those singles who never thought they would be single in their 30's attending some fireside created to restore hope to the hopeless. I felt similar to how I did on my first day of kindergarten... really wanting to feel grown up but also longing for the comfort of preschool. I am not ready for this... Mentally, I just thought of the fireside as a short orientation to the kindergarten rather than a first day-- kind of like a "this is what you have to look forward to if you don't find a mate in 2008". In the words of Garth Brooks, "I am much too young to feel this damn old."
Looking around the room was painfully comforting. I saw beautiful people in every size and color who just wanted their Mormon dreams to come true. They announced at the beginning that in the valley there were 3,000 singles between the ages of 30-39. My cynical mind broke it down as such: Of the 3,000 people, 2,000 of are women. Of those 2,000 women, 1,499 of them are beautiful, successful educated women who are looking and waiting for the perfect guy to come along. The other 500 were home schooled which explains why they are single (joking, joking). Really, the other 500 are looking too hard for any guy to come along. And the remaining 1 would rather date men under the age of 25 (her name is Anneliesa and she needs help).
And the 1,000 guys? 500 like younger, more fertile women. 300, are bitter because LDSsingles.com didn't find them a wife and so they've stopped trying. Of the remaining 200, half have "issues" and the other 100 are wonderful guys. So the final breakdown: 100 great guys and 2,000 great girls. No wonder I can't find a spouse...
Okay, getting back to the fireside... it was amazing. The General Authority didn't give the usual, "Even a old barn looks better painted" speech. He didn't tell the story about how 36 year old Fifi McFarffin prayed for 40 days to find a spouse... and on the 40th day she met Richy Richguy. I don't need success stories... I need DOCTRINE! And so it was... he taught doctrine and I loved it. I could spend hours writing what I learned but I am saving that for posterity to read.
I tried to find a boyfriend tonight so I would have a fun story to tell. Instead I talked to the same old people (no pun intended), talking about the same old thing. For the first time this year I was happy with being 30. Every year, I become a little more educated, a little more successful, and whole lot better looking. Some may claim that with all the improvements come a decrease in the likelihood I will find a mate. That may be true... but at least I am enjoying the ride!
I am going to end with one of my favorite poems by Langston Hughes. It's deep and applicable in an abstract way.
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?