Monthly Archives: October 2009

Very Specific Loving Advice…For Married Men!

So I was brainstorming this post in the shower.  This is largely because it’s Saturday morning, and I had just had my coffee.  This is significant because coffee really gets the creative side of my mind churning, but normally this amounts to nothing because I’m typically at work.  I think to myself: “That’s a great idea for a blog post/poem!  I will write that this evening”. Then “this evening” finally roles around and I find the inspiration completely gone and opt for vegging on facebook looking to see what everyone’s up to back in the midwest.  Not today!  I’m putting off doing the dishes so I can jot this down before the muse is gone.

Anyway, as I said, I was brainstorming this in the shower.  Have you ever done this where you zone out so much in the shower that you can’t remember if you have washed a certain part of your body?  For instance, today I was halfway through the shampoo cycle when I suddenly awoke from my dreaming and thought: “Did I use bodywash yet?”  Anyway, just an aside…

So I read Gavin’s post the other day about his dating advice for men, which is outstanding by the way, and found myself inspired to write a “married man” analog to his post.  So here it is:

1.  The Victoria’s Secret Christmas catalog is a gift to married couples everywhere.  I know it’s been said before that the Victoria’s Secret catalogs are a gift to men, but being a married man who’s days of posing as a woman on victoriasecret.com so that he can get the catalogs in the mail for potty time viewing are long past, I’m here to tell you that they are even more of a blessing amidst marriage.  In most marriages, there are very few times where the viewing of soft porn is either sanctioned, or much less, a together activity.  Enter the Victoria’s Secret catalogs.  Look at them together.  Help pick out Christmas gifts for her (and you).  It is outstanding.  And if she gets sketical of the idea, simply diffuse the situation by popping in the movie 300–another piece of pop culture surely sent to married couples by God himself.

2.  If, in the more rare cases, your wife likes football more than you, don’t make jokes about sensitive games, such as Nebraska vs. Iowa State for at least 48 hours after the let down, and even then, do so cautiously.

3.  During courtship, women have incredible abilities of hiding various activities or evidence of such from men.  Once the rings are on and the vows made, these abilities disappear with the virginity.  You may begin to notice these things and will probably find their sudden appearence humorous.  REFRAIN, however, from joking about them to your wife.

4.  Conversly to the previous tidbit, there are numerous activities habitually exhibited by single men which MUST disappear post becoming one flesh.  For many years of bachelor life, any man takes enjoyment from time to time sitting alone at the dinner table, watching The Office, biting into a big juicy burger that he just grilled for himself, and farting unashamed while relishing the way it reverberates on the cheap metal folding chair he is sitting on, furthermore, on the more rare occasions, impressing himself with the potence of his creation while continuing to tear into that delicious burger.  Thus there may be a few dinners early in marriage, where the man may forget where he is, and fall back into old habits.  DO EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO DROP THIS HABIT.  Men that happen to have more difficulty dropping old habits, or are particularly absent-minded, need not worry, however, because the aleviation of such activitiy will be positively reinforced by the lack of sex that hangs around much longer than the odor.

Monogamist Amidst Polygamists: One Man’s Submersion into the Mormon Culture vol. 2

Imagine the mountains back in the 1800s.  I’m sure they looked as beautiful as they do today, but crossing them in a wagon, much less a hand cart?  No thanks.  Back then, Brigham Young was on to something:  get to the other side of the mountains, and you’ll be isolated and safe.  Free to practice your religion.  So they did–Dragged their carts across the midwest, sailed in from Europe, rode trains, and then dragged carts–the Mormons settled in Salt Lake City.  For years it was perfect.  A union existed between church and government.  The towns were laid out with the temple at the center, each road a number, increasing as they get further from the temple at (0,0).  I can tell you right now that I live 9 blocks east and 39 blocks south of the temple.  That means I’m (9^2+39^2)^(1/2)* less Godly than someone that lives next door to the temple.  That’s totally not true–I’m kidding.
The city is then divided up in to sections–I forget what they’re called.  Each section has a church surrounded by a couple blocks of houses.  Thus, an incredibly tight-knit community is formed.  Your neighbors go to your church.  Your church is a couple blocks away.  Everyone in your neighborhood knows you.  These sections make up larger sections that make up larger sections. 
An incredibe emphasis is put on family in the Mormon Church.  Sundays are to be spent at church and with family.  Marriage at an early age is encouraged, birth control is discouraged (I don’t actually know that for sure).  Many Non-Mormons blame the no-sex-until-marriage thing for the tendency to marry at an early age.  Having at least some experience in the matter, I’m not entirely sure that that’s the case.  It’s kind of just expected.  Tara and I have a female friend that is LDS.  She is 25, not married, not even engaged.  She’s told us that she gets a bit of a tough time from family and fellow church members about it.  Such is life as a Utah Mormon.
Imagine growing up in a Mormon family in Utah, and at some point along the line, realizing that Mormonism just isn’t for you.  How do you get out?  It seems like you’d literally have to flee, and start almost completely over.  Make new friends, and, in many cases, find a new job.  It’s scary.
Thus the Mormons lived their happy secluded lives in Salt Lake until people started to realize that Utah is not such a bad place to live.  Recreation in the mountains came about drawing more people deluding the city with others.  The interesting thing is this:  although Mormons expect persecution for their faith, they feel persecuted and do not like it when there’s even one non Mormon present in a group.  I guess this is understandable.  A group of boys acts completely different if there is one girl present (until one of them farts, and then there’s no shame).  In any case, it doesn’t seem like they’re very happy about being invaded.  To be clear, when I say “they”, I certainly don’t mean “all”.  Just with any group, you can’t generalize them to all have the exact same opinions.
In my opinion, I have nothing but respect for the Mormons.  They do have some good values, and certainly are dedicated.  In my time here, I’ve had nothing but positive experiences with them. There’s just a few things we don’t see eye to eye on. 

*Pythagorean’s Theorem

Monogamist Amidst Polygamists: One Man’s Submersion into the Mormon Culture vol. 1

Amanda suggested the other day that I start a blog about my experience as a Christian in the heart of Mormon culture: Salt Lake City.  I don’t want to give her all the credit–I had been thinking about doing this already, but I suppose she was the catalyst.  I don’t feel like creating a new blog page, so I’m just going to intermingle these with my other every-day posts.

2 months ago, I completely uprooted my life, got married, honeymooned, and then packed all my belongings and moved from Omaha, NE to Salt Lake City, UT.  It’s safe to say that news of mine and Tara’s plan to move to Salt Lake was met with a good amount of skepticism from most friends, family, and acquaintances.  Many responded with a polygamy joke.  Several had a friend, or a friend of a brother’s ex-wive’s sister’s husband, that had evidently at some point tried living in Utah only to be discriminated against by the Mormons until they could not take it any longer and had to leave.  Regardless, at least 99% of the responses we received had something to do with Mormons.  I have to admit, I was nervous about it.  What if the stories were true?  Now, after having safely and happily lived out here as a non-Mormon for nearly 2 months now, I’m begining to realize just how much of a misconception exists in what the rest of the nation thinks about Utah, and reality.  And that, is the driving force behind this blog.

The account I’m about to give is based on personal observation, other Utah residents’ opinions, and actual facts, most of which from the adult sunday school class that Tara and I are attending at our church.

First off, it is important to understand the actual religion/social demographic in Salt Lake City.  To my understanding, the city is 50% Mormon, 50% other.  One of the first things I noticed being out here is the presence a strong “Mormon counterculture”.  Many of the participants said “movement” choose to broadcast in a very obvious way that they are NOT Mornon.  Excessive body peircings, tattoos, long hair, drug use, and homosexuality seem to be common.  Along with these two distinct groups of people, a third culture peacefully coexists.  Comprising this group, are what the rest of the Nation (the midwest, in particular) would probably call “normal people”.  They are Christians, Atheists, Scholars, Granolas, you-name-it.  Finally, there is a common interest that seems to weave this diverse population together: a love for the outdoors.

Thus, we have shattered the misconception that Utah is comprised entirely of Mormons with only a small fraction of non-Mormons.  In fact, in Salt Lake, they’re not even the majority anymore (The state as a whole is still 70% Mormon).  At this point, you may wonder what the Mormons think about this “invasion”.  That will be discussed next time.