Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mormon Culture Meets the East Coast

A couple weeks ago I got my hair cut. I must say, I love my hair stylist and the only reason I pay $60 for a haircut (besides the fact that she does a fantastic job and my hair looks great....at least until I wash it), is that I really enjoy talking to her. Our small talk quickly turns into heart-to-heart discussions. Motherhood, working out, balancing marriage and kids with a career .... these are all things we discuss in length during my therapy session...er...I mean haircut.

In all of our time together, my religious background had never come up....until my last appointment.

The conversation went something close to this:

Hair Therapist: So are you guys going to get away for spring break?

Me: Yes! I'm really excited....we are headed back to Portland for my little sister's wedding.

HT: How fun! Do you like the guy she is marrying?

Me: I think so .... I've actually never met him.

HT: (look of surprise) Oh...so you aren't very close with your sister?

Me: Oh yeah .... I'm close with all of my brothers and sisters.

HT: How many do you have?

Me: Four. Two sisters and two brothers. I'm the oldest.

HT: (even more surprised) Wow. Well....how long have they been together?

Me: A little over two months.

HT: (surprise has turned into eye-popping shock) You mean they've only been engaged for two months and they are getting married in April?

Me: No. They've only been dating for two months. They got engaged last week.

HT: (trying to recover...) Wow. That's really fast. (She mulls this over for a few seconds). How old is your sister, anyways?

Me: She's 25 (I thought by this point she would put it all together and figure out the religious/culture connection. She didn't.)

HT: That's really quick AND young! I hope they at least wait to have kids! (I bite my lip and decide against telling her that this is actually my sister's second marriage and she has an adorable 3 1/2-year old son.)

And that I was also married at 25 and Ed was 23. And at 25, as ridiculous as it sounds, I think many in my congregation and my family had lost hope that I would ever get married.

I know that even in Mormonland, the kids are waiting longer these days to get married, and IMO that isn't necessarily a bad thing. But the disconnect between Mormon culture and the rest of the world can still be pretty startling!


Outside the Pumpkin Shell said...


I enjoy when Scott and I take Miriam out while the kids are in school. People ask how old we were when we had Miriam. When I say 34 and 39, they almost always say "What a perfect age to start a family!"

Elise said...

This is hysterical. I used to get this all the time, except in regard to motherhood (as a matter of fact, I still do, understandably). I didn't want to get married until I was 27 and had a career. . .and see how that worked out! Sometimes God just knows better. I'll get my career, just in a different order.

I'm really surprised she didn't make the religious connection. Peculiar people, indeed.

Jen said...

That is a funny story, Melissa!

Elise, the older I get, the more I think it makes sense to have kids and then have a career. Depends on the person, for sure, but it's not a bad route to take at all.... I feel like I have so much more confidence and life experience doing the whole career thing this time around.

A Year in the Life Of... said...

I feel as though you did when you were 25. However, I am not yet married and feel as though I and others have lost hope. We will see if it every happens..... But I do really, really want a husband and children--- preferably in this life and not the next.