Sunday, December 11, 2005

Last Sunday

I've been debating about telling a funny story about something that happened to me last week. The problem is that while I know most of the people that read this blog, I don't quite know all of them. And while its incredibly self-centered to say this, I am worried that this little vignette from the life of a single girl may be read by some of the people involved. (I just don't have Smash's courage!) So this version of the experience will be slightly un-detailed so as to protect some of the characters who may or may not have been innocent.
As I think most of my dear blog readers know I am in a family congregation at church. I used to be in a congregation (ward) just for singles for nearly 10 years. In the singles ward I was just any other person, and meeting new guys depended entirely on physical appearance and my own friendliness that day. But now in the family ward I pretty much haven't met a decent LDS guy in 8 months.
But then last Sunday a new guy was baptized and made a member of our church. Someone politely informed me that he is single and therefore I should make sure to invite him to some of the activities set up for singles. After all, I am the singles activities co-chair. So I made a mental note to find him after church and invite him to the activities.
The minute church was over a woman I have never seen before grabbed me by the elbow and insisted she introduce me to another woman. It was actually important that I meet this woman, so I let her steer me around the church house for several minutes till we found the woman in the parking lot. I met her, we chatted, etc. I then turned back to the church and said, "Thanks for reminding me, I am also supposed to meet Brother X today."
This stranger woman (who, just for the record, reminds me greatly of Mrs Bennett from the BBC Pride and Prejudice) lights up like a Christmas tree and says, "That's right! He's single!" And goes with me back into the church to find him. I was a little surprised at her helpfulness, but was glad for it because she recognized him before I did. But then she introduced us.
"Brother X, this is Erin- she's single!" And then she stood there beaming like she had just done a great thing.
I shifted horribly uncomfortably, smiled, and politely introduced myself further. Stranger Woman walked a few feet away, but continued to watch us from her safe distance. I talked to him for all of about 30 seconds when a car pulled up just a few feet away from us. (We were outside on the steps.) The driver, a man I know well, jumps out of his car, runs over to us and very breathlessly says, "Brother X, Erin, Erin, Brother X. You're both single!"
I try really hard not to blurt out something inappropriate like, "DUH!" And instead just smile again. Car man quickly grabs a nearby grandchild, puts it in the car, and takes off. Brother X is starting to look a little overwhelmed so I try to deflect the uncomfortable situation with a joke. "Well, if that wasn't embarrassing, I don't know what is!"
Well, Brother X didn't laugh, and instead just looked more embarrassed. So much for that one. So I quickly wrap up the conversation, introduce him to a nearby single guy, and said goodbye. I felt pretty bad for Brother X. Our congregation has over 600 people in it, and I'd guess a good 400 probably came up and shook his hand that day. Heaven only knows how many of them also told him I am single.
I don't mind their good intentions. In fact, I think its rather cute that people I don't know would want to introduce me to what appears to be a decent, smart, good looking, LDS guy. Its just their approach that bothers me. I seriously doubt any of those people know that they really embarrassed both of us with their well meaning remarks. I hope Brother X comes back tomorrow, only so I can smile at him from across the room, and not talk to him and make him feel uncomfortable. I'd hate for him to think I am some charity case that everyone is throwing in his path.
But hey, on the bright side, we may have finally got a decent single guy in my congregation! After 8 whole months, this great new "throw the singles into the family wards" thing actually had one thing go right. Well, assuming we didn't run him off already.


  1. I just don't understand how getting married causes some people to lose all common sense. You'd think they'd used better sense than that in meeting and choosing their own spouse.

    Like someone said in the general RS meeting (can't remember who), part of becoming sisters in the gospel is getting to know each other--talk about your interests instead of why a single girl isn't married, or something like that.

    I haven't been set up on too many blind dates in my time, but every single one of them started, "Wow, you're single, and he's single--you should get together!" With no regard for whether we had anything in common besides being single.

  2. How awkward. I don't get it either. Maybe next time someone does an introduction like that I'll turn and say, "Thanks for embarrassing me." Think it would catch on if we all did?

    Hope you get to talk to him next time you see him and he thrills to realize that yes! 36 people told him you were single and it's the best thing he's ever heard in his life!

  3. Mrs. Bennett is my favorite.

    You need to gain more courage. People need to be called out on their unacceptable behavior. ;)


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