I spent Valentine's with my grandparents this year. I probably should have gone to my ward Valentine's Day Dance but for some reason I'm feeling stubborn and would rather spend my time lounging around in my pajamas. Which is more or less what I've done all day. I watched all four hours of Jane Eyre this morning. Mr. Rochester is utterly wonderful.
Which leads me to a long-overdue blog post. I've been sitting in front of the computer for about two hours trying to decide between watching a movie on Hulu and (I know, you can mock me later), rifling through various fan-fictions I used to obsess over a few years ago. I got a good laugh at myself and decided I ought to do something more productive.
Partly due to the season and partly because of a (brief) increase in romantic activity in my life I've been thinking about the curse of being single in Provo. It all reminds me of one of Bill Cosby's sketches where he says something about how parents love their children but they want to get them OUT of the house. That is, as far as I can tell, a common experience in the Single's Ward life. Not all wards, mind you. My ward right now isn't nearly as bad as some I've been in. But in the Facebook universe we live in where people can advertise their relationship status to infinite numbers of people with the click of a mouse, it's starting to feel like we're creating our own tabloid lives with a relationship obsessed audience. If you're single people expect you to either be defensive about it and to make fun of your status in an attempt to say you don't care(guilty) or expect you to mope or . . . I don't know. And if you're dating someone, wahoo! Congratulations! How long has it been? Have you looked at rings yet? What kind of cake are you getting?
The reason I bring all this up (yet again) is because of a discussion we had in one of my classes on Friday about the way girls in the church are educated and the huge dichotomy it brings up, especially in such a concentrated area of people scrounging around for their mate. I can't speak for boys of the church (obviously), but it seems to me that most of the girls and single women of the church are taught that their virtue and worth is greater when they are virgins. Who hasn't been to a lesson where a well meaning teacher has chewed up a piece of gum and then offered it to someone by way of object lesson. "No one wants your chewed gum." Ouch. Not that I'm condoning sexual promiscuity. But there is this extreme that is rather stifling - a tug of war between one definition of chastity as being equal to virginity and the push to graduate from Single's Ward High eternally tied. But everything should happen in the right time and the right place. Isn't that a better definition of chastity? Participating in activities at the right time and in the right place?
Which is my point for the day. It's no wonder so many girls I know are simultaneously obsessed with dating and completely terrified of it as well. The pressure from outside forces and the ever illusive Facebook status change and online relationship obsessed stalkerazzi wanting to know your every move is huge. If you let it get to you. (Her relationship status changed! Oh no! I wonder what happened?! I'm going to send messages to half of her friends to figure out why.) (Again. . . probably guilty. No one is immune!)
Sure - it would be great to have celebrated Valentine's Day with my sweetheart, but there will be many years ahead of me at some point for that. I am happy with where I am. I'm excited for what the next year has in store for me. I have a family that loves me and good friends. With that in mind, I wish you all a belated Happy Valentine's Day and hope that whatever your situation, you spent it with people you love.