. . . 'cause I've got some venting to do. Feel free to skip this gripe session if you feel so inclined. My Sitemeter may suffer, but my feelings will be none the wiser.
Saturday night, while I lounged on the couch working on a NY Times Sunday crossword puzzle (one of my favorite short-term diversions), CPod watched one of his TiVoed truck shows. I don't know which one it was -- Truckz or Gearz or some other macho spectacle that ends in Z -- because they all sound the same to me: equally annoying. Anyway, after the show was over, CPod left the TV on and went to the kitchen to do the dishes. (While I was lounging on the couch. Yay, husband! Yay!)
Now, let me first say, that I know a lot of y'all are from Utah, and that's great. I don't have anything against people from Utah, except maybe the univowel. You know the one -- pan, pen, and pin can only be differentiated by context when pronounced by a native Utahn. Come visit me in the south, my friends. We've got five vowels for a reason, and I can broaden your language pronunciation horizons in ways you never imagined. But I digress.
I half-way listened to what happened to be on (because I was too lazy to get the remote), and what happened to be on was a new reality show about newlywed couples. Suddenly, I heard the univowel. I looked up, and saw this sweet little Utah couple talking about their marriage, and it became clear that they were LDS. Turns out, there are two Mormon couples on this show.
Now, of course, as a member of the LDS church myself, my ears perk up when I see a member of my faith in the media. I always hope they will conduct themselves in a manner that does not further the misconceptions and sterotypes that seem to be so widespread in the popular culture, and will not give my non-Mormon friends fodder for interesting questions. In defense of these couples, they didn't do or say anything that might cast the church in an unfavorable light. They were dressed modestly, and it was obvious that they were very committed to their marriages.
But. In what universe does blindfolding yourself and squishing another man's butt to determine whether or not he is your husband fall under the list of things it's okay to do in ANY marriage, much less one solemnized in the temple? Now. I can't be certain that they were married in the temple. But aren't all of these couples, Mormon or not, supposed to be in a commited relationship?
In their efforts to illustrate the strength of the Mormon marriage, these couples, probably misled by Hollywood producers, have done nothing but demonstrate that they are just like everyone else: willing to lower their standards in the right circumstances.
This is a producers dream -- a salacious window into the inner workings of that most enigmatic of animals, that statistic-defying, lasts-for-eternity institution -- the LDS marriage. I resent this capitalization of the media's tendencies to sensationalize anything that has to do with our church.
And the worst part? Other Mormons will watch it. Other members of the church will welcome filth into their homes that they would not ordinarily allow, because they will want to see how "the Mormons" fare. Instead of being a beacon of goodness, they have become the catalyst for debasing a significant portion of our demographic.
I was already pretty het up at that point. And then somebody trampled on the motherland by saying they thought they wouldn't like the couple from the south, because people from the south are stupid.
What?!? WHAT?!? People from the south are stupid? And all people from the northeast are rude, and all black people are good at sports, and all redheads have a bad temper. Fine. Underestimate my intelligence. That makes it so much more fun when you are utterly stunned, surprised, and shocked at my acerbic wit and incredibly sharp mind.
My dad grew up on a tobacco farm. He scholarshipped his way through college and professional school, and he could pass for Andy Griffith when you hear him speak. He talks a bit on the slow side, but that is in no way an indication of his nimble mind, extensive knowledge of almost everything, and a capacity to grasp any subject with extreme quickness.
When I went to BYU, some of my friends thought that my admission was some sort of Mormon affirmative action (someone actually used that phrase with me) -- you know, let in some of the less privileged/less educated/less intelligent ones so they can take notes about the way the church works in the promised land and spread the word back in the "mission field". They don't give an easier version of the ACT in the south, though, and there are plenty of smart people down here with me that will tell you the same.
Go ahead, Yankee snob on the annoying TV show. Try to beat my dad at Trivial Pursuit. Or any other thing in this world that requires a brain. Because I would put his southern brain -- or mine, my husbands, my mothers, or any of my siblings, aunts, uncles or cousins -- up against yours any day of the week. And you would have another song to sing about the south at the end of that day.
My husband says I should stop now. My soapbox has become a Rameumptom. But thanks for listening anyway. I feel so much better now.