GRADUATION!! (Grad School)

Sunday, September 16

A night with the Mormons....

I started writing about my day off, while sitting at the base of the Washington Monument on Thursday. I learned so much it is hard to get it in to one post….I will post it soon.

I skipped the Renascence Fair in Annapolis today, but that didn't make my day any less interesting...

Joy and I went to see a fellow Mormon Jjana Valentiner in her one woman show called Funeral Potatoes. (Plot: A Mormon family coming to terms with the loss of a grandpa who wasn’t such a good man.) I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was a little worried at first; the theater was tiny, more like a back room then a theater. But the show was one that really resonated with me. All the main types of Mormon women were present: the rebellious daughter who has been banished to a desert camp after her parents found pot in her dresser; the jack Mormon aunt, the Mom, who happens to be the wife of a bishop and can do a million things all at once and of course, the quiet and obedient daughter. It was an interesting moment for me as I listened to the monologue about the confusion of the obedient daughter. Not to say I was ever obedient or quiet, but I remember thinking the exact same thoughts at various times in my life. I mean doesn’t everyone? I don't know about you, but I didn't get 'the talent' expected of most Mormon women. I am not a one woman show who can make a meal for the family...and the sick neighbors family, placate a husband, prep the lesson for Sunday, tie a quilt, make sure the house is clean, feed the kids, shop for groceries, AND still have time for scripture study, FHE lessons, and personal time with each kid. Nor did I get 'the looks', not to say I am ugly, because I definitely have some good features but I am not ever going to be a size 4 that will stop traffic, though in reality I don’t think I would ever really want to. Sorry tangent there….back to the play….It was a fabulous look at the struggle of the individual family members.

Joy and I discussed it on the metro ride home. One of the opinions that we share was a that Jjana really understood the characters she was portraying. Sometimes people try to write or act a character they don’t understand; unfortunately, when that happens they fall back on the stereotypes. Mormons, as with every other culture, have their stereotypes that are easily exploited but if you don’t understand the characters that you are portraying, what was meant to be a funny poke at a stereotype can come across as mean and offensive. In tonight’s show there were definitely funny pokes at various realistic stereotypes, there was no offense intended and none taken. Also, I think this play was a really interesting look at the “Madonna/Whore complex” in society. I think Jjana did a great job showing us that people are never all good or all bad. We are all a mix of both, doing the best we can with what we’ve got. Jjana said that the show is a work in progress and I hope I get a chance to see it again once it has evolved.

Once home, I ended up watching a movie with Jen and Gina in which 2 of the main male characters in the movie were supposed to be Mormon. One was a young boy preparing for an LDS mission, the other one was “taking a break” from the faith. It wasn’t a bad portrayal, even if the young guy was a little hokey. It was an interesting movie, though the plot was a bit heavy and we had to fast forward through parts of it. Lol!

To round out my Mormon evening…I ended up on the phone with one of my girlfriends. A good friend of hers is attending our church for the first time. They have been having some pretty heavy gospel discussion tonight and she called to chat (i.e. have a small freak out session. Lol!).

Now I am going to hit the hay. 3 hours of church tomorrow will kill me if I don’t get at least a little sleep…lol…a Mormon’s work is never done. Lol!

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