It's Different Here...

Posted by: Andee / Category: , ,

The honor system?  Really?

I was born and raised in Utah.

After my father passed away in 1998, I planned a big move to Orlando, Florida.  I got there in 2000, and spent seven years there.  I love both places, and they are extremely different.

It was somewhat easy for me to come back.  I knew what to expect.  Not so much for my never-Mormon roommate who is constantly asked what ward he attends or where he went on his mission...  Every time he meets a woman who he finds interesting she has a hard time accepting his invitation for dinner because he isn't Mormon.  That has to be hard, huh?  I mean, there is nothing wrong with the man.  He is kind, smart, good looking... he pays his bills and speaks with his parents all the time.  Wouldn't a lot of women kill to be with a guy like that?

Oh, I know... almost everyone I know asks me why the two of us are not dating.  I can tell you why.  Because we are not a good match.  We are friends, but we constantly bicker about things like dishes and who's turn it is to pay for cat food.  We would end up killing each other in a Friskies-related incident involving cookie-dough covered cooking sheets.  It would be a mess.

The arrangement works out because he goes in his room, and I go in mine.  We have moments of true best-friend moments, like bonding over our mutual distaste of Bill O'Reilly and people with bad cell phone etiquette, and we truly accept each other for who we are even if it drives the other crazy, but throwing romance and possible children into the mix would create absolute chaos.  Trust me.  Most people don't.

Same goes for me... I am constantly judged by the standards of everyone else.  

Why aren't you married Andee?  

Gee, you would be such a good Mom!  Why don't you have kids?

It gets old, and it gets old quick.  Newsflash Utahns!  There are other people in the world, and they are just as kind, sweet, smart and honest as you are.  Ugh.

There are downsides and upsides to living in Logan.  I love the scenery, especially with my new photography hobby.  Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter are all beautiful and spectacular.  There are trails, campgrounds... you name it.  You certainly can't say the same thing about Orlando, can you?  The only snow I saw in Orlando was during a Main Street Parade at DisneyWorld during Christmastime... and even then it was just soap suds...

My Mom is here.  My brother is here.  Those are the most important things.  I love my family very much.  You might not know that due to all the griping I do about the rest of my family, but my Mom, brother and I have learned to grow up and get along... especially right after my Dad passed away.  We have all had our "times" of being selfish, me included.  It's just nice to be back in their company again.  They are good people and I missed out.

Roomie isn't really adjusting as well as I hoped he would.  I tried to warn him about the culture here.  I did my best to explain that Mormonism and Mormon rules are just "how it is" and he still can't understand why he can't buy a can of beer on Sunday.  He doesn't understand why a Mormon can't go to the ward of their choice.  He doesn't understand the whole "prophet" thing... obeying a man and doing everything he says even though they say and do things that are wrong and immoral.  

I agree with him.  I just never saw things in Utah from the other side.  It was all I knew until I left the state.  Do you know how weird it was walking into a supermarket in Orlando and seeing wine on the shelves?  I couldn't get over it.  That was the first time I really noticed how Mormonism effected everything in the state.  Another good example would be the lottery.  Most states use the lottery to help fund things for good... like education.  Mormons assume that this type of gambling is bad, simply because some people become addicted to it... they don't really think about the good it could do for the Utah schools.  On a side note, I am always shocked at how many Utahns drive to the Idaho border to buy lottery tickets.  It's a shame that money couldn't be used to assist the kids in their own state instead of helping a child or teacher that they might never meet.  Ever.

I get up on a soap box when I think about this... I mean, if you don't agree with lottery or gambling, then simply don't participate.  Stay away from it.  It's kind of simple.  I certainly don't need a bunch of people telling me what I should find moral or immoral.  I am a grown woman who can make that decision for herself.

Another thing that is different is that people are more honest here.  At least, it seems that way.  The photo above was taken in a hotel room in Utah... would you think they could put things in the snack area of hotel room and use the honor system in Orlando?  No way.  I am certainly not saying that you have to be Mormon to be honest.  As someone mentioned to me earlier, the church doesn't make you a good person... you make you a good person... they just like to take credit for it.

I get tired of religion interfering with everyday life.  You hear about people pitching fits because there isn't prayer in schools... why should there be prayer in a public school?  Sorry, shouldn't happen.  Moments of silence are fine, but don't teach my kids to follow your belief system!  

The night I graduated high school, my fellow classmates and I (all seventeen of us... nope, not kidding) gathered in a room before we walked into the auditorium.  Our class was about 80% Mormon, and the only reason that it wasn't 100% Mormon was because we lived on an Army base and people of all faiths moved there from time to time.  I always loved learning how other people worshiped and what they thought... but that isn't the point.  I rambled...

As we gathered in that room, a couple of my friends started gathering everyone for a prayer.  I knew that I wasn't really interested in prayer at school.  I have never been a fan of that kind of thing.  There is a time and a place. School isn't it.

A person was chosen to give the prayer, and I don't even remember who it was.  I wasn't even paying attention.  Oh, I know... Yes, Mormons... you are right.  This is because I had turned my back to the spirit and the whole reason behind my leaving the church.  Joseph Smith and his 14 year old wives have nothing to do with it.  It's just my cold dead heart.  Gawd, I ramble today...

The prayer was given, and almost everyone said, "Amen."

Guess who didn't say it?