Yesterday I was reading Nem's blog and came across a link to a blog titled "Why Mormon Girls Stay Single." There were no details, it was just a link thrown out with a request for Nem to look at it a little bit closer and some day in the future share her thoughts. Not knowing anything about the blog, I skimmed a couple of posts, thinking that it was authored by a couple of funny female roommates with a healthy dose of self-deprecation about single, Mormon women. But closer scrutiny told me that it must be a couple of guys writing. Sure enough, post-ers PP and EQP were acronyms for "Peter Priesthood" and "Elder's Quorum President." This should have been my first red flag: all manner of false doctrine might be shared under cover of righteousness and leadership.
After a few fairly informative and funny-ish posts, I looked at their archive and was drawn to the post titled "Hatin' on the Hot Chick." It was not informative, nor even funny-ish. Unless, of course, pure mean-ness is the new funny.
Their gripe is, of course, that women get jealous of the girl who seems to get all the dates. This girl is, of course, the "Hot Chick." (In my apartment we called this girl the "Naked Mole Rat." Which is a very funny story with a definite science geek angle that might need to be told some time.) There is a legitimate point here--women do tend to, often with unexpected results that backfire, undermine one another when it comes to dating. Married women sometime act this way too; it may not be men that are at stake, but women still will attempt to outshine one another in our own imitation at corporate climbing. However, after the initial sentence or two, the Hot Chick post quickly deteriorates into something that caused my gag reflex to work overtime and make me fear for a future when LDS men have bought hook line and sinker into pop culture.
In another post, PP and EQP insist that "all" (since they seem to speak for all) men are looking for women who are independent, assertive and confident. Yet in the above referenced post they make the following thesis statement, "Here's the deal . . . we want to date the hot girl too!" Which seems to negate all else these boys claim to be looking for. But not to worry, the good brethren throw single women everywhere a bone with the best advice I've ever heard. "Make yourself hot." And what is the prize for this Paris Hilton-like descent into babe-dom? "We'll reward your efforts with a nice meal, an occasional movie," (there is even another post that gives advice about what kind of movies and nice, classic girly books to say you are interested in) "and a possible make out." At this point, every single women is probably panting with eagerness and thinking, "Goody!" Forget about emulating any positive role model you've ever met or read about. Heck! Forget about following the Savior's example! It is all about taking "drastic measures to get hot."
But lest we think that there is no hope for girls who are not "hot," let's look at this gemstone paragraph, "Guys never hang around girls because they're 'good friends'. They are just biding their time waiting for an open invitation for some nookie. Give it to them, they will love you more than any 'McDreamy' who's not even wasting his time on you."
It is hard to say on how many levels these three sentences are wrong. When I was a single, at least a pre-mi single, several of my closest friends were guys. There is no way they could have wanted to hang out with me because we had wonderful conversations and hilarious times. I'm fairly convinced that it will come as a shock to every single one of them that what they were really waiting for a was a make-out from my 20 year old self. Remember all those racquetball games, boys? Now I know what you were REALLY up to. It is a wonder that your fabulous wives will even speak to me for the jealousy they must each feel.
What PP and EQP (and probably many single men and too many husbands) seem to be missing is the realization that Hot Chick is just a woman too. And, I'm sorry to say, she might even have more security issues than Regular Chick. In the morning, Hot Chick also has b.o., haltosis and bed head. Hot Chick's gorgeous hair color, luscious skin and lovely feet look a lot less attractive when she is no longer paying the hairdresser, the MaryKay saleslady and the monthly pedicurist herself. She'll turn into a chocolate-loving Harpie every 28 days who dares say the word Tampax in your presence. She will come with student loans, family issues and relationship baggage, as will Regular Chick. Also, if she is really the pure and naive vision of loveliness these brilliant BYU alum no doubt insist on, she will have no more clue about sex than Regular Chick, so you can put THAT fantasy to rest right now. She will put on a minimum of 30 pounds when she is pregnant, but it might be 60 or 70 or . . . you get the picture. That same pregnancy will leave stretch marks on her lovely once-fakey-tanned tummy. Night after sleepless night of nursing babies will cause Hot Chick to put her hair in a ponytail every day, or heaven forbid, cut off that big sexy hair all together. Hot Chick will probably be a lot more likely to insist on the tummy tuck and the boob job after the babies--after all, you have taught her what the cost of your love is.
And no chick, hot or otherwise, will be immune to life's inevitable challenges. Maybe what single Mormon men (and women) need to say when they look at the opposite sex is, "How will this person handle it when we are out of work for six months?" "Will this person be happy with three kids in a two bedroom apartment?" "Will this person crack under the pressure when our children come home with inevitable problems?" "Will this person validate my emotions, even when they are unreasonable, and love me over the rough times?" And married people need to remember their own humanity when trying to scrutinize Partner's faults too closely.
There is another incomprehensibly asinine paragraph in the Hot Chick post, comparing women (and I guess men too, the analogy is a little bit vague) to cars. Basically, don't go looking for a Mercedes Benz when you are a Ford Focus. To this glittering nugget of wisdom I'd like to say that I can probably count on one hand the number of men I would say were anything more than an Edsel before age 25 or 30. You see, PP and EQP, what makes a man attractive to a woman has less to do with money, power or looks (all variations on the "size matters" theme) is COMMITMENT. When a man shows, over time, that he will be there day in and day out even when it is hard, even when life is real and difficult, then it matters a whole lot less how "hot" he was to begin with and is about who is becoming. When a woman knows that a man loves her, really loves her, she will reciprocate in ways even she doesn't know she's capable of: in her eyes you will become the prince of her dreams that comes in the door every night; the Mercedes in the driveway, the lover she snuggles next to as she falls into her dreams each night.
And a man who would give up all of that for "hot?" Well, he really deserves to sleep alone every night. PP and EQP think they have figured out why Mormon women are single? In reality they have exactly pinpointed why Mormon men are: because too many of them would trade their birthright for a mess of pottage.
Their blog has been very instructive, however; it is has given me a great example of what kind of boys NOT to raise.