I so don't fit in!

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
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Katzpur
Posts: 382
Joined: 26 Jul 2009, 08:40
Location: Salt Lake City

I so don't fit in!

Post by Katzpur » 17 May 2011, 15:53

For ten years, up until eight years ago (i.e. from 1993 - 2003) I served as a "hostess" at the Church Office Building. Due to my work situation, I had to quit. I have recently retired, though, I just started hosting again. The calling is consider a Church Service Mission, not a proselytizing mission. My primary responsibility is to take visitors to the building up to the 26th floor observation deck and from there to point out the sights and tell them a little bit about Salt Lake City. It takes up two afternoons a week and will do so for the next three years. I've been doing it again for three weeks and am wondering what I've gotten myself into. I feel like I stick out like a sore thumb. Maybe it's just my imagination and maybe it's that I'm being overly sensitive, but so far, every week there have been two or three "incidents" that have made me want to scream. So, here I am, asking for the rest of you heretics to give me some moral support. Here are some examples of what's been going on.

1. Shortly after it was announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed, the hostesses were talking about the events of the prior days. One of them said that an American who was also a Muslim officiated in the brief service that was held before he was buried at sea. One of the hostesses said, "Yeah, it was probably Obama." I wanted to say, "You should be ashamed of yourself." Instead, I said nothing.

2. After Jon Huntsman Jr. was interviewed recently and was less committal than Romney about his current activity in the Church, one of the hostesses said, "Huntsman can't even decide whether he's a Mormon or not." I wanted to say, "He's my kind of Mormon." Instead, I said, "He probably just doesn't want it to become the issue it's been with Romney."

3. We're supposed to start each "tour" by taking visitors over to the large mural that fills one entire wall of the Church Office Building lobby. It's the Harry Anderson picture of Christ with His eleven Apostles on the lower slope of the Mount of Olives, telling them to go and preach His gospel throughout the world. A couple of hostesses have made quite a big deal of the "fact" that His foot supposedly "follows you" as you walk from one end of the mural to the other. They say they always point this out to visitors. I wanted to say, "I don't see His foot moving any more than I can see a picture of the Virgin Mary crying in the trunk of a tree or Jesus' face in a piece of toast." Instead, I said, "Well, it's either an optical illusion (which I don't believe it is) or it's magic (which I don't believe it is). That's not something I mention to people since I don't see it as important in the slightest."

4. One hostess went on and on to me about her son who had been either a bishop or stake president for the last ten years. She concluded by saying, "There is no greater blessing than having good children." I wanted to say, "Really? I wouldn't know." Instead, I said nothing.

5. I got called on the carpet the first week for supposedly not wearing nylons. I actually was wearing them, but they were the "toeless" kind that most women don't even know they can buy. I wanted to say, "You should count yourself lucky that there is one women on your shift that doesn't dress like she's 20 years older than she actually is." Instead, I hiked up my dress to show her that my garments were in fact under a pair of nylons.

6. One divorced hostess had recently moved to a new apartment. She said she liked the actual apartment but couldn't stand the management. (Her reasons were absurd in my opinion.) I asked her if she planned on staying where she was or moving somewhere else. She said she didn't know for sure yet, because the Lord hadn't told her yet where He wanted her. I wanted to say, "He's never really cared a whole lot where I choose to live. I wonder why." Instead, I said nothing.

I could probably think of more examples. They are all so silly and trivial that I wonder why they even bothered me. I am just so frustrated at feeling like I don't fit in and wondering how I'm going to take three years of feeling like a pariah.
Last edited by Katzpur on 17 May 2011, 21:31, edited 2 times in total.
"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." ~Rudyard Kipling ~

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SilentDawning
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Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Re: I so don't fit in!

Post by SilentDawning » 17 May 2011, 16:21

WE all feel that way. Cwald who used to post here used an alien avatar since that's how he felt at Church. I use a unicorn since it's so rare it doesn't even exist -- except in our imagination. Many of us score in the outer rim of the Myers Briggs type inventory. Apparently, only 3% of the world fits my profile. And at Church -- well, when I consider what I now know about myself, I'm confused about why I even joined the Church decades ago....I think it was a good heart that was blind to the things that would eventually get my angst all revved up.

Now I break into Michael Jackson's song "You are not alone".
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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PiperAlpha
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Joined: 03 Apr 2011, 05:14

Re: I so don't fit in!

Post by PiperAlpha » 17 May 2011, 16:34

Katzpur ... all I can say is ... Oy Veh :!:

I'd have to develop a warped sense of humor to survive in that atmosphere. Keep us posted.
“As individually and collectively we increase our knowledge, acceptance, and application of gospel principles, we become less dependent on Church programs. Our lives become gospel centered.”
Elder Ronald E. Poelman, General Conference Oct 1984

doug
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Joined: 23 Sep 2010, 07:37

Re: I so don't fit in!

Post by doug » 17 May 2011, 17:44

Drop everything and run.
The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also. -- Mark Twain

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Katzpur
Posts: 382
Joined: 26 Jul 2009, 08:40
Location: Salt Lake City

Re: I so don't fit in!

Post by Katzpur » 17 May 2011, 20:01

doug wrote:Drop everything and run.
I can't do that. I have to deal with it. I just need to know that there are some people out there who would be as frustrated as I am. I need to know that the things that are bugging me would bug a few other people, too. When I hear remarks like those I mentioned, I want to be able to think, "It's not just me. That's stupid!"
"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." ~Rudyard Kipling ~

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BeLikeChrist
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Joined: 27 Feb 2011, 04:50

Re: I so don't fit in!

Post by BeLikeChrist » 17 May 2011, 20:59

Hi Katzpur,

Maybe you should get a tattoo on your left shoulder that says "LDS" and if anyone really, really bugs you just pull up your sleeve and say "you know what ? that person really needs a tattoo like this on their forehead !!" That might help you get through those "drive-you-up-the-wall" moments you often have to deal with.

BLC

Curt Sunshine
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Re: I so don't fit in!

Post by Curt Sunshine » 17 May 2011, 21:02

Make up funny responses in your mind - but just make sure you don't disengage your brain and actually say them. :lol:

Seriously, people are weird - and that includes us. If you remember that and don't expect anything of them, you'll be pleasantly surprised and grateful when they deliver - and amused just as often.

Think what it would be like for them if you said some of the things you believe. Do unto others . . . and keep on keeping your mouth shut. :clap: :clap:
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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SilentDawning
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Re: I so don't fit in!

Post by SilentDawning » 17 May 2011, 21:11

Ray Degraw wrote: Do unto others . . . and keep on keeping your mouth shut. :clap: :clap:
Here here. We have learned over and over again that openly expressing unhappiness or angst with the Church is never appreciated by the local leaders -- or the general membership.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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mormonheretic
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Re: I so don't fit in!

Post by mormonheretic » 17 May 2011, 22:19

Start a blog a vent online when you need to. I've found it very therapeutic, and it helps me keep my sanity when I hear something goofy at church. (Venting here is useful too.)

doug
Posts: 799
Joined: 23 Sep 2010, 07:37

Re: I so don't fit in!

Post by doug » 17 May 2011, 23:24

Katzpur wrote:
doug wrote:Drop everything and run.
I can't do that. I have to deal with it. I just need to know that there are some people out there who would be as frustrated as I am. I need to know that the things that are bugging me would bug a few other people, too. When I hear remarks like those I mentioned, I want to be able to think, "It's not just me. That's stupid!"
Well, you know you've come to the right place for commiseration. I was just kidding about running away, though that's exactly what I feel I want to do at times. The kinds of thinking (or lack thereof) that you describe are precisely what make this whole thing difficult. We can talk about staying lds all day long, but figuring out how to deal with those attitudes and personalities in those kinds of situations is really where the rubber meets the road. They seem like little, inconsequential, even silly, things from a distance, but at the moment, at least for me, it can be really hard to maintain focus and do the right thing.
Last edited by doug on 18 May 2011, 07:11, edited 1 time in total.
The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also. -- Mark Twain

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