Saturday, January 29, 2011

O is for...


One closely related word, xenophobia. 

Fear of strangers.  Fear of outsiders.  Fear of difference.  The opposite of open. 

I grew up in The Bubble.  Suburban life.  Three siblings.  Mom.  Dad.  3.8 GPA.  28 ACT.  

I dated a non-Mormon at 16 after my Mormon boyfriend broke up with me over MSN.  I cried a few tears and asked the dark-haired, brown-eyed Persian boy (exotic for Utah!) I liked since sixth grade to the Christmas Dance.  He said yes and came with me and all of my friends.  My friends had been championing us to date since we were 12.  I was pretty excited.  

The two of us were awkward, as all 16 year old are.  We spent many hours "hanging out" at the local grocery store with out two groups of friends.  These two groups mostly glared at each other.  "Seriously, why are we heeeeeeeere?"  my friends whined the way only 16 year old females can.  Why did I always have to date the boys with weird friends?  Apparently our couple-dom was cute only in theory.  

My friends weren't the only ones a little chagrined at the developing relationship.  I snuggled up to my brown-eyed boy one winter evening to discuss The S-E-X.
No!  Not with each other!  I'd barely kissed one boy in my life and was staunchly buttoned up.  My first boyfriend actually had to ask to kiss me.  So Persian Boyfriend and I sat in my Barbie car and talked Birds and Bees.  He argued, "what's wrong with sex?  Two people expressing their love for each other?" Typical.  Male.  My sixteen year old mind scoffed.  I looked back at my journals ( I kept them faithfully of course.)  and I wrote, "I'm sure a prostitute feels love when she's getting screwed."  Maybe not that buttoned up.  I sense some sexual repression there, Barbie.  
BUT, I'd been warned against boys like him.  Those teenage boys.  Like frogs, they only wanted to jump all over you.  Thinking of sex every seven seconds.  I had a Young Woman's lesson where the sweet sister related our virginity to a camel and a tent.  
"Don't let the camel into the tent, ladies.  At first he will just want to put his head in.  Before you know it...he's all the way in."  

I argued with Persian Boyfriend, adamantly refusing to believe anything good came of The Sex Before Marriage.  I promptly repeated our conversation to my parents (!) and mouth the word sex.  Admittedly, I still would even today (mouth the word sex), a licked cupcake and past 16 by half a decade.  Needless to say, my parents, dad especially, campaigned to have Persian Boyfriend disposed of.  

After a date with a future missionary, I called up Persian Boyfriend.  Gave him A Talk.  But, the most mature thing my 16 year old mind could come up with was, "Umm.  Mydaddoesn'twantustodate!"  He of course hung up on me.  His friend called me, asking, "Is it because he's not Mormon?"  I admitted it was.  Future Missionary later proceeded to slide his hand up my shirt, the fact that I was 17 and he 19 notwithstanding.  The fact that he was Future Missionary notwithstanding.  

Persian Boyfriend, I'm sorry.  I'm sorry my younger self hurt you.  I'm sorry for selfishly breaking up with you.  Judging you.  Not standing up for you.  Mormonism was the excuse my parents and I both needed.  I want you, and myself, to know this time, my Brown-Eyed-Boy won't go through what I did to you.  I'm finally (starting to) standing up for myself.  I couldn't do it then, but I'm doing it now.  At least you were honest.  Something others have yet to figure out.  Thank you for allowing this girl to break your heart.  Thank you for letting me so I could become open and eventually, someday, fly free...

That goatee makes the camel a badass. 

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