Saturday, June 25, 2011
Yes Ma'am: An Exploration into Mormon Sexuality
(Warning: Parents and parents-in-law are advised that the material in this piece may not be suitable for your memory storage space. With love, M)
A few months after Rockstar and I stopped going to church a couple of young missionaries paid us a visit. It was about 10am on a Saturday morning, we were both incredibly hung-over from our 10 year anniversary celebrations the night before. We had consumed a bottle of champagne and a bottle of red between us. I know, I know we had no idea what we were doing or what it would do to us but while we were dining at our favourite tapas restaurant we were too happy to care. Back to the 'morning-after' and a couple of doe-eyed Elders was the last thing I expected to see in my bleary state. Rockstar was polite and let them know that we'd left the church and didn't want to have anything to do with it. The Elders seemed to have been somewhat prepared for this response and left pretty quickly, after handshakes and smiles of course.
The Missionary flat that used to be located just down the road from us is no more. I won't presume to say that it is because of us that missionaries no longer live there but I do wonder. I used to see handsome young Elders walking past my house several times a week. Often I'd run into them taking the kids to school, shopping, going to the gym etc etc. The gym trips were the funniest because I'd be in skimpy clothes and I always felt a bit rare talking to missionaries like that but at the same time it was a small kind of thrill to see their obvious responses.
As a good Mormon stay-at-home mum I was often home alone or with small kids when the Elders would come around. One hot day the Elders dropped by (one was particularly handsome and had been very friendly with me during dinner visits at our house). I had been out the back with the kids trying to cool off with some water play and so when I opened the front door I really was not wearing a whole lot. I grabbed a nearby wrap to cover myself a bit more and assumed that the Elders would not stay long. However we spoke for quite a while. In fact the Elder (the one that I said before was attractive) he even made a comment about my figure which, when I think about it now, was pretty outrageous behaviour for a missionary but at the time I really appreciated the feeling that someone saw me as a sexual being.
Rockstar and I had the missionaries over for dinner regularly. We felt like it was our way of saying thanks to all of the generous New Zealanders who fed and cared for Rockstar when he served his mission in Auckland in 1996-1998. Plus we were only a little bit older than the Elders and Sisters so we felt like we were their peers. I really treasure all of the memories that I have of the many big-hearted missionary Elders and Sisters who visited our home... ate with us, played games with us, adored our children, sang with us. Wow, I'm feeling teary thinking about it.
Where has all of this sprung from? I was reminded of an incident recently when a hunky male staff member at one of the gyms I work for winked at me as I handed him my Balance cards just before leaving the club. I was startled by just how much that wink affected me. You see, before he winked at me I had not really paid all that much attention to him but ever since that wink I am just drawn to his maleness whenever I see him. I mentioned this to Rockstar since he has an ego of steel (haha) and then we remembered something that had happened when some missionaries were at our house a few years ago...
We - Rockstar, me, two Elders and our two kids - were playing 'Go Fairy' which is just like 'Go Fish' but with Fairy cards. I asked one of the Elders "Do you have a rainbow fairy?" and he responded in his American accent (think kinda slow drawl here) "Yes Ma'am" and handed me the card. I summoned all of my strength to reach out and take the card because inside I had just turned to Jelly (or Jell-O for the American Mormons here). Every fantasy I had ever had about a man in uniform just merged into one and there he was sitting in front of me. Seriously, if all social conventions had disappeared at that moment and suddenly all that existed in this world were that Elder and I then Damn! would he have had to look out! For weeks after that I couldn't look at the guy without blushing. It was madness.
the scene in 'Pride and Prejudice' where Mr. Darcy offers his hand to Elizabeth Bennet as she goes to climb into the carriage and then as he walks away there is a shot of him flexing his hand as though the thrill of their touch is still coursing though him. Being Mormon can be like that. It is hard to be friends with someone of the opposite sex because you are told that you should not ever be alone with a man (or a man alone with a woman) because you might end up having sex with them; the temptation would be too great! apparently. Sooooo, this kind of precludes friendship (or any serious friendship) with someone of the opposite sex.
(If you see any pics here that you think I have cropped you out of and you would be happy for me to crop you back in please send me a note and I'd love to expand the view, AngryBaker I'm looking at you!)