I've bumped into just a small handful of Mormons since leaving the church. The Mormon population in Perth, Western Australia is pretty negligible so I can get around without too many unpleasant reminders.
I had one today but I think I will describe another encounter first. It was probably about a year ago. I was late night shopping with a friend when someone grabbed by arm and I was spun around a little by the force of it. I found myself face to face with the Relief Society President (I was one of her counsellors when I left). We each asked and answered those boring greetings and questions "Hello" and "how are you"... quickly followed by "have a nice night" and "good-bye". At the time I had found the encounter to be odd and a little unnecessary. I mean, if she had not grabbed my arm I would have walked right past her and never noticed. The paranoid me thought that maybe she was trying to confront me and make me face her. The more grounded me considered that she had been brave and caring in reaching out. She had seemed a little nervous and I think that I can safely say now that I think this was a positive encounter.
Especially when compared to the next two encounters.
The next one was at the shopping centre again. My daughter was browsing through purses when a member from our old Ward entered the store with a mobile phone to her ear and her face angled away from me. She went straight up to the service counter, took the phone away from her ear and started talking to the sales assistant. Okay, so paranoid me thought this was quite hilarious. It really did look like an elaborate (and woefully unsuccessful) attempt to go unnoticed. We had been browsing there for a while and I figured that this woman had decided she couldn't wait any longer and had to get into the store. Whatever.
Today I arrived at the High School I was going to teach at and the Relief Co-ordinator was showing me around the school. He went up to the ladies at the Library counter to have a little natter and then I realised that one of them was a member from my old Ward. This time I said with a smile "Hey, I know you! Hello _____ ". And she looked at me with expressionless eyes, said nothing and then looked away. LAME!
I'm starting to think that my old Ward really isn't that fond of me. I need a smart remark for next time, anyone got one?