Wednesday, November 17, 2010

mormon blogging (No, I'm not hating)

As a part of the "bloggosphere" for the past year, I have noticed a few trends. 80 percent of people who blog fall into three categories: college girls "obsessed" with anything preppy, newly-wed-surprise-mommy-housewives (this breed can be a combination of any two), and the Mormons (though this can also be, and oftentimes is, combined with newlywed housewife moms).

Anyway, I knew some Mormon kids growing up, but never really noticed anything about them except they were usually blond and had lots of siblings. But when I started blogging and, by default, blog stalking (I'm telling you, I get sucked in and before you know it I'm reading posts from February 2006), I found that a disproportionate blogs were by Mormons, up on a soapbox, spreading the good news one "how we met at 19 and were married by 20" story at a time.  This is what I've learned about the Mormon faith through blogging:

They all have really nice cameras and take really good pictures of their really blond, chubby, cute kids and their ridiculously good looking and young spouses. They usually didn't go to college (unless it was BYU, which really just seems to be one gigantic singles mixer where everyone in attendance is 'serious about marriage') but opted to go on "mission" instead. As a result, they tend to spell things wrong, use the wrong tenses and punctuations, inappropriately use possessives (o.k., fine, there are a few really good blogs that are also by Mormons. But Courtney Kendrick is a professional writer. Just saying). They've probably vacationed to Hawaii or Southern California, and most likely live in Utah, Arizona, Idaho, or California. They LOVE Mitt Romney. They talk about religion and the "heavenly father" way too much. Maybe it's just me (and I'm pretty religious), but I am just uncomfortable blogging about religion. It's way too personal, but that's a story for another blog.

But here's the kicker, and why I think I'm so fascinated: all the Mormons are so happy. Happy much in the same, creepy way the Duggar family is happy (you know what I mean, happiness that you suspect might not be real happiness, but paraded around and shoved in everyone's faces until you either think something must be terribly wrong with you, or terribly wrong with them, but either way, terribly wrong). A happiness that seems borderline naive. Well, at least, it seems naive to me, being a 23 year old progressive/liberal/New England native/New York transplant. Yeah, I just classified myself as that. I basically make a living out of having an existential crisis every other day and getting drunk weekly and worrying and bellyaching about the state of the world, the state of the dating scene, and the state of things to come hourly daily. And I know I'm not the only one (or am I?).

But, as much as I poke fun, Mormons seem to be happy in all the ways many of us, in the midst of our loneliest walks home from the train, buffering the world with our headphones, wish we could be. They are in stable, loving, committed relationships, they get to have a mess of kids running around, they don't seem to be too preoccupied with corporate America, but rather living quaint lives in the foothills of Utah where they go to Church a whole bunch and sit around and read Bible verses. They use the word "sweet" a lot, and a lot of exclamation points, too. They don't seem to be worried about the state of the world or the state of the dating scene (because before you even have to wonder about a dating scene, poof! you're married in less time than most people will introduce a significant other to their parents). They don't seem to have existential crises...ever. They know that, somehow, every living thing has a purpose.

I'm not hating. I seriously am not. Perhaps I'm a little envious because from the other side looking into these warm, beautiful blogs about love and family and home, the cubicle city world seems harsh. But honestly, I should really stop stalking, because the fact that girls my age are married and have babies is just plain strange to me. But I guess if you can't drink and can't have sex, the next best thing would be to get married, right? Still can't drink, but at least you can have sex. But seriously, girls, have fun being sick of your husband by 28 and have a kid in high school by 35. Maybe I'm not so envious after all.


  1. Watch Sister Wives.....i know thats fundamental mormons, but they make it look like polygamy is the most fun ever.....and then they all raise tons of money against gay marriage. There is good and bad in everyone, some people are just better at hiding parts of it.

  2. I worked with some mormon nannies in New Jersey and I've come to the exact same conclusion. I read their blogs and compare their happy lives to mine (similar to the one you write about-you're not the only one!) and am mystified at how it all works like that. I've even been to a mormon church once and there is just no way I could ever have that lifestyle or "joy", thank God.

  3. Nice post. Both of my sisters fall under this "Mormon Mommy Blogger" demographic. The grass is always greener, though. They have existential crises of their own kind what between diaper changes and 36th repeat viewing of Sesame Street and if they read your blog would probably be envious of you, too.

  4. Oh no... there's nothing happy about having to repress your feelings and live a very ascetic life. Conditioning, indoctrination, and the general ideal of "settling" have A LOT to do with it. Remember that appearances aren't always the reality. When we turn off the lights at night and it's just us and our thoughts... that's when you truly know if you are indeed happy. Otherwise, it's all an act and aren't we all excellent at pretending?