Saturday, June 11, 2011

Romney and the Salt of the Earth

Greetings from Centennial apartments, "home of Romney, Jesse Owen, and the salt of the earth." I sit here in an aged comfortable apartment with all of the commodities that were avaliable during the turn of the century. We are equipped with running water, electricity, and a few other conviences that were probably not readily available during the time of my great great Grandfather Gaskell Romney's childhood.
  I suppose I am stretching the truth a little bit when I am stating that the centenniel apartments are a dive. In fact I would venture to state that they are the most technologically advanced housing apartments that I have lived in since arriving in Provo, Utah. Although that is not saying much either.
The thing that I do not understand really is the fact that I am living in a place that should draw a popular crowd. Centennial apartments has a nice pool, a large and spacious courtyard, and a nice barbeque. The management is pretty nice and while the apartments tend to be a bit antiquated they are still able to be inhabited. These apartments are every bit as good as its neighbor King Henry. However the crowd that Centennial draws is a far different crowd than that of King Henry.
 In all candidness and truth the people who Jesse and I are living with are the eccentric and quirky.  They epitomize the stereotype of being a mormon. They are strange, odd, and geeky. I love them, but when I am presented as the wild one of the ward there is something wrong with my ward.
  By now you might be inquisitive as to why there is a picture of what you think to be women and a couple of men from bathing at the beach in the nineteen twenties. Well the truth of the matter is this. The picture was not taken July 4 1919; rather it was snapped earlier today at Kiwanas park in Provo Utah. What you believe to be flapper girls from the roaring twenties are actually in fact the members of the relief society in the BYU 247th young single adult ward.
 When I was informed that we would be having outdoor water games I decided that I would dress for the occasion. I decided that I would go to kiwanis park with nothing but a swimsuit and flip flops. I stepped outside my house and made my way to the courtyard where we as a ward were meeting for the extravaganza. Slowly I walked toward the congregation of my fellow ward brethren and sisters. As I did so I noticed the odd stares of nearly everybody in that congregation. All faces were turned directly to me. Jaws had dropped and there was an odd silence occasionally interrupted by a whisper. It made me feel remarkably weird to put it gently. It was as though a scarlet letter had been pinned to my chest.
Following a few moments of their eyes gazing toward me the silence broke and we began to walk toward the park. However, I could not help but feel as though I was being labled as a heathen.
My feeling of heresy was only amplified when I met my date (because all ward activities are a ward date night).Within moments of our meeting one another and the casual questions of who are you? what are you doing? and what is your major? My date looked and me and stated, "you know the only time my mom ever let my brothers go without a shirt was when they were swimming in a pool. Otherwise she considered that it was an act of immodesty. I would have to state that I feel the same way." The conversation ended quite immediately and the heathen was cast out to the outer realms of the group.
 I am not joking about the extreme modesty that was portrayed during this activity. It was almost shocking and alarming to view. When the time came for the slip in slide most of the ward members went in a T shirt and jeans. One girl was brave enough to take off the T shirt and jeans and go in her swim suit, which I kid you not was a bonafide swimsuit found in the roaring twenties. I swear to you it was about ankle length. That women could have worn that bathing suit in the middle of Saudi Arabia and no one would state anything about the need to be more modest. Well that is all that I have for today.
until next time
May you be modest in thought, words, and actions.    

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