The Unexpected Good Experience

May 31, 2007 at 1:41 pm 11 comments

So I just completed my first year at BYU, the overwhelmingly Mormon college located in
Provo, UT. All in all it was not as bad as I thought it would be. Yes I met my fair share of bubbly, blonde Mormon girls all ready and waiting to have any guy pop the question, and  of course there were many parties which used board games as a substitute for beer, but all in all I was able to find normal people who shared my same sarcastic views on the whole experience.  But to tell you the truth I really wanted to see first hand the true desperation of BYU students, so I did what I knew I had to do. I enrolled in Marriage Prep class.

I knew in a way I was asking for punishment by enrolling in this class, but I decided I needed to take it at a young age before I’d grown too cynical to experience the ultimate BYU experience. I thought for sure that I would be the youngest person in the class by far considering I was only an 18 year old freshmen, but not only was I not the youngest, but there was actually a 17 year old there. So considering that the class was just my age I figured I’d blend in pretty well. And I was able to blend in, that is until the second class period. That class we were talking about children in a marriage and the teacher wanted us to go around and say our name and how many kids we wanted to have. So everything was fine until they got to me. The most typical answers were something like, “Hi my name is Sherry. I’m from Sandy, Utah and I want have, umm maybe like, 5 or 6 kids by the time I’m like 30. I dunno. I mean I’m from a family of 8 so I wouldn’t feel right not having a large family.” So that was the kind of answers I was up against. So when they got to me I figured I shouldn’t sugar coat anything. So I said, “Hey my name’s Nicki, I’m from Washington D.C. and I’m planning on 2 kids and I don’t plan on having them before I’m 30.” I was just going to leave it at that until the teacher gave me this concerned look and asked why I wouldn’t want the blessings of children before the age of 30. So again I decided that I’d just tell the truth, I mean I figured I might as well make this boring class as interesting as possible, so I said, “Well ideally I’d like to get married at 25 and to tell you the truth I want to have at least 5 solid years of the fun aspect of marriage, because as we all know once kids come the sex kind of goes down hill from there.” And there it was. I had dared to go where no other marriage prep student had gone before. I got one laugh from the guy next to me in the back row and I gave him a nod of appreciation, but everyone else was bright red and silent, including my chubby, bald teacher. He mumbled something unintelligible and then moved on to the next person. So before we’d even finished the 2nd day of class I was all ready branded the liberal, selfish, east coast girl, who had no respect for the sacred act of procreation. And to tell you the truth I was just fine with that. As I said before, someone had to make that class interesting, so I figured the torch had been handed to me and it was my duty to bring a little excitement and conflict to the generally sheepish and conservative BYU marriage prep class.

I never acted out in ridiculous ways in the class but I would just let my opinion be known when most people would have generally kept quiet. One day our teacher was talking about dating and how guys need to get more courage in asking out girls. He then went on to make the outlandish statement saying that “any guy can get any girl he wants as long as he plays his cards right”. When he said this utterly ridiculous statement I looked around expecting to see the look of disagreement on every girls face but was appalled to find all of them nodding their heads up and down agreeing with the guy.  At that moment I knew I had to speak up. I raised my hand and I said, “I’m sorry but I really disagree with that statement.” The teacher looked up and said, “Oh really, well please go ahead and enlighten us on what you disagree about.” So I went onto say, “Well it’s absolutely ridiculous that you’re saying any guy can get any girl he wants. I mean that’s just not the case. I mean if some guy who was 5’4 came up to me with horn rimmed glasses and high fastening pants it wouldn’t matter how funny or how charming he was, because at the end of the day I wouldn’t be able to get passed the horn rimmed glasses or high fastening pants. A physical attraction has to be there.” The teacher rolled his eyes at me and said that life is more about looks and that focusing on that is an extremely shallow perspective and that my marriage was bound to be in a lot of trouble if looks were all I was basing it on.  Now this was a funny statement coming from a guy who had previously said a couple of class periods ago that all men care about in a girl is that she’s hot and that she laughs at his jokes (no I’m not even kidding he really did say that in all seriousness). So I decided to unload on him. I told him that looks was not all I was looking for in someone, but that obviously an initial attraction had to be there. I mean the guy doesn’t have to be Brad Pitt, but I have to find him attractive to ever consider dating him. Of course if he’s an idiot or has absolutely no personality I could never continue with it, but at the beginning a physical attraction is necessary. I don’t think this is a shallow perspective but just a blatantly honest one. Maybe there are girls out there who could care less about looks, in fact I know there are considering the amount of pretty women I see married to total duds, but all in all I know attraction is a needed component. The teacher uttered another unintelligible statement where the only word I heard was shallow and of course proceeded to move on with the class, trying to avoid any hint of a conflict that he was sure to lose. Again the class was silent except for my friend in the back who whole heartedly agreed with me.

For the rest of the year I only put in my 2 cents when absolutely necessary but in general stayed quiet and listened to the idiotic concerns of my fellow classmates. The type of concerns you hear in 7th grade health class, like if it’s possible for a condom to get lost or what’s still considered a sin in the bedroom even after you’re married; just ridiculous stuff that suggested to me that these kids’ parents and the public educational system had failed them greatly. I learned to abhor the class and grow even more cynical about BYU. It was the last day of class and I couldn’t have been happier that my misery was about to be put to an end and that I’d never have to see my teacher’s chubby, red face again. The bell rang and I was just about to leave thinking to myself how the class had been the biggest waste of my time, when this little, quiet blonde with glasses who sat on the front row and who probably said about 2 words the entire semester tapped me on the shoulder. I looked up thinking I was in trouble for something, but instead she said in a little voice, “I just wanted to say that I’m so glad you were in this class with me. I totally agreed with you on everything you said and was so glad someone was speaking up about this stuff.  It was so nice to finally hear someone say all the things I was thinking.” At that I didn’t know what to say because she had caught me so off guard. All I was able to mutter out was, “Well someone had to be the black sheep of the class. Haha, so I figured I’d do it.” We talked a little bit more and then said goodbye.  Before talking to that girl I had expected to walk away from that class permanently bitter from the wasted experience, but after that girl came up to me I felt like it had all been worth while. I was glad that I’d enrolled and glad I’d had the experience. I feel that being myself had actually paid off. It was a feel good moment that helped me reconcile the fact that I’d come to BYU. That experience showed me that no matter where you go it always pays off to speak your mind and be yourself. That is of course unless your name’s Don Imus or any other conservative media figure. But considering the fact that I’m just a struggling college intern, I figure I’m safe.


Entry filed under: Commentary, Fun Time Nicki.

The “I Miss Felicity and Ben at Dean and Deluca” Pie Come, We Dance on the Table

11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. lemare  |  May 31, 2007 at 7:25 pm

    I’m reminded of my former roommate, Stacey’s experience in her Marriage Prep class.

    The good professor recommended not consummating the marriage on the wedding night due to fatigue, stress, focusing on that rather than the ceremony, etc…

    Stacey snorted. The professor said, “I see you disagree. I’m certainly glad you’re not my wife.”

    Stacey responded, “Not as glad as I am.”

  • 2. Lindsay  |  May 31, 2007 at 7:28 pm

    Well, from another Mormon girl who is married to a hottie, only had 2 kids, and waited until more than 3 years of marriage for them, I’m going to say we are not the black sheep! Go for your dreams! I could not be prouder of not achieving parenthood while still residing at BYU. Last time I visited, the changing tables in the student buildings really freaked me out. So, go Cougars, from a girl who is definitely not a black sheep!

  • 3. Lindsay  |  May 31, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    Holy Smokes. I just read LeMare’s comment. That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard, from a clearly ahormonal kind of a guy.

  • 4. pammyshep  |  May 31, 2007 at 7:58 pm

    I didn’t take marriage prep at BYU, but I did catch one of my religion professors renting porn from the video store I worked at. I got an A in his class.

  • 5. Lowdogg  |  May 31, 2007 at 11:25 pm

    Entertaining story Fun Time Nicki, though I disagree with the characterization of Don Imus as a conservative.

    Don’t be too cynical about BYU. There’s plenty of time for that in “The Real World.”

  • 6. jdon  |  June 1, 2007 at 11:18 am

    I wish I had taken marriage prep. It probably would have saved my first and second marriages.
    I didn’t know Don Imus was conservative. I always thought he was a forerunner to the whole Howard Stern ‘shock jock’ movement.

  • 7. liz stanley  |  June 1, 2007 at 1:06 pm

    i would love to go back to byu and be a little bit more confrontational about stuff. good job!

  • 8. sfphenix  |  June 1, 2007 at 7:51 pm

    This story took me back to my “History of Race Relations in America” sociology class. We had to do presentations on different minority groups in the States. One of the guys presenting on the African-American experience started by saying that he had never really known any black people (really? in Heber? really?), but he knew that he was “chocolate on the inside.” Nice.

  • 9. funtimenicki  |  June 1, 2007 at 8:03 pm

    Yeah, yeah Imus’s is a liberal all right. I meant to say Don Imus or conservative media figures.. ….That’s what you get for not reading over what you write. My bad lol. It’s a typical intern mistake

  • 10. lemare  |  June 1, 2007 at 8:46 pm

    Fun time Nicki… First lesson as the IRF intern.
    A blogger never apologizes… she just simply goes on and quietly edits her post, thereby making the commentors look like they don’t know how to read.

  • 11. Jdon  |  June 3, 2007 at 5:02 pm

    Yes I agree with Lemare. Admitting you made a mistake is in poor taste. Next time, instead of backing down, you should come out with guns blazing.
    Take for example, oh I dont know, Don Imus. He cowered like a little wussy when his butt got pressed to the flame and came out apologizin’. Ultimately, no one really listened to his apology and called for his head anyways.
    By the way, I dont think Don Imus is liberal either.


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