Playful, elegant, and not above the judicious use of the word “shit."

Memoirs of a Recovering Mormon

I have wasted the last several hours of my life reading my journals from my freshman and sophomore years at BYU. I don’t think any other activity could be quite as depressing, except perhaps actually attending BYU. The following are selected excerpts from the sophomore year journal. Accounts of my freshman year are just too horrifying.

October 12, 1994
My poor little soul. What have I done to merit such odd specimens giving me attention? First there was Brian, the monotone oompa loompa pool cover man. Then there was Dike (yes, that’s his God-given name), a 250-pound block of human flesh that operated without the impairment of human intellect. Andy, a 27 year old knob, did nothing, does nothing, aspires to be nothing. And then there was Chad… although his arms and chest were smoothly shaven, the scent of barbasol alone cannot sustain any meaningful involvement. School is, as usual, intense. I’m reading Dante’s Divine Comedy, Beowolf, and Ovid simultaneously. Four papers due within the next four days. Hopefully the Lord will give me strength to work through all of this.

November 1, 1994
Everyone in this valley is infatuated with the topic, the idea, the experience, philosophy, and mechanics of sex. All conversations eventually end up on the subject. No joke. The entire Daily Universe, Byu’s campus newspaper, was devoted to marriage and wedding preparation on Friday. My roommates base their happiness and moods on whether or not that certain cute stranger glances at them in their noon class, or whether Lance or Bryce or Jordon actually sit next to them in the Cougareat. Amanda has been on four dates in the past week, and just tonight another meat market shopper asked her out for tomorrow. I can’t describe how joyous she is acting. So, here I am with freaks Brian, Dike, some guy we all call Banana Man (because his way of asking me out was to knock on the door and stand there holding out a banana, without saying one darn word), and this new guy Marlin (yes, named after a fish) who wants me to play three-legged basketball on a “group date” Friday night. What?? This valley cannot be indicative of the real world. No where else does the threat of hellfire loom over the sinfully happy single. It is hard to keep things straight. It is hard not to fall prey to the myth that my predestined mate is here and waiting at BYU. Yet, there are admonitions, warnings, urgings at every turn of the head. I mean, heck, people do look for their one and only honey bunny in the frozen vegetable aisle at Smith’s grocery store.

These are the mildest of all the journal entries. Almost every other entry details my pleading with Heavenly Father to help me understand why I didn’t fit in with everyone else at BYU. Why couldn’t I get excited about group dates at the park? Because somewhere deep down inside I knew that we were all going to get drunk on Sprite and dry hump, and not get drunk on beer and fuck like every other healthy college student.

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