The training ended an hour early, but I missed two socializing opportunities because of it, which was disappointing until I realized a month ago that wouldn't have been an issue. I also made sure to get onto the day shift so that my evenings would be open for socializing, and if I had said that a month ago it would have been pure sarcasm. I can't really take any credit for the change, though, because I just happened to find this perfect posse and if I hadn't I still wouldn't be doing any of that stuff. Last week I went on a hike with their Elders' quorum, demonstrating that while infatuation may have brought me into this ward, and food may have enticed me to continue coming, ultimately it's friendship that will keep me there. I've discovered what's really important - having lots of people who like me enough to cooperate as I exploit them to further my aspirations.
The hike was preceded by a breakfast, during which their bishop said a few words about dating. He wasn't like the second counselor, who constantly badgers everyone about dating and marriage, which I actually think is all right. If the entire bishopric and the entire culture were like that, it would be a problem, but I think it's all well and good for one person to fill that role because it creates a "good cop/bad cop" kind of dichotomy. Anyway, the bishop doesn't go on about it that much but he just wanted to talk about it on this occasion, and that was great for me as an outsider because I could glean his remarks for good counsel without any obligation to actually listen to it. "A few of you - maybe more than a few of you - are just scared of women," he said, "and you just need to get over that." Well, yes, I thought, I do tend to be scared of things that hurt me. I'm funny that way.
I also played basketball with them. I'm not familiar with all of the rules, and I can't shoot very well, but I'm not so bad at it that my team is guaranteed to lose by a large margin, so that was fun. I just tried to stay out of the way and do whatever my teammates told me to. "Chris, guard Dallin!" somebody said. Sure thing, I thought, as soon as I figure out which one he is. I tried to pick up on some of their slang as well. They were fond of saying "Good D!", and they even said it to me a few times. I assume the "D" stands for "defense", though I'm not sure because they never said "Good O!" as an corollary and I don't see why "defense" is a long enough word to require an abbreviation anyway. If it were "disestablishmentarianism", that would be different. I learned in high school that trying to be normal by copying what all the other guys said and did was a bad idea, so I never said it myself. I would have gotten the context completely wrong and they would have scoffed at me like, "Are you blind? That was the worst D I've ever seen in the history of D. My grandmother could D better than that, and she's D-E-D dead."
I need to wrap this up pretty quick now because I have a lot of Latin studying to do and maybe more people will read it if it's shorter than usual anyway. I shan't get around to talking about Mackenzie's obsession with T. Swizzle, how she dances to it while driving despite claiming to not know how to dance, how I realized last night that I argue with her just for fun even when she's right and maybe that's why she thought I didn't like her, etcetera. That's all the pertinent information anyway. I'm not good at putting those things in story form when they really work better as bullet points.
The Mormon Section
But the absolute coolest part is that he spits on an altered painting of Joseph Smith, that he is not just slamming the Church in general, or President Monson, but going way back to the founder, Joseph Smith, who had nothing to do with this policy, but did say he was told by an angel "that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people." This prophecy was given to a total nobody in an era when news could take a month to travel across the continent. Even by his death, when he had become moderately famous in the United States, there was no reason to assume anyone would remember or care about him a hundred or two years later. So I think that's cool. I know I should focus more on Tyler Glenn and the actual issues at hand here, but that's my perspective and I'm sticking to it. And of course I hope he gets over his pain.