I’ve got a fifteen minute break here, and I have another thing I want to post before I forget about it. I had an experience today that I haven’t had in years and years. I finally remembered what it’s like to be a token Mormon. What I mean by this is the feeling you get when you realize people are looking at you and thinking, “So that’s what a Mormon’s like.” Now, even as I write this, I want to clarify that I know in this situation the person didn’t really break things down that black and white, I’m just saying that when people know so few Mormons, and they know you are one, their definition of what a Mormon is/isn’t can change based on your single example.
When I was in Utah, where there are lots of Mormons, the fact that I watch South Park didn’t necessarily seem like something noteworthy. But here, where there are fewer Mormons, that fact suddenly can become significant.
In a way, this makes me paranoid. Should I be behaving better so that I can be a better example of what it means to be “Mormon”? And what does behaving better entail? There are plenty of Mormons out here who would no doubt say I shouldn’t be watching R-rated movies or South Park or drinking caffeinated soda (I don’t, but that’s beside the point). Suddenly I’m looking at my life in a new light and wondering what are the things I should/shouldn’t be doing. For some reason, doing them around other Mormons was one thing. Doing them when I’m the token Mormon is another.
I don’t know (again) if my thoughts are all coming through clear here. And I’m still not entirely sure what I think about all this. I just thought I’d share it with you readers and see if it elicited anything interesting from you. Clearly, the move from Utah is finally beginning to really sink in with me, and it’s affecting me in ways I hadn’t thought of.
And I’ll just leave it at that for now.