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|Choose Your Own Adventure: Part 3|
Jul. 28th, 2009 at 12:52 am
Much to their surprise, Debbie and Daniel quickly became the kind of Utah Mormons to break-up with Utah. They soon recognized that there was something different about the Utah Mormons who planned to return and the rest of the members in their DC ward who were pretty happy not to be in Utah. First, they started purposefully forming friendships with the latter group, then they started dreading the trips home to visit family (draining financially and emotionally and full of people asking them when they were coming back), and eventually they laughed at and sometimes made Utah Mormon jokes. Debbie sometimes felt bad about that last bit, but not bad enough to stop.
Much to their families’ surprise, Debbie and Daniel enjoyed DC and when Daniel was finished with law school, he accepted a job with a smallish local corporation. He loved the hours compared to those many lawyers in his ward and stake pulled at private law firms.
Much to Debbie’s surprise, Daniel learned his way around quite easily and when they moved out to the suburbs he didn’t even complain about learning a NEW place.
Much to Daniel’s surprise, his wife and kids thrived in their home thousands of miles from “Zion” and that was enough to keep him happy.
Much to her parent’s surprise, K-ly insisted on being called Susan pretty much as soon as she realized it was an option. It wasn’t so bad when she introduced herself verbally, but as soon as she started school and people were more likely to pronounce her name to rhyme with “fly” than any other variation, she knew she had to do it.
Much to the school district’s and neighborhood’s surprise, the Olsens just kept a right on pumping out kids until Susan (nee K-ly) was in high school. Apparently they had had their fun with phonics and moved on to a nature fixation as they added Granite, Harbor, Boulder, Cliff, Shore, Vale, and baby Spring to the family. Somehow people in their ward, even new ones, could still tell they were Utah people.
Susan enjoyed school as it was full of people and she found people endlessly fascinating. From a young age she had been a careful observer and a skilled mimic of behavior. This led to a lot of laughs from her family, and school and all the people in it was her fuel. She was well aware that her family was not “normal” and she hoped to learn “normal” from other people well enough to be able to act that way too.
While her friends spent their summers at day and then sleep-away camps, Susan’s were full of work and extended road-trips to Utah to visit family. For the summer weeks that they were home, her mother ran a strict regiment of chores, gardening, and self-improvement. While they were in Utah, Susan and her cousins were enrolled in “cousin camps” where they canned, camped, and fished. It almost seemed like a time-warp when compared to her school friend’s entirely 21st Century digital entertainments. When she started to refer to visiting Grandma’s Little House on the Prairie, she got a few laughs, but more concern from her parents.
What Susan really loved was performing. Her parents had dutifully started her on piano lessons with the goal of being able to play Church hymns, but Susan soon blew right past that goal and branched out to other instruments and ways of performing. The stranger, more unusual, and least likely to appear in Sacrament Meeting the instrument, the more passionate Susan became. When she feel in love with the sousaphone, it was not a big surprise to her mother. When she wanted to miss cousins camp to go to band camp to be able to be in her school’s marching band, it was no surprise to her mother. When she wanted to skip the first semester of Seminary to attend marching band rehearsal that started at 6:30 am Monday-Friday, it surprised her mother. To tell the truth, Susan never thought she had a chance with that proposal, but when her parents told her she had to make the decision herself, it took Susan by surprise.
You decide: should Susan pick Seminary or Sousaphone in the marching band.
For the sake of this decision, let’s assume it is either or and there is no way she can both attend Seminary and be in the marching band.