As I reported on my recent post, I received Elna Baker’s book, The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance, Christmas morning. My interest in this book was piqued by a bcc interview with Elna, and a bcc review of the book. I will report here that I loved the book and highly recommend it. I especially appreciated Elna’s honesty in telling her story. And it doesn’t hurt that she’s funny as hell.
The meme of the beautiful Mormon single girl trying to remain celibate in NYC reminded me of JL and her blog, Celibate in the City, which I used to read regularly (although now it is an invite-only blog, I think, and I haven’t read it for some time). The Mormon boys are all weenies, there are too few of them and too many amazing, beautiful women competing for them, there are an abundance of handsome non-LDS guys interested in them, but serious dating in the non-LDS world at some point entails actual sex. And for these young Mormon women to try to navigate between those shoals is really quite a fascinating thing to watch.
I have to admit that I’m a little bit torn about the whole celibacy thing in these scenarios. The Mormon part of me thinks it’s great, that these women are real-life heroines standing up for traditional values. I seriously admire them for holding to their values.
On the other hand, if I were in their shoes (and it’s unlikely I’ll be a beautiful, single young woman living in NYC anytime soon), I’m not at all certain that I would make the same choices. I know it will shock a lot of people, but if after giving the Mormon guys a reasonable chance, if the pickings really were that dismal, I think I might give up on the celibacy thing and pursue an actual relationship outside of the Church. I suspect this isn’t going to be a popular suggestion on a Mormon blog. But I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t hold to the celibacy standard forever if I were an Elna or a JL.
What do you think about this? Is it celibacy in all events come hell or high water? Or are there circumstances under which you can envision caving on that in favor of an actual, real-life romantic relationshiip?