A trip to La-La Land
Jenny asked if I wanted to go up to Dallas to church with her today. I said sure... sometimes you need to mix things up a bit, get out of town, and worship can be fresh and renewing in a different place from time to time.
Our destination was Prestoncrest in Dallas, where her brother Doug attends. Prestoncrest has long been the mecca of singles in the metroplex. In college, I knew a couple of girls that didn't have enough guys to choose from within the campus center group, so went on down to Dallas from Denton to see if they could find them a man before graduation.
After graduation, I knew of people that went there because that is where you met members of the opposite sex, even if you just visited. I've visited a few times over the years, though I did not go for the hook-up. A friend or two tried to convince me that we all needed to go up there to scout for mates, but going to church for the hook-up just didn't seem like the right thing to do. I do know a couple of people from the Church of Christ singles website (a whole other blog entry, I assure you) that do still attend there, though not married yet.
(Side story - Jenny once went up there and ran into the one guy I ever went out with while in college. Very strange run in there, so I did avoid visiting for a while at the risk of running into him. Jenny asked this morning if I was worried about running into him. I assured her I was not.)
Well, even though "the program" has not worked for several people I know, it has indeed been successful for a number of people, evidently.
The place was teeming with young couples, pregnant couples and couples with babies. Many, many babies. They were everywhere. Congregated in an area for a quick bottle break before second service. Baskets set out to collect gifts for upcoming baby showers. A list a mile long of upcoming baby (as well as wedding) showers. I heard one woman holding a child about 18 months talking to a man in the hall. The man commented that the little girl sure was growing up, to which she replied, "she has to grow up because she's going to be a big sister."
There were two couples with babies on the pew in front of us alone. One was dressed in the most insane layered tutu I've ever seen. It had layers upon layers of different colored tutu. I itched just looking at it. Then, they put this huge, wide, headband with tulle roses on top on her poor little head. I don't know what the thing was made out of but it cut the circulation of blood to my head off just looking at it. There is no sense in torturing a child like that.
And I at 32 and Jenny at 31 next month were probably older than many of the couples. We talked about what was an overwhelming atmosphere of marriage and family life. We asked Doug if you had to sign a contract agreeing to grow the church by procreation when you placed membership there. All of the happy couple-ness is just not the lives that Jenny and I have.
Last night, Jenny's friend Amy fixed her up on a blind date with a 41 year old divorced guy with kids. I haven't been on a date in the past 10 years - then with the guy mentioned above who had a very strange attachment to his mother.
Neither of us really see the family life in our futures, although I know Jenny would like to have a family. And I don't mean that in a "poor, pitiful me" kind of way. I think God does not mean for the same thing for everyone. I'm OK with that. Sometimes, I just feel like maybe I just live in La-La Land. Maybe going to Prestoncrest wasn't La-La Land, because La-La Land is supposed to be the weird place. Marriage and family is the norm.
I'm in a funky place right now. The Wednesday night adult class at church is focused on a family series. The thought of sitting through lessons on marriage and family makes me want to pound my head against pew in front of me. Except for the fact that a large percentage of the people in the class are grandparents and beyond, I get that it's an important series for the church membership. I, however, wish there were alternatives.
Do you ever have moments that you just feel in La-La Land - that life's somehow moved on around you, and you are stuck in the Twilight Zone?