A Family Home Evening Freak-Out, and Why I’m not Shopping at Graywhale Anymore

I don’t know what to do with this, but I need to put it out somewhere to someone, so I am putting it here.

Tonight I went to my church’s family home evening. That sounds really strange if you don’t know much about my church, I guess. (I go to a student or singles ward of the LDS faith, which is basically a church congregation consisting exclusively of single 18-30 year olds. Every Monday there is a church activity called Family Home Evening, held as a congregation because as single people, obviously we have no families to be at home with for the evening.) I hardly ever go due to my social trepidation, but I was feeling a need to get out and do something worthwhile and give myself another chance, so I went. I got there five minutes after it was supposed to start, and there weren’t many people there yet. Everyone was just standing around. This, for me, is worst case scenario. I feel much better about things if there is some place to sit and something or someone to watch and listen to. There was supposed to be a lesson and some kind of game tonight. But it hadn’t started yet. So I just sort of stood there. There wasn’t really anyone I felt comfortable just going up to and starting to talk to them. After a minute I made the obligatory run to the drinking fountain. A couple minutes later I made the obligatory look around for a place to spit out and throw away my gum. I passed by a girl with whom I had had what I thought was a decent conversation a week or two ago, and I said hi to her and she barely even said hi back. I don’t know if this is because she is as shy as I am, or if she really just does not like me at all. I stood around for another minute or so, wondering whether I should try to start a conversation with her. Just as I had about decided to say something to her she walked away, joining the defense line of girls (more on the line of girls later).

A member of the Bishopric came over to me and talked for a second, and said how much his son liked playing basketball (the boy was shooting hoops while everyone stood around) and kind of complained that if his son could be there at the gym in the church playing basketball all day every day that is what he would want to do. I said that his boy was good at basketball and had made almost every single shot he took. He seemed kind of irritated by that comment, and walked away after a second. Now, from what little I know of humanity and social interactions (and as you can see it is very little), I kind of thought that complimenting a person’s kid (especially when the compliment is entirely genuine) would pretty much always be a winning way to go, but apparently not.

Then this other guy in the ward I know, let’s call him Wes (because that’s his name) comes up to me and starts talking. In some strange turn of the conversation that I do not quite understand, he begins to talk about some secret torture chamber that I have in my house, listing off numerous items that I don’t even know what they are but I assume are devices of torture that I supposedly have and use to inflict abuse upoon people in said chamber. I tried to twist this subject matter into a worn-out joke, telling him that he was making me out like I was a young Dick Cheney. He quickly walked away from me. Apparently it’s okay to accuse me of torture, but Cheney is sacrosanct. Or maybe the Cheney-as-a-cartoon-bad-guy joke is just too tired.

Everyone was still standing around. There was literally this long line of girls, about thirty or so, standing at the edge of the basketball court, while the aforementioned boy and two of the guys in the ward played Horse. Impenetrable. Give me a break, I just can’t deal with that. I went and sat down in the one the chairs, and hoped things would get started soon. There were at least fifty or sixty chairs set up, all completely empty. A couple more minutes, and nothing started. I couldn’t deal with it any more. I walked out of the doors of the church, and looked at my phone. More people were coming in, so I quickly dialed up my parents phone number so I could look like I was just standing outside because I had a phone call and not because I’m a socially-retarded freak, but no one answered. I didn’t want to walk back in there, and I was about to head for my car, but I decided to just walk around instead.

I walked around and down the street in the cool night. It was quite pleasant. After a few minutes, I had calmed down a bit, and I figured things would have started and I could sneak back in quietly and find a nice chair in the back. So I walk back into the gym/cultural hall and there are couple of people sitting on the stage and talking in front of everyone else (who are now seated and in rapt attention of course). I walk closer to where all the chairs are, at which point I realize that there is not one single empty chair. This is absolutely impossible. Usually at church things the first couple of rows are mostly empty, even if everywhere further back is mostly filled in. And then there are still empty spots here and there. But it was so perfectly filled that it almost looked like all unfilled seats had been removed from the premises as soon as everyone present had sat down. There weren’t even any chairs propped against any wall to go grab and unfold. I walked back out, thinking about going into one of the classrooms and finding a chair and carrying it back in there. I felt like some kind of cosmic joke was being played on me. I decided I had had enough and I was finished. I think I even said that out loud, and I’m not sure if anyone heard me or noticed me angrily shove the door open and walk out. Stupid behavior, I know. But whatever. I felt like swearing and laughing and kicking stuff and making a scene and crashing my car. I settled for mumbling and shoving a door open and leaving.

I got in my car and drove around for a while. Thought about going to the record store, but that felt really stupid. I had been planning to go there after FHE anyway. Drove around a little more. Decided I would go to the record store (Graywhale — This is what their pathetic website has said for at least a year or two now) and see if they had this CD. I was going to go to Best Buy and buy it after work, but I had decided that I would check if Graywhale had it first, because I like to support local businesses. I find a parking spot and walk up there and the guy in the music section upstairs is playing what is possibly the most uninviting, inhospitable music I have ever heard. It started out just being hardcore, but then it turned into some kind of miserable funeral dirge or something. “Doomcore” might be an appropriate description. Maybe it was my mood, I don’t know. The guy didn’t say a word to me. Overall, not exactly the kind of vibe that makes me pull out my wallet, even if I am kind of anti-social. Sometimes they are really nice, and other times it’s like they don’t even want your business. Like if you are not dressed right and buying the right thing, you are not worthy to patronize their establishment. Great way to make money. Tonight they didn’t have the CD I really wanted, and I didn’t feel like buying anything else even though they did have other things I wanted. I don’t know why I give a crap if a place like that stays in business, and go out of my way to spend my money there. Next time I’ll just go to Best Buy.