Sometimes when I go to bed, my mind rushes a mile a minute. My mind becomes a broken record and I remember some humiliation. I don’t know if I do it to relieve the pressure. Sometimes I just want to hug that young self. I want to tell her that even though life gets harder, it also gets easier.
I remember. . .
In the early 1980’s, I had been admitted into BYU (Brigham Young University). It had been quite an accomplishment because I had been homeschooled after the age of twelve. My parents didn’t like the school curriculum, especially the sex education. They decided that they could teach us the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic. We could learn the rest ourselves.
By the time I was admitted into college, I was not ready for it. I had taken some extension courses in algebra and chemistry. I had survived the classes with Bs even though I had never had these courses before. I enjoyed the biology labs.
Although I wasn’t ready for college, I really really wanted to go. In my Mormon family, there were only two ways to leave: go to college or go on a mission.
So I did it the hard way. I worked two jobs and went to college. I barely had time to sleep and had less money to eat. But, I was doing it.
At BYU, the college students are divided up into wards (for church). To continue in school, you needed to prove you were in church. At the time, I was a good church-going girl, so this aspect of BYU didn’t bother me. Also, most of the fun activities like dances and hiking were done by the wards. We got to know students studying all sorts of subjects.
My roommates were really into the ward activities. I was a shy, retiring youngster. At 20, I would blush when a young man talked to me. I had been isolated much of my life, so this college experience was very overwhelming. My roommates were kind and tried to make my life easier. One of them would drag me to New Orleans Jazz sessions at the college.
Near the middle of the semester, the ward would have a huge social dance. Each person had to pay for the activity. They also put names in a hat so that even the most single people could have a partner. At the time, I was not dating. I looked forward to the person who would take me to the dance. I was excited.
So I received the name. “Adrian Dantley”
I am sure that you guys already know what happened just by the name. Yes, Adrian Dantley was a forward with the Utah Jazz at the time. And, he did not go to BYU.
So I waited expectantly the day of the dance. My roommates had already met their dates. One of them saw me getting ready and asked the name of my date. She was a Utah Jazz fan. When I told her, “Adrian Dantley” she looked at me stunned. She told my other roommate who had put together this dance. She was really upset.
They made me sit down and told me that “Adrian Dantley” would not be showing up to take me to the dance.
As soon as I knew what had happened (as you can guess, I am NOT a basketball fan), my face turned white. My head was between my knees and I was crying hopelessly. I went into my bedroom and began taking off my finery.
I was humiliated.
I could hear this voice in my head. It was my father saying: “You are too stubborn. No man will want to be with you.” It wound around my mind like a broken record.
My roommates took me to the dance with them. They made their dates dance with me. Even the guys tried to be nice. But it was done. I could not look at any body in that ward without wondering who had thought that this trick was funny.
I quit going to that ward. I made myself a promise that I would not marry an immature man who thought that this kind of thing was “funny.” Eventually, I realized that most of the men involved in this religion were immature. Thankfully, I found a man instead of a boy.
So as I lay on my bed last night, remembering this one dance, I knew that it was a turning point in my life. I knew that my life traveled to another world of adventure because of one thoughtless boy.