Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Day Cliché Became Reality

*Post inspired by Mama Kat's writer's workshop prompt "Write a dramatic synopsis of a memorable day in your life, as if it was a movie or TV series." 

For extra kicks, imagine it being read in the voice of Don LaFontaine.

When Jennie Davenport walked into the church building on an early Sunday in September of 2002, she couldn't have guessed the way her life would change. Confident, uninterested, and somewhat rebellious, she looked like the last person who belonged there.

It was a ward for single adults--a place where young people paraded themselves in the never-ending and pressurized search to wed the first available object of the opposite sex came to cultivate their love of Christ and strengthen their testimony of the gospel. And though Jennie's eyes remained aloof and her chin was high, she came there craving just that: the spiritual feast she'd been missing out on for nearly two years.

With sweaty palms and tensed muscles, Jennie walked into the meat market church building--anxiety-ridden from being somewhere that used to feel like home.

"I can do this," she told herself.  "I need to do this."

Since returning to the prison comfort of her parents' home one week prior, venturing back to church was one of the things Jennie was looking forward to the most, and when her friend, Katie, convinced her to accompany her to the singles ward on that first Sunday--the first church-going Sunday in nearly two years--every stereotype from the popular Mormon movie, The Singles Ward, shot to the forefront of her mind, and she almost declined.

And almost threw up in her mouth a little, too.

After all, Jennie wasn't single, but was in a very unhealthy, co-dependent, recently turned long distance sound relationship.

But little did she know that she'd receive the very thing that 99% of the Mormon single adult population goes to the singles ward for--the only reason: the cliché gift of an eternal companion.

Not making eye contact with a single soul, she walked through the doors and straight to the emptiest pew, willing the mingling singles to sit and the meeting to start.

Then he came over. The first person to speak to her.

Geez, couldn't he give me at least five minutes to settle in?

"Hi," he said, beaming from ear to ear. He looked fresh on the a newbie to normal society.

A return-missionary.

Every button of his olive-colored suit vest was nicely buttoned and a glow emanated off of him.

Ugh, that glow.

He took his hand out of his pocket, offering it politely. Somewhat reluctantly, Jennie took it. It was warm, nonthreatening, and...nice.

His eyes were nice, too. Blue and sincere.

"I'm Dave," he continued. "I just got home from my mission three weeks ago."

And...there it was. Jennie forced a smile. A return missionary was the last thing she needed in her life--spiritually bombarding, innocent, eager.

But then Jennie found out she and the RM had something in common. Dave had served his mission in Huntington Beach, California, in the very home ward Jennie had grown up in. They knew the same people, enjoyed the same smell of that old, white church building.

And despite her objections, she wondered if it was a sign.

Will Jennie dump her dangerous boyfriend and fall in love with this faithful, strapping man, leaving her rebellious life to the wayside?

And will this fresh return-missionary be persistent enough to win over a stubborn, struggling woman?

**Spoiler Alert**

He was. And he did.

Mama’s Losin’ It


Kimberly said...

Aww, what a cute story! I met my husband when I wasn't looking either. And he was persistant!

Came from Mama Kat's!

Jessica said...

How cool that he had served his mission in your hometown. A perfect match.

~Beck~ said...

What a wonderful story you wrote. You have a talent with words! I didn't have a clue that you didn't go to Church for a time. I'd honestly love to discuss that with you sometime (if that would be alright with you!).

As always, well done Jennie!

hilljean said...

Haha! I love that at the start of your relationship you were annoyed that he approached you. This is so often the case. Thank God for men that pursue women, huh? Cute story!

Jen said...

I love this story, Jennie! He sounds like an awesome catch!

Jessica said...

That was a wonderful story. Pretty sure hearing about that makes my cry every time! I'm so glad you went to church that day and that Dave had the guts to talk to you! Love you Jen!!!

Thanks for sharing your beautiful talent with all of us!

Anne said...

Love is always found in the most unexpected place when we are not looking for it! Great post:)

Jen said...

I'm back! And when you stop by my blog have a couple of awards I've nominated you for...because I love your blog, and I never miss a day of reading it.