It was a lazy Sunday afternoon, sun drenching the lawns of the Single Adult Convention’s mountain edge location, the city of Adelaide stretching out to the coast far below us. People were scattered inside playing board games, an enthusiastic group had bounced off to walk to the National Park half an hour up the road, and lacking such energy I decided I still wanted to enjoy the sun. “Let’s take a turn, shall we?” I offered, elbow held out to the woman to my right.
“Oh! How very Austen! Let’s!” she clapped. Within minutes about eight of us – all aged 30+ – were walking comfortably around the gardens, elbows linked, laughing and chatting. Somehow we decided to explore the surrounding streets, and conversation (as it is obviously wont to do at Single Adult gatherings) turned to the male of the species, specifically those who may be in want or need of a wife. Or – to be more specific – what a wife is in regard and esteem of when looking for a husband.
The group agreed that times – and tastes – had certainly changed from when we were teens, or even in our twenties. “Let’s play a game then,” I suggested. “Let’s play Essential:Negotiable.” To be honest, I deliberately led the conversation in this direction. I was a Convention virgin, having gone without knowing a single person, never having attended any convention before, and it being my first experience of a large Single Adult activity – over a long weekend no less! I had been delighted in finding some truly sensational, amazing women at Convention, and gleefully took the opportunity to conduct some research.
“I’ll start. It’s giving us all a feature or aspect of a potential spouse, and you say if it’s obligatory or negotiable, and then the conversation goes from there. Okay – has a job.”
A chorus of “Essential!” spun in the air, with some rapid discussion on what would constitute fair exemption. “Personal hygiene” suggested someone, and our laughter climbed the gum trees beside us. “Oh, definitely obligatory!” stated someone, face scrunched in horror at the alternative. “Aw, I don’t know…” another woman considered, “That can always be changed.”
Words zipped at our shoulders, as the experiences and doubts of these remarkable women were shared regarding choosing a spouse just to change them, and what would negate a lack of showering in the scheme of spousal contemplation. “Own car”, “How many kids he has”, “Does he have a calling?” were all raised and discussed, no doubt baffling the residents in their gardens as we wandered past.
“Okay.” I paused, considering, and then grinned as the next idea struck. “What about… Teeth?” The look on the ladies’ faces – dropped jaws, disbelieving eyes, then explosion into hilarity – is one of my favourite memories from Convention.
“TEETH?” squeaked one woman, bent over her knees from laughing so hard. “TEEEETH?????” She stood upright, walked two paces then had to bend over chortling again.
“Negotiable”, primly stated another, walking by arm-in-arm with a woman wiping tears from her eyes. She nodded, and smiled at me, shrugging. “Everyone loses their teeth.”
So – would teeth be negotiable to you, should you be in the meat market of LDS dating? What is a quality you consider important in a spouse, as opposed to 10 or 20 years ago? Do you talk to your friends about the qualities they or you are looking for in a spouse? What is essential/negotiable to you?