“Hey Kel, I know this really nice guy – “

“No thanks.”

“But I haven’t said anything about him!”

“You said you know a guy.”

“I do!”

“You said ‘nice’”


“You’re trying to set me up.”

“Um, yeah?”

“No thanks.”

I do not need a husband. I’ve had one and frankly the model I chose required significant work and then developed fatal safety flaws which broke my family into pieces. I’m reluctant to get another one. There’s too much hassle, too many unknown variables, and that’s just getting to the abandoned car yard of Single Adult activities. I’m quite happy just looking at the top models (thinking David Tennant, Jason Statham, John Scalzi, Stephen Fry and The-Rock-Whatever-His-Real-Name-Is here) and cruising along in my one-adult-two-kid jalopy.

Unfortunately, some people take my reluctance and disinterest as a personal challenge. Or they only see the fact that I and He-Whom-Is-About-To-Be-Spruiked share the same marital status of “single/divorced”.

“Hey, I should introduce you to my brother! He’s single!”

“Is he a good bloke?”

“Yeah, he is! He doesn’t have a job at the moment, and is living with my Nanna but-“

“You want to introduce me to your unemployed, living with your grandmother brother?”

“Um… yeah?”

“See, that right there? That’s why I’m not dating. Or being set up on a blind date.”

A recurring refrain is “You just need to get married – problem sorted!” Dear Delusional One, I don’t think so. As President Hugh B. Brown is quoted as saying, marriage gets you to the end of your troubles – the front end. I understand that people care about me, and want me to be happy and share my life with someone who loves me, which is why they are keen for me to get hitched. Regardless, it seems, of if it’s to a rusty farm tractor or a bullet-proof Benz. “I’ll give you two years to get married,” my former Branch President told me, “then I’ll get involved if it hasn’t happened.”

Two years? My brain staggered off to peer groggily at the calendar. Two years? You mean the next two years in which I’m trying to finish my nursing degree, raise my sons to be something more than fighting, messy barbarians, earn money to feed, clothe and educate those same barbarians and maybe fit in a couple hours of sleep? Those two years?

Sure, why not. Sounds like a plan. “Deal!” I told him, then promptly scrawled “Getting me married” onto my “Things That Prove My Friends Are Undeniably Insane” list. Obviously I need to worry about porcine pilots more than planning any future nuptials.

“If you just signed up for LDSingles/wore makeup more/let yourself go a little/stopped watching sci-fi movies/didn’t read so much/didn’t worry so much…” – I’ve heard all sorts of ‘helpful’ (to quite stupid) suggestions. I loathe “If you just [insert stupid/unhelpful here]” comments. Like the person saying it has the inside scoop on the situation. Against all odds the person has the simple, obvious and surely never before considered solution that would just –POOF!- sprinkle happiness and success all over your life, with zero ongoing costs, no hidden expensive extras and absolutely nothing to worry about ever again. It’s a solution, but rarely do the people offering the advice have the full picture of what your driving history is, your personal preferences, and the grim reality of the limits you have on your choices, whether they are financial, emotional, health related, familial or a combination of everything.

“If you just exercised…”

“If you just became a distributor…”

“If you just stopped dying your hair those colours…”

“If you just thought before you spoke…”

I know I’ve been the one guilty of saying “If you just [insert super-tactless here]”. I was trying to help, yes, but nowhere near the right way. I should have carefully negotiated the curves of the compassionate route instead of yelling out the traffic report from my superior Icarus-class helicopter. Accidents happen, brakes fail, sometimes our indicators don’t show where we want to go, but we do tend to keep going with the new damage, often getting lost in the process. The road to hell may very well be paved with good intentions, and I’ve driven along that stretch for more klicks than I’d like to admit to.

So please, for my own education (and no doubt mortified sympathetic laughter as well), I’m interested in the “If you just [insert stupids]” you’ve received or delivered^. Have any of them dinged your fender? Made you wind up your windows and shout “I’m not listening!”? Ran anybody over with your own enthusiastic, well-meaning mouth?

^Unless you’re typing “If you just met my brother/cousin/neighbour/mechanic/weird guy from church…”, in which case I’m incredibly NOT interested.


  1. Bethany

    January 25, 2012

    I know a woman who is 30-something and never married. A mutual friend (who works with the YSA) told her that she was the nicest single person they knew. Like, gee, that’s awfully sweet. She’s nicer than the 20 year-olds who live with their parents. Stellar move.
    Needless to say, my friend wasn’t exactly thrilled with the backwards compliment.

  2. Sandra

    January 25, 2012

    A pediatrician at my kids’ office reviewed their height and weight and then suggested I add more fats and sugars to their diets so they could move up in the charts. She seriously suggested more ice cream and chocolate.

    I asked her if she really just said that, and that what she was saying was outright ridiculous and someone should tell her so rather than just trust her because she was a doctor. I then proceeded to tell her that she really need to spend some more time reading some nutritional guides if she wanted to tell me to feed my kids more sugar and unhealthy fats instead of the diet of lots of produce, legumes and whole grains that they are eating because they only have room in their stomachs for so much and I am not about to change a good thing- even if that means my kids are in the 20th percentile for height and weight.

    And I’m sure she hadn’t really looked at me- my kids will probably be on the petite side like I am.

  3. Barb

    January 25, 2012

    I am learning and relearning to say “How are you?” or “I’m sorry” or “How can I help?” and leave it at that when faced with a “problem” I’m tempted to fix. It’s a hard lesson, but I’m improving. The ones I hear a lot that make me cringe are the platitudes surrounding a friend who is faced with losing her child much too soon and a family member who is infertile who’s bombarded with advice.

  4. Em

    January 25, 2012

    The very healthiest approach to being single and divorced that I could find was coming from these sweet people: http://www.ablogaboutlove.com/
    They’ve taught me a lot about both sides of that coin.
    Posts like these are marvelous:



  5. Nat

    January 25, 2012

    If you just completed Tough Mudder! Great post Kel! Now about that David Tennant/The Rock hybrid we were trying to create…

  6. Michelle

    January 25, 2012

    I get these kinds of comments sometimes with health issues. And I think it’s sometimes not just because people care (because I know they do), but maybe because it can be uncomfy to see lives that don’t fit into a neat model and look like they need to be ‘fixed.’

    “If you just had more faith….” Sometimes that one has hurt, but it’s hurt more when that was my greatest fear — that my health issues were a sign that I was doing something wrong. Over time, I’ve had assurances that this is part of my journey, so it’s gotten easier. But it’s taken me a long time. And I still sometimes get frustrated with the linear “faith=fixing it” approach to life (even the one I sometimes impose on myself). Because so often, faith is about facing problems, not fixing them.

  7. Tracey (My Four Bucks)

    January 25, 2012

    I’ve been unwell for 2 1/2 years now, and I got so frustrated early on when people would say to me, “have you tried…” as if I hadn’t thought to try anything else than go to my GP. “Have you tried acupuncture?”, of course! “Have you had an MRI?” ahhhhh yes! “Have you been to see a ….” and the list goes on, people without medical knowledge would try to diagnose me or offer medical suggestions or treatments, herbs to try etc.

    The obvious ones were so repetitive that it became very tedious and I felt like they were insulting my intelligence. Do you really think I’m not trying everything I possibly can to get well?

    So I can totally relate to your post here. Friends and family perceive that we have a problem that needs to be fixed in our lives and in my case they are 100% spot on. They believe that if they are the ones to provide the solution and bring us joy or relief again they will achieve a special place in our hearts.

    And so they try and do just that, ‘fix our situation’ by providing advice or in your case matchmaking. Sometimes they do this without even thinking about how we feel or what we might want. It’s a good reminder to ensure we don’t do this to others in a similar situation.

  8. Andrea R.

    January 25, 2012

    Wonderful post, Kel. I can’t tell you how many people have said, “Have you thought of XYZ therapy for your son?” or “I have this great herbal supplement that will fix him!” To which I reply, “You can’t re-grow brain tissue.” Sorry. Brain damage is permanent.

    Instead of trying to fix each other’s problems, I wish we could sit down and say, “How are you doing? How are you coping with your [insert life problem]? What can I do to help?”

  9. Jane G.

    January 25, 2012

    These people who use one of the many variations on…”if you just had more faith…” – Truman Madsen used to call them “the friends of Job”. Sure in their own cocoon of self-righteousness, confident that they can diagnose the spiritual and physical ills of others, they are seemly unaware that pain, suffering, struggle, and even darkness are the mortal experiences we came to experience, not markers of divine displeasure.

    There is a wonderful Neal Maxwell quote about suffering carving caverns in our souls that can then be filled with compassion. We all become more sensitized to the “friends of Job” once we have been on the receiving end, and become more likely to develop that compassion that prompts the “How can I help” response.

  10. dalene

    January 25, 2012

    Please don’t stop watching sci fi.

    Love you–

  11. KDA

    January 25, 2012

    I didn’t marry until I was 34, so I have been on the receiving end of well-meaning advice: wear more make up, go to the temple more, change your personality to be more meek, etc. We go to church and talk a lot about self-improvement, so I think this emboldens people to get into each others’ business. Just yesterday at Zumba, I was suggesting yoga to a friend who was talking about her shin splints. I probably should have just offered her sympathy. This post and the subsequent comments are a good reminder that support is better than advice.

  12. Jennifer

    January 25, 2012

    I had suggestions like that with my depression. “You should excercize/lose weight/take this medication/try to be more optomistic” I only take advice from people who have chronic depression like I do. They actually understand what I’m going through.

  13. Becky

    January 25, 2012

    I used to hate those comments that were supposed to magically cure me of my single state. I say used to, because they’ve stopped. And now I’m left wondering if they’ve stopped because people realize that I’m fine the way I am or because people think I’m a lost cause. At my way over the hill age of 39, I’m guessing it’s the latter.

  14. Mary

    January 25, 2012

    After my daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, a friend told me that if we just fed her lots of green smoothies, her body would heal itself.

  15. Michelle L.

    January 25, 2012

    So Becky can I set you up with…? Kidding. Kind of not. I have a great brother.

    Kel– I love it when you are snarky. Makes me happy. My sister and I call this phenom, “THE HUBRIS OF STRANGERS.” (Sorry, I just felt the need to capitalize that.) It’s laughable really, when a long lost aunt/lady from church/woman at the grocery store thinks that their one little comment will solve an enormous ENORMOUS problem.

    sigh. makes me feel a little anti-social.

    Keep writing, darlin.

  16. cindy baldwin

    January 25, 2012

    Oh man, have I! I have a recessive genetic disease (in other words, I was born with it and it is an indelible part of my genetic code). I can’t tell you how many people over the years have told me that “if I just tried ____” it would be better. (Obviously, these people don’t understand genetics!) I even went into a bishop’s interview once in my singles’ ward and came out of it with the multi-level marketing health product that his wife sold.

    My husband and I have also been experiencing infertility for awhile now, and I love the comments I get there as well. My favorite is “If you just relax and stop worrying”—not only have I been pretty relaxed and unworried through this experience, but for our particular issues (caused by the previously mentioned genetic disease!), relaxing isn’t going to do much of anything!

    That said, I have been on the other side of the fence as well. I get extremely frustrated when somebody is complaining about an issue in their life, but unwilling to take any steps to fixing their problem or making it better. Perhaps I need to spend more time reminding myself that people who are giving well-meaning but silly advice really have no idea how much time, energy, prayer, pleading, and “alternative remedies” I have put into my health issues. Maybe they quite simply don’t realize that I HAVE tried just about everything. Hmm… definitely something for me to think about!

  17. Tay

    January 25, 2012

    My well-intentioned MIL likes to take opportunities that present to talk to me about forgiveness in regards to a family situation. I’ve stopped trying to explain to her what is going on because it doesn’t seem to sink in with her. 🙂 i do try not to give unsolicited advice but sometimes it come flying out! And whomever suggests you watch less sci-fi needs to watch more themselves.

  18. Heather O.

    January 25, 2012

    Infertility brings out the crazies, too. I’ve had so many helpful hints about getting a baby. I have to say, though, that the infertility responses bug me less than the ones about my health—at least the people talking about infertility have actually had babies and so have a shred of credibility. It’s when people who have never even HEARD of PKD tell me what I should be doing about it. I had one woman look me in the eye and say, ‘Whatever your problem is, it’s going to be solved with natural remedies. I have a testimony of this.”

    Well, that’s just great that you have a testimony of it, but until you have some actual, you know, EVIDENCE of just exactly how your “natural remedies” have anything to do with a genetic disease that you have never even heard of, much less have any experience or knowledge of, I think I’ll pass, thanks.

    My sister with Type I diabetes was told that salt water would cure her. Not even joking.

    But when I am feeling less grumpy about the problems in my life, I do try to remember that most of these things are coming from a good place. Okay, not all of them– a lot of it is just the HUBRIS OF STRANGERS (Michelle, it just looks better all in caps). But some of it is well meaning, like they are trying to help.

    Also, I’m convinced that some of it is just from a feeling of guilt that they have something you don’t. The other day I was listening to a friend talking about the hardships of her divorce, and her difficulties made me feel a little uneasy about my own very happy marriage. I had to fight the urge to tell her the everything would be okay, that her life is just fine, and that just around the corner is the perfect guy for her, and oh hey, I just might know him. I imagine other fertile and healthy couples feel the same way when talking to me–oh hey, we can fix this, and then I won’t have to feel uncomfortable talking to you about something I have and you don’t.

    The problem is, of course, that life isn’t fair, and resources aren’t distributed evenly, and sometimes your body (or your husband) is just a lemon. And no amount of advice, solutions, or platitudes can change these truths of mortality.

  19. chicklegirl

    January 25, 2012

    About a week or so after my second miscarriage (at 19 weeks) I ventured out to a Relief Society picnic at the encouragement of the RS president. Two different sisters (both of whom were just acquaintances) came up to me and recommended books they thought would help me–one on grief and one on weight loss (???)

    Shortly after that, an elderly sister I was visiting teaching at the time told me my miscarriages must have happened because there was something the Lord was trying to teach me that I wasn’t learning.

    I echo what other commenters have said about this helping me to be more aware of how my own advice-giving might hurt others. It has also helped me to confront head-on how I choose to be offended, and that bitterness over such offenses poison my heart. It’s hard to let go, but it feels so much better than hanging on to the pain.

  20. Matt

    January 25, 2012

    My mom fielded several over the years with her diabetes. “If you only had more faith,” or, “lived the Word of Wisdom better” were common. My favorites, which seem to accompany any chronic health issues, were the ever-so-(NOT!)-helpful herbal supplement regimens.

  21. Laura--The Sushi Snob

    January 25, 2012

    Yeah, my brother gets this a fair bit. He just turned 30 and isn’t married–yup, a Mormon culture sin. I spent last Thanksgiving with my mom’s family, and was asked about his dating life (he wasn’t there). Ironically the aunt who was the nosiest didn’t get married until her thirties, and hated it when people were nosy about her love life.

    My mom can relate on the infertility bit. She had to go through treatments to get pregnant with baby #1. Her visiting teacher actually had the nerve to suggest that perhaps her infertility was because she had a sin to repent of!!!! Unfortunately, that’s not an uncommon sentiment.

  22. M Miles

    January 25, 2012

    Heather O.,

    Salt water is a thing. I was told it would cure my migraines. Of course I was also told rubbing mint oil on my feet would too.

  23. Kris

    January 25, 2012

    Hilarious! I love this post and the comments.

    This isn’t an ‘if you would just _______’ quote, but in line with the stupid, unhelpful things people say. When I was newly pregnant (read: spending a lot of time puking) with my first baby, a woman in my ward leaned forward over the bench during Sacrament meeting and, in full speaking voice, informed me that I need not worry because “Oh honey, you don’t look pregnant! You just look like you gained a bunch of weight!”

    Just what every girl is hoping for– that everyone who sees her will just think she’s been hitting the donuts extra hard.

  24. Ana of the Nine Kids

    January 25, 2012

    I loved this. So packed with dry, sarcastic humor. Brilliant! I can’t think of anything anyone has said to me to equal some of the stuff you said but when I had miscarriage someone told me “it was nature’s way of taking care of something that would never develop.” I know she had good intentions but “DUH!” I don’t think it ever occurred to her that I wasn’t mourning a patch of cells that never got a good start–I was mourning the loss of the idea of the baby that had grown for so long in my mind, if not in my body.

  25. rk

    January 25, 2012

    A close loved one was in the process of dying from cancer. There was truly nothing to be done. But some friends and family began to aggressively recommend that she be seen by a homeopath that they swore had cured people of cancer. At the same time this loved one kept getting letters from some evangelical “friend” that kept warning her that if she didn’t change her beliefs she was soon headed for hell. This advice at this time was so bizarre and outrageous it was almost funny if it weren’t so annoying and hurtful.

  26. Handsfullmom

    January 25, 2012

    I HATE it when whatever magical solution being offered is sold through MLM companies. I have three weeks left of what has been a very exhausting pregnancy (particularly the last few months). I was told a month ago that if I just bought X supplement, I’d have more energy. Um, sure — like all the regular symptoms of growing a complete human being will just go away if I spend exorbitant amounts of money enriching someone’s upline.

  27. Ana of the Nine Kids

    January 25, 2012

    Okay. I did think of something–when I was so sleep deprived trying to keep up with two wild, often up at night little boys and someone said, “You think it’s hard now? Just wait until they are teenagers!” “Gee. Thanks. You’re stupid” was the VERY unchristian thing I thought to reply with to this blatant patronization. (Thankfully I just kept my mouth shut.)

  28. Jennifer

    January 25, 2012

    This is a FANTASTIC post!!! I LOVE IT! I have so many things to say, I don’t even know where to start. Relating to some of the comments… My brother and sister-in-law just went through 10 years of infertility with MANY insensitive and hurtful comments, including from my sister-in-law’s mother who told her that if they pursued medical options then she wasn’t “showing enough faith.”

    But truly, the topic you’re addressing here just gets me all ruffled up, not because I’m divorced, but because of how people treat marriage. Like you can just set a goal to “have it done” in two years and then check it off your list. Steam is coming out of my ears as I write. It’s SO stupid. I agree with everything you said. I frankly am constantly stunned at how many people remarry. Because I would not. Many second marriages work out fine, yes, but I’m a one-chance kinda gal. Marriage is a one-shot deal for me. I’m NOT doing it again. I would be perfectly happy just admiring The Rock from now on. I had a friend who got divorced when her baby was almost a year old. She told me that she didn’t want her baby to have any memory of her father, and she said, “I just need to hurry and get married again.” I can’t tell you how hard it was for me NOT to say, “Um. Wasn’t that the problem the first time?” Marriage isn’t that simple. Marriage, as you said, doesn’t SOLVE anything. …So all the thoughts in my mind are jumbled, but I think the main thing that’s frustrating about the stupid comments, or would be for me, is that it just shows how little those people really know you and what you want. That would frustrate me to no end.

    Loved this wonderful post!!

  29. Lisa G.

    January 25, 2012

    The topic of adoption brings up some doozies. “Are they real sisters?” “Um . . .yeah. Do they look fake to you?

    Kel, I just want to say “Please stay single as long as you want, as long as you are happy.” Because I depend on you to live my alternate, grass-is-always-greener single life for me. Enjoy!

  30. Raquel

    January 25, 2012

    41, single, happy, and will most likely stay this way (not anti-marriage, simply not going to do it for the sake of doing it). My sisters have advised me to get fake fingernails, grow out my hair, spend more money on clothes, dumb myself down, keep quiet about my degrees and where I went to school (PhD/Oxford), watch more television, etc etc etc. Why do people assume that because we’re single we must be crying in our cereal? AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH! I LOVE THIS POST!

  31. cynthia

    January 25, 2012

    I agree. 100,000% ;-)You should have more in common with a person a friend is trying to set you up with than that friend’s mutual pity (even if they mean well.) Marriage can be amazing, but it doesn’t always lead to happiness. Being burned makes you MUCH more wary of the fire. I know I would rather do just about anything in this world than go through the whole infidelity/divorce/single mom transition again.I will probably date someday, because this is a pretty lonely life, but right now, for all the reasons you mentioned, it is just easier and safer not to. Way to put it all into words 🙂

  32. Mara @ {A Blog About Love} - from Brooklyn

    January 25, 2012

    Hi there – I had to chime in! I was divorced at age 32 after going through years of infertility. I am still infertile after 7 years. I just wanted to put a different perspective out there…

    I have been in loads of situations where people wanted to set me up or suggest a tip for having a baby….but….I WELCOMED IT! I was always so touched that someone would think highly of me, reach out to me, send me an article, want to set me up with so & so, ETC. Certainly not all of my blind dates were good ones (at all), but it doesn’t matter…I just always felt thankful that my lovely friends were trying and that I was on their radar at all. And I wanted to remain a positive person, because I wanted to meet & marry a positive person. When I got divorced, I thought….I am most likely to meet someone because of my wonderful network of friends who are simply trying to help me out & because of the good energy that I am striving to send out. And that was exactly what happened.

  33. Stephanie

    January 25, 2012

    As an undergrad, I was a math major, which made dating pretty much non-existent. I had a guy at a party once tell me that I should say I was a communications major instead of a math major. Obviously didn’t want to be dating anyone like him anyway.

    As an about to graduate law student, trying to find a job in this dismal economy is difficult, to say the least, and I’m sick of people telling me that things will work out. I’m glad they have faith I’ll be ok, and in the end I probably will, but I feel like people are dismissing the pain and fear I feel in the meantime.

  34. Molly

    January 25, 2012

    They mean well. Most people don’t understand a situation unless they’ve been in it. My husband and I laugh about all the times people say (regarding my husband who was laid off at the start of the recession and has been looking for a good job for 2 years), “Hey! He should totally get a job at Apple/Google/you-name-it-big-company! He would love it there!” Uh, thanks. As if we haven’t thought of that and/or applied to tons of jobs there. Great suggestion, though. 😉

    They just don’t know, because they aren’t in our situation. But they mean well.

  35. Lisset

    January 25, 2012

    Oh people are funny, aren’t they? Once during throes of infertility I was told by my parents’ neighbor (a man I had just met two seconds prior!) that I’d get pregnant if I spent more time barefoot. ??? That wasn’t incredibly bizarre or anything…
    But I do agree with Mara and Heather O. I think some advice does come from a place of discomfort on the part of the giver, and also that people are mostly good in their intentions and they’re really just trying to help as strange as their suggestions/comments may be. But man, some of the things they say…

  36. Ardis

    January 25, 2012

    In the “gee, why didn’t that ever occur to me?” department: I have poor vision, and it’s only going to get worse until it’s gone altogether. So when I start teaching a new class, I request that people not just hold a hand up tentatively but raise a hand high and move it once from side to side (demonstrating with my own hand) because I see movement much better than a static hand. Invariably somebody will say “Why don’t you get glasses?” Maybe they can be excused for not knowing that I’m wearing contacts and have worn corrective lenses since I was a small child, or that glasses can’t cure every vision problem, but gee whiz, do they really think it has never occurred to me to consider glasses??

  37. Johnna

    January 25, 2012

    I read this post first thing this morning before I got out of bed, and it’s about the best thing that could have happened. Kel, not only are you a gifted and funny writer, but your words of sweet sanity were just what I needed this morning.

    I signed my divorce papers today.

    That anyone has said to you–stop being who you are, to get married–is so flabbergasting. No one Would cut off an arm to marry, why would one do the same to one’s soul? I’m with Dalene, keep your SF. And Em, thanks for putting up the link to A Blog About Love.

  38. Kathleen

    January 25, 2012

    The Rock’s real name is Dwayne Johnson.

    I earned a BA in math education and a masters in mechanical engineering, and didn’t marry as soon as some of my family members thought I should. But I learned to tell them, whenever they asked why I wasn’t married yet, that “I haven’t found anyone wonderful enough to deserve to be as happy as I could make him.”

    My mother used to tell me that the movie BORN YESTERDAY changed her life, and that she “caught” my father by acting less intelligent than she was (as she urged me to not be so up-front about my own intelligence). So I tried it once, with one guy I started dating, and THEN my mother told me, “if you act stupid to get a guy, you’ll have to act stupid for the rest of your life.”

    And I just decided that I would be myself, and if I didn’t find a guy who could love the real me, I didn’t want a guy.

    Illegitimus non carborundum, even if they are actually just well-meaning and aren’t illegitimi.

  39. Heather Berg.

    January 25, 2012

    Kel, I wish EVERYONE would read this from all perspectives. Just about everyone has “BE LIKE ME” syndrome. ie- to the unmarried, it’s “I’m married, be like me,” to the childless (bby choice or due to infertility for years, like it was for us) it’s “I have children, you should too- what, don’t you LIKE children?.” Buy a house yet? Finish college yet? Have any unsurpassed dream? Be like me, you’ll be fine. Except, usually, they are not fine…if you knew everything going on in their lives, you’d wonder why they would want you to be remotely like them.

    Oh, and if you get a line or three (thousand), I may not have the same situation, but I totally do understand. You see, I’m a young peson with several major chronic illnesses. If I would jsut get my butt of the couch, I’d be fine. If I would just take I’d be fine. If I’d have more/less children, my body would stabilize. If I would just have more FAITH, then the chronic immune system disorder and illness and fatigue and pain would just magically disappear. That last one is the worst, because it assumes that a)my faith is lacking, and b) their faith would stand up to my test. Oh, and c) that I’m not doing whatever it is they think I should to shore up my faith. and frankly…. if you’re not seeking to stay close to the Spirit and shore up your faith, those kind of comments can break it entirely. (

    And seriously? What kind of people would assume that your life of being AWESOME and a great mom to two great kids, working your butt off in every way possible and teaching them just what they need, btw, would need to be traded for ALSO pulling along a deadweight brother/cousin/sister’sbestfriend living in gramma’s basement playing video games? I mean, being a victim of the economy is one thing, and everybody might need to live with relatives from time to time. We did it ourselves while moving across country and looking for a new house. But that is NOT the responsible time to be looking around for a new sweetheart- it’s the time to get your stuff in order FIRST and then look about. No Moochers need apply. Don’t worry, Kel. We know you’re strong enough to fend them off with broadsword, if need be, but if you need anyone, We’ve got your back!

  40. Catherine A.

    January 26, 2012

    Oh Kellie, this was incredibly entertaining! You always make me chuckle. And at the same time, my heart breaks for you. Two years? Goodness. What happened to the “do not make major life decisions within the first year?” Then suddenly, you’re supposed to be ready? We say too much, offer too much advice, when we ought to just listen, observe, and love.

    I’m most guilty of “if you justs” to my children when it comes to doing chores or homework. Thanks for the reminder to be more compassionate. Sure love you!

  41. Laura

    January 26, 2012

    Michelle, #6, “…faith is about facing problems, not fixing them.” Love that. Thank you!

  42. Rosalyn

    January 26, 2012

    When I turned 25 and was starting to worry about my single status (in retrospect, that was quite silly), my grandma told me a story that has kept me amused for the last decade.

    When my mom and her sisters were in college (and still single), a well-meaning ward member suggested to my grandmother that maybe they would get married if she encouraged them to not make school such a priority.

    My grandmother’s response (apologies in advance for the language–she was a farmer’s wife!): “I think girls have better things to do than climb in bed with some d**n man.”

    Needless to say, this sister never offered her stupid suggestions after that!

  43. Laurie H

    January 26, 2012

    During my last pregnancy, I had someone tell me that I needed to do more to show that I had the faith that God would get me through my pregnancy. I believe this was said because I had missed some church due to chronic throwing up. I can guarantee I was relying heavily on God to get me through the pregnancy, and I had several priesthood blessings from my home teachers that were full of love and compassion from the Lord.

    What made this more incredible was it came from a man, someone who never had physically experienced pregnancy himself. I have no question that God understands when I (or any woman) have missed church when pregnant, because I would rather be at home feeling terrible and throwing up in my own bathroom. I am really glad that the Lord knows our hearts and understands how horrible pregnancy can be.

  44. jendoop

    January 26, 2012

    I liked #9, Jane G’s comment.

    I think this could be a bigger problem in the church, because we are supposed to serve each other. As a VT/HT aren’t we supposed to make things all better with a casserole and a 15 minute conversation?

    Sometimes we seem to think that instead of bearing one another’s burdens or mourning with those who mourn, we should just get rid of the burdens and the mourning so we don’t have to shoulder that discomfort.

  45. Elizabeth

    January 26, 2012

    People wouldn’t speak to you this way if you didn’t love it so much.

    It’s a real shame we aren’t neighbors. I could get people to stop speaking to you this way in a hot second.

  46. Dvorah

    January 27, 2012

    I once got advice for a nonexistent problem. A ward member called up my husband, out of the blue, and suggested that I seek counseling. His wife had observed that I liked to sit by myself at church and read, rather than socialize, and had concluded (WITHOUT talking to me) that I was depressed. My husband had to explain that I was really quite happy, just an introvert. Apparently, even your personality type can be a problem that needs “fixing.”

    Oh, and David Tennant, I get. The Rock, not so much. 😀

  47. A.Co

    January 27, 2012

    Honestly, when people tell me, ‘Don’t worry, you’ll meet someone’; I’m thinking to myself, ‘I’m not worried, I know I will’

    Like. Thanks?

  48. Barb

    January 28, 2012

    The men some have wanted to set me up with… I had this older lady at Church(who I think has passed away as many years have passed) who was kind of slow and she pointed out a man at Church as a possible suitor for me. She said that he was a little retarded but that nobody is perfect. I’m very happy being single. I still have strong feelings for my unrequited love of seven years. But that doesn’t mean I’m not happy being single. He is a great guy though!(I’ve never actually met him in person or talked to him on the phone)

Comments are closed.