How time flies. My brother-in-law, who I first mentioned here (and then again, here and here) is back from serving his two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Better known as the Mormons. It was great to see him again and he has changed so much. His mission was a Spanish speaking one so he has returned completely fluent in Spanish. Pretty cool. While I obviously don’t support missions, I do think the church does an amazing job with these young people. My hubby served in France and remains fluent in French to this day. The church, very deliberately, takes these young men (there are some women missionaries but they are overwhelmingly young men who begin their mission at the age of 19) at a pivotal point in their lives and
immerses indoctrinates them even further into the teachings of the church. They are shielded from the world (no tv, no music, no movies, no shopping, no fun) and do nothing but read scriptures or teach scriptures for every waking hour.
I could go on and on about missions but I will refrain for this post. After strictly adhering to the rules for two full years, they are sent home. They have one big rule that they need to follow when they return to their “normal” lives. Get married. The church puts a lot of pressure on these young guys, to go home, figure out what they are going to do with their lives (i.e. decide whether they are going to be a dentist, a doctor, a chiropractor or a podiatrist) and above all, find a wife and start a family. Young girls have a similar goal – find a returned missionary (or RM for short) and marry him. Preferably within months of meeting him, so you know, the sheen doesn’t wear off before you’ve sealed the deal.
Before my little BIL was even home, my MIL was plotting and scheming with another mom in town to find him a wife. The one she had chosen for him (I am not even joking about this…it makes me mad. Apparently the idea of him choosing his own wife is too much to handle) is a family friend and just graduating high school. She is 17 years old. That’s right folks – 17 years old. And she wants her 21-year-old son to marry her. Like now. WTF?! Even writing this makes me all sweaty and ragey…what the hell is wrong with this woman? But, I digress.
Thankfully, my BIL has his eye fixed on another lady who has a job and is older than him. They have been dating for a matter of weeks and the entire family is giddy and waiting with baited-breath for the engagement announcement. I really like this young woman and as far as future wives go, she is a real catch. But they just met! And he just got back from a mission! And he’s starting University in September! And he just turned 22! And he has his whole life ahead of him!
Given that my little BIL was afraid of girls when he left on his mission and had never had a girlfriend, I thought he might be immune to this. As it turns out, he isn’t. He is proud of the fact that he was the most “obedient” missionary in his mission and he obviously intends to follow all the rules now that he’s home.I just think it’s important that he decompress from his mission, het some perspective, maybe date a couple of people and get some education under his belt before he settles down. There I go with my radical thinking again.
There is nothing for me to do really. He’s a grown man (sort of) who can make his
Mom’s own decisions. I just feel disappointed. Not in him…but for him.