May 23, 2007

Growing Up Mormon - Ignorance About Alcohol

**Warning: explicit content**

Growing up Mormon for me meant that I was never exposed to certain Word of Wisdom no-nos such as coffee, tobacco, or alcohol. In fact, I've still never learned how to brew a cup of coffee, even though we've always owned a coffee maker and have a can of coffee in the freezer that's who-knows-HOW-old. I was exposed to smoking, because my fourth grade best friend's mom smoked. I always knew she needed to hear how God didn't want her to do this, but I never worked up the nerve to tell her so. there was the vice that I knew was common among my peers, but I never stayed at parties where there was drinking, nor had I known anyone who drank in front of me. This is, in my opinion, a factor to growing up Mormon that is detrimental to anybody who wants to function normally within society. I am not talking about learning how to drink and hold your liquor in a party setting. . .

I'm talking about having a clue at all.

It was about a week before I was scheduled to leave for Austria to be an exchange student for a year. My best friend Lisa and I had gone out to dinner at our favorite Chinese restaurant, and were driving around, when we met up with some of my coworkers who were having a party. Someone had rented a room in one of those motels that has doors leading directly outside, and it was obviously cheap and ratty, but who cares? It was a party. One of my coworkers, Cho, had approached me when we arrived, and we started talking, soon discovering we had some things in common.

He didn't drink, and neither did I. He was born to parents from Laos, and my dad at the time was serving as high counselor to the Laotian branch in town. We talked a bit about the time I babysat with my brother at an old folk's home run by some Laotian people (we'd watch the old folks so the people could attend church with my dad). Then we started talking about art, and before I knew it we were out by his car, and he was showing me his paintings in his trunk.

Lisa thought this was a perfect time to say she wanted to leave. But I was enjoying the obvious fact that Cho liked me, and I wasn't ready to leave. Besides, Cho said he'd be happy to take me home. Lisa tried to convince me not to stay, but I didn't listen...I mean, these were my co-workers, and Cho was so nice, and besides, he liked me. I could tell she was upset with me as she got in her car and drove away.

Cho and I returned to the hotel room, only to find that the others had all left except Dan, the creepy somewhat-older coworker we worked with, whose social skills were severely hindered by his extreme brain power and his penchant for talking a bit too close for comfort. He would get right in your fact to talk to you without blinking once. Creepy.

One time, Dan caught me in the parking lot as I was headed next door to the Taco Bell my brother worked at - it was my lunch break and Dan's as well. He asked if he could join me, and I had no experience saying no or being rude, so I said he could.

We ate and he kept staring hard at me, and I avoided his eyes as much as possible. I don't think I ever ate that fast before. As we were leaving, he asked me if I'd go for a walk with him. I really, really didn't want to, but didn't know how to tell him no, so I halfheartedly agreed. I decided I could steer our walk toward the church building nearby, and I'd be safe. Nothing bad can happen near the Lord's House, can it?? He took hold of my hand halfway there, and I didn't have a clue how to gracefully extricate mine from his, so I chatted to hide my discomfort. This was new and unchartered territory for me. I had barely ever even gone on a date. Was he thinking this walk was a date??

We got to the church building and I walked into the park at the church where the playground/picnic area was. We sat down in the grass, and suddenly Dan knelt in front of me, and said (too close to my face), "I have really enjoyed this walk with you. I'd very much like to kiss you now."

I remember his words exactly because he said them in such a creepy deadpan voice and in such an odd way, that the words seared themselves in my brain forever. I can still hear his voice in my mind right now as I write about it. I jumped up and said, "No, thanks! We'd better get back to work now!" and walked fast toward Albertsons. I avoided him like the plague after that.

So Cho and I were in the hotel room with Dan, who was sitting on one of the two beds, watching TV and drinking whiskey straight from the bottle. We sat down on the other bed, and continued talking to each other. Before long, we noticed Dan was sleeping, so we started kissing. I worried that Dan would wake up, but then I remembered how he'd been drinking, so he must be passed out! It was as good as if we were alone!

I don't know if it was the fact that I was going to be far away in Europe shortly, or the fact that I'd been curious about the male anatomy ever since my human anatomy class in 10th grade when I had to give an oral report (no pun intended) on the penis, or if it was the fact that I knew I could repent afterward. . .but before I knew it, we were lying down making out and his pants were unzipped and his penis was right there, in my hand, in all its naked glory. I couldn't believe how hot and hard it was, but silky soft all at the same time! I explored him with feather-light touches and even leaned in to kiss the tip once. This was my first experience with heavy petting, and his first time too. The funny thing was, I wouldn't allow him to touch me anywhere he shouldn't, because somehow I felt it would be easier to repent later if I didn't allow someone else to touch me.

He took me home soon thereafter, and Dan was still "sleeping" on the other bed when we quietly left. I discovered a few days later that my ideas about alcohol and the effect it has on people were totally wrong, when a different co-worker who wasn't at the party approached me at work and told me that there was a wicked rumor circulating about me, and he wanted to know if it was true. This was a co-worker who was much older than me, I think by 15 years, whom really liked me. I asked him what he'd heard, and he described quite well what Cho and I had done. I laughed an innocent laugh and said, "Come on! You know me! Would you actually believe a story like that about me? Really??" I got him to admit whom he had heard that from, and sure enough, it was Dan. Fortunately, I was able to use Dan's creepiness to my advantage.

"Who would you believe more? Me, or Dan? I mean, this is Sister Mary Lisa we're talking about here!"

Had I been exposed to people who drink earlier in life, I would have been fully aware that it takes a helluva lot more than just a half hour of drinking alcohol to knock someone unconscious. I am so lucky that nothing worse than simple petting happened to me (we didn't even see it through to its obvious conclusion for Cho, that's how inexperienced we were) that night. I shudder to think of all the many ways things could have gone wrong for me as a naive young woman in a hotel room with two men.


Sideon said...

I'm thankful that you made it through everything safely - that Dan dude had a creep factor of 15 out of 10. This episode went to a wildly different place than I thought it would go.

One thing I know about you is that you're one of the nicest and most polite people I've met. That shouldn't be construed or assumed to mean you don't know how to say "no." You definitely hold your own.

It is pure pleasure, reading your posts.

Rachel said...

I remember growing up that when I would go over to a friends house if we got something out of the fridge I would look for alcohol. If I found it I would always think worse of my friend and their family.
Alcohol was demonized to me.
Now I enjoy it occasionally.

Cele said...

Oh I so totally enjoyed this post and it's out come. It definately brings to mind, an embarrassing episode or two in my distant past.

And I am glad you triumphed over Dan the cad.

Success Warrior said...

You were lucky Cho was an okay kind of guy.

I was a restaurant supervisor briefly in the casino and I would have to get drinks for customers whose servers were too young.

I would ask teenagers what was in the drinks because the drink menu on the computer was broken down by the main alcohol ingredient.

They laughed at me but were helpful.

I liked names like Rum & Coke. =)

I mean really, what the hell is in a Hurricane?

Bishop Rick said...

Holy crap! Is that what folks do in Montana to pass the time?

I think we all have stories that at least resemble that.

The Sacred Sister said...

Great story SML. Dan totally creeped me out... *EWWWW* You gave the me heeby jeebies with that line, "...I would very much like to kiss you now..." I'm going to have nightmares now, thanks.

"Seriously" (in my best Meredith Grey impression- lisp and all), we've all been there, babe. I'm gonna post a story later this week for shits and giggles along the same line. I hope to gawd the Spanish Fork guy I'm planning on writing about doesn't own a computer now... hehehe

mark said...

That was a great post Sister Mary. Well written and pretty darn interesting. Im quite surprised that you didnt push that guy over the sexual edge, if you know what I mean.

CV Rick said...

very good descriptions . . . I completely felt your naivete with respect to the alcohol in this piece. I wanted to smack Dan around as well. Dumbass Dan.

Regina Filangi said...

Dan is an asshole!!

Great story! I am always impressed by how articulate you are. I hope some of that will rub off on me!

Lemon Blossom said...

I had a "Dan" one time, but fortunately I never had to work with him. I agree with SS - eeewwwww.

I was/am very ignorant where alcohol is concerned, but I am slowly learning. :)

Sister Mary Lisa said...

Great comments, all. We're out of town until Tues! I'll write more then!

Janet M Kincaid said...

Dan is icky. But I love how you convinced your colleague that Dan was making up stories about you!

Growing up Mormon can be so unhelpful, can't it?

Beulah said...

I still haven't figured out alcohol! LOL! You're so right about the social aspect. When people come over to the house, I have such a hard time figuring out what to serve. And it isn't just alcohol- yesterday was the first time I'd ever bought iced tea! (And I notice that those cans were the first to get picked out of the cooler!)

C. L. Hanson said...

If he was drinking whiskey straight out of the bottle (and had perhaps been drinking earlier in the evening) it's not totally unreasonable to imagine he would be asleep. OTOH -- given his creepiness -- it would be wise to be on the lookout for feigned sleep. ;^)

Sounds like an interesting anatomy lesson in any case -- I love anatomy!!!! :D

KBAB said...


glad to have found your blog; i used to live in MT (but never a Mormon)

Zane said...

Nice story. Did you find anyone to jack off in Europe?

CV Rick said...

jealousy rearing it's ugly head, zane? speaking of ugly heads, is there a reason you're not getting any action yourself and have to troll the blogs of articulate pretty people?

Gluby said...

And I think we have a suspicion who "zane" is -- there's a certain troller who loves to harass and threaten people in the ex-Mormon blog community, particularly where he sees them vulnerable. A rather pathetic specimen. Speaking of creepy! You know who you are.

Yikes, Lisa! Great story. It always amazes me, not growing up with any sort of repressive religion, the difference of experience in youth.

Chanson, bad. You made me laugh out loud in the law library.

KingM said...

I love stories about the naivete of a Mormon youth because I have a few myself.

This was a fun story, but turned a little creepy when Dan entered from stage right.

If it were me, I would delete the equally creepy post by "zane" in this thread.