I could never have seen this one coming. I was breaking all records for dates in a week – three in five days – but this guy sounded like the pick of this week’s crop. He was an IT geek from the US (i.e. a good thing), was into music, German language, wanted a long-term relationship and a family. As part of my new resolve was to avoid long first dates, I dodged his offer of a romantic dinner and suggested coffee at a funky local cafe five minutes drive from my house. He looked nothing like the profile picture (of course), had lied about his height (whatever shorty, I’m used to that by now), but I was pleasantly surprised that my concern over his “prefer not to say” body type was unfounded.
We bonded over our experiences in the US, the culture of positive energy, sharing of knowledge, and innovation. As it happened, he was from Salt Lake City, Utah. I dialled up the bimbo and listed everything I didn’t know about Salt Lake: Utah Saints (um, in fact a band from the UK), some sporting team (oh this terrible), and er, Mormons. It was as tragic as the stereotype of kangaroos hopping down main roads in Australia, so I was expecting his laugh. “I’m a Mormon”, he said between giggles, and I started laughing even more. “Really? You’re kidding”. Mormon: “Yes, I’m really a Mormon”. The giggles had multiplied, now we were just laughing at each other laughing. Still in disbelief, I asked, “You’re not one of those door knocking, bicycle riding Mormon types are you?” Mormon: “Yes! In fact I worked as a missionary in Italy. Door knocking is a really inefficient way to spread God’s word though.” No wonder he wanted to have more kids. Images of the HBO Series “Big Love” started floating through my mind, and I wondered where he stood on the multiple wives front.
Less than ten minutes into the date, and I could never see this guy again. But he was a nice guy, and I’m not the type to walk out after ten minutes. Like it or not, I was having a coffee date with a Mormon. The “Book of Mormon” soundtrack began to play in Billykart Kitchen.
He spoke of how he had struggled with his beginner Italian, but when he was speaking about the Book to people, he received the gift of effortless, fluent Italian, which disappeared as soon as he turned away from the door. He was surprised by the number of people who invited him in for meals, showed him how to cook beautiful Italian dishes, but had no interest in keeping the Book of Mormon (aren’t Italians pretty content with Catholicism?).
The Mormon was super super nice in a squeaky clean, teetotaller, caffeine-free, politically right leaning kinda way. I could have really sealed the deal by turning the conversation to gay marriage, maybe thrown in something around a woman’s right to choose, or some tales of drunken silliness to really turn him off, but there was no need. We were done. Instead, I heard about his choice to become a Mormon at the age of nine, his Dad’s failed attempts to entice him to drink a beer, the wonderful community in Brisbane (you know, that horribly glitzy Godbox at the top of Kangaroo Point Cliffs), how his great-grandfather was sent to the US by himself on a boat at the age of 10 during the war to start a new life, IBM and the Holocaust, what he missed about the US, and his kids.
I cried with laughter all the way home. My deal breaker list has two new additions: no orthodox / hardcore religious anythings, and no Mormons. For any Mormons reading, please man up and list this on your profile, or better still, maybe you’ll find a nice girl within the Mormon church? I admit that I left thinking he was lovely for a Mormon, and was actually glad to change my views a little through sitting down with a real life person instead of a stereotype, but there’s no way Date no 2’s gonna happen.
I leave you with the the opening number from the Book of Mormon musical. Hello next date. Hello hello.
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