Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Just remembered this little mash of Mennonitism and Facebookism:
When I was in 10th grade, a guy (you know who you are!) that was sweet on me asked me to go on a date with him. “YKWYA. I can’t….my parents will only let me date Mennonite guys.” “Ask them anyway,” pleaded YKWYA, “This is me that is asking!!!”
We were already good friends, he was such a great guy, and he was so insistent, every day asking me if I had asked them. I finally mustered up the nerve and asked my parents if YKWYA could take me out on a date. They surprised me with their answer. “He can come to church with us on Sunday, and come for dinner afterwards.” Our church was not overly conservative, not by Mennonite standards, but this was a private part of my life, that I did not overtly share with others……my parents knew this, and also knew the true meaning of a relationship, intimacy….so, if he wanted to date me, let’s test him out. How mature is he, how open-minded is he, would he be willing to meet me (and them) on my (and their….) terms?
But YKWYA surprised me even more…….he asked what time he should show up at out door!!!
Sunday morning arrived, and YKWYA showed up, knocking on our door, flowers in hand, and early enough to come in and meet my parents!
I don’t recall the church service, nor Sunday School, but YKWYA made his presence known, was polite to everyone, and even joined in with the four-part a cappella singing of the Mennonite hymns.
Sunday dinner My dad poked relentlessly at YKWYA with his humor (as I knew he would…), engaging him in his favorite game, let’s-see-how-much-you-can-take!!!
All way around, YKWYA proved to be a perfect gentleman, (as I knew he would), and better yet, he was, or at least appeared to be, completely at ease, and maintained his authenticity….something I truly liked about him.
I never, ever forgot this event in my life, and the older that I got the more I treasured it, and the more I wanted to just contact YKWYA, just to let him know how much that meant to me, how impressed I was even into the present.
I got my wish….I found YKWYA on Facebook. We “friended” each other on Facebook. As soon as I could I relayed this timeless chronicle in my life. I got to tell him how that stuck with me, and perpetually impressed me about his character.
His response after all those years? “You were worth jumping through all those hoops!”
He was, and still is, my kind of guy, and I hope that you are reading this….you know who you are!is what I remember…..


  1. Wow. What strikes me is that I always thought of your parents as way progressive compared to mine, but my folks would have never dictated the denomination. Huh. :-) I know: that's not the point. Or is it?

  2. In some ways they really held not allowing me to join the Changing Tides....because Mennonites don't dance....I can still remember auditioning for CT, and Kevin Higgins standing behind me with his hands on my hips, showing me how to sway because I didn't know how!!!! another story....painful to tell though because I really wanted to be CT, and was too ashamed to tell Mr. Wright why I couldn't join. I still regret not being able to be in the group, i discovered in my 40's that I LOVE to perform in front of a live audience.....and I finally learned how to sing the way I like to sing (chest voice, not head voice)
    By the way, do you know why Mennonites don't have sex? It might lead to dancing!
    Good to hear from you, Miriam!
    Oh, and the main point of the story was the sweetie coming to church and our home for dinner, and then telling me years later that I was worth it.......but I guess the rigidity of my parents back then could be secondary theme....

    1. Yes, indeed...the main point of the story...I also heard a persistence in the face of culture-clash thing going there. Since we just bade my dad farewell and our memories of his life had so many swirls of seemingly conflicting swirls of culture (e.g., no cutting your hair, but you mix with _everyone_ and accept them as they are, and he secretly donated the first organ to the church, etc.), I suppose that's at the fore of my mind right now.

      I remember the CT challenge for myself. And the time my mother said, yes, I could try out to be a cheerleader, but had such a pained look on her face, I couldn't bring myself to do it. I also remember friends being afraid to come to church with me because they were worried it would be weird. So, yes, that was quite the sweetie. :-)

      Good news is that we're all learning to dance our way through life; eh?