A Utah Man I'm Not

That's a twist on a University of Utah fight song title, "A Utah Man I Am". I'm not a man-obviously, but I was born and raised in Utah.

A funny thing happened to me on the way back home from the mall. Yes, I was at the mall-don't judge. I was there to see "Rent"-again don't judge (and I really wouldn't recommend that movie to anyone with any kind of decency left in thier soul-talented vocalists definitely, but La Boheme it was not). So I was on the way home from the mall and really annoyed with all the holiday shoppers in my way and people not looking where they were going in their cars and mad at myself for not being clever enough to just make something for my roommates and family instead of buying it and that I was instead feeding consumerism...and then I blamed it all on Utah, yes Utah, I had decided at that moment, was the bane of my existence. What the hell was I thinking coming back to live here with all these narrow-minded, ill-mannered, under-educated conservative sheep? And I was hungry. Hunger had a whole lot of something to do with my rant. Oh, I should mention the night before I had been going through my box of keepsakes and came across all these pictures from DC and I started tearing up at how much I missed it. This is partly why I went to see Rent, which I had planned on seeing anyway, but I had to see it this weekend for that reason, because it reminded me of culture, and urban life, and Broadway-which is really about New York, not DC, but whatever.

Anyway, so I'm driving home after the movie and I have this weird experience where I see an LDS chapel in the middle of this neighborhood I'm driving through and I think to myself how odd that there's a Mormon building right in the middle of a neighborhood, among all these houses. And then, two blocks later there's another chapel and it's right there, just on the corner of the street of this neighborhood I'm driving through and it hits me that this is totally normal here. It's so strange to say it, but it was a very surreal experience when I realized I am in UTAH.

I work on campus at a radio station at BYU, I've been in Utah for six months now, Provo, Utah for four and half of those months. I'm surrounded by the Utah mountains, capped now with brightly glistening snow, and all my neighbors, my roommates, everyone's a Mormon, but for some reason it dawns on me now how odd it is to see a chapel right there, just like that. It makes me think I'm homesick for a place I didn't grow up (as a child grows to an adult), but it changed me and I grew there, and I miss it.


mj said…
sj we miss you too. but then you are actually having a career so that's really good. i count it as a rather positive thing that you are not totally comfortable there. cuz you know then you might just get stagnant and stuff. keep the dream alive dude. i actually regret that i did not do a lot of things in utah that i should have (mostly i didn't take any s-weet backpacking trips) so live it up while you can where you are, but don't get too comfortable. "sleepin' is givin' in . . .
Sherpa said…
sj-i miss you babe, but you're where you need to be right now. Besides I spent the weekend snowed in thanks to v-dot deciding to plow our driveway in....and yesterday when i tried to get out..it took over an hour, finally gave up and walked back inside and watched bruce almighty with kell. If i lived in ut, i would've been able to walk across the street to church.
SJ said…
You are absolutely right. This is where I need to be right now. I think hunger and holiday shoppers had a lot more to do with my rant than Utah. I wasn't really mad at Utah, or Utahns, just missed the EC but hadn't really come to that realization yet. It's funny how sometimes we can blame so many things outside ourselves and then it hits us it has nothing to do with that, it's a completely different reason we couldn't understand at that moment.

Having said that I do have to say the people, some people, really do get on my nerves here. It takes patience. But there are also some really great people here to make up for it, too. And my family, they're here.
Panini said…
Sorry you're having a rough time here SJ.
Abs said…
SJ...I'm glad a movie about someone who dies of AIDS reminds you of us. :) Kidding aside we have enough crowded insane parking lot people in VA. I went to Wal-Mart (great American Satan) last Saturday and felt like I had walked through the gates of heck. People pushing and shoving. The parking lot was beyond insane, and people not looking where they are going. At least in Utah when they run over you, they'll at least say "I'm sorry." You don't get that around here.

Utah is a surreal place in general but it's a good place nonetheless.
SJ said…
Surreal indeed. However, I would like to announce the Utahns have redeemed themselves. Yes, all of them.

On Saturday Esperanza and I went to go see Narnia (I'll have to comment on Sherpa's blog about this soon). In the process I lost my cubic zirconia earings not just once, but twice. The second time like 20 people (three or four people) actually got down on the ground to help me search for them right there in the mall. Some asked it they were real diamonds. If I'd said yes maybe even more people would've gotten on their hands and knees, but that's all conjecture at this point. Anyway. They were recovered both times. Oh, and my phone dropped out of my pocket while running through the theater and someone stopped me and told me about it.

So Utah, you're A-okay.
mj said…
yeah good point. i think it's sort of the west in general that makes people nicer. maybe more clueless in some cases but also much less likely to be a big fat jerkface.

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