Thursday, 20 January 2011
"I can just tell"
When I say "I am a Mormon" there is just a little bit of a different reaction than someone saying "I am a Catholic" or "I am a Baptist" or "I am Hindu." I'm not sure what it is today; there isn't a whole lot that is controversial about us today, any more than in the other world religions.
I learned a little bit more about it on our vacation. James and I were sitting in the theatre on the cruise ship waiting for the show to begin. We had about half an hour to wait, since you have to get their early to guarantee seats together. We were chatting and laughing together when a group of 6 adults, probably in their sixties, came and sat next to us. As is normal on the cruise ship, we asked where they were from. With over 100 countries represented in the passengers, you never know where someone will be from. As it turned out, this group were all from northern Utah.
Now, I know that not everyone in Utah is Mormon, but there is a better chance than if the person had said Vegas or New York. I didn't jump in right away, since just the day before someone had said they were from Utah and when I casually mentioned having visited their on church business, they didn't bite. So James and I casually carried on the conversation about the cold weather in both Utah and Toronto, and how we were enjoying the cruise. Eventually I mentioned that we had visited Utah, and the gentleman sitting beside me asked if I had had the opportunity to see the sites around Temple square. One comment led to another and eventually he asked if we were LDS. Not too surprising, by that point in our conversation. When I replied in the affirmative, he smiled to himself and said "I thought so." I smiled, but James inquired further. "How did you know?" "I could just tell," came the reply.
I laughed, one of those genuine, infectious, ringing laughs. Then, a couple in front of us half turned back and commented "Oh, we always notice you two." Huh? Here were two strangers that we didn't recognize and likely hadn't heard the majority of our conversation. They were simply replying to the comment about recognizing us around the ship. That comment really stuck with me. Somehow there was something different about James and I that both these people were noticing, in completely different ways. Now, James and I are generally happy people; we often have a smile on our face, and certainly on this vacation we were hand in hand, usually laughing or deep in conversation. We leaned in at the table over dinner and weren't shy about cuddling up on a couch while enjoying a pianist or violinist serenading in the evening. We got several inquiries about if we were on our honeymoon. We love life, and I guess that joie de vivre shines in our eyes as we go about the day.