Date: July 21, 2018 04:00AM
> He said, "She's great. She's married to a bishop
> and they have eight kids.
> It's not that either of his criteria are bad, but of
> all the things that you could take pride in, why
> is being married to a church leader be the first
> thing that you would mention?
Marriage is, for most people, a large part of their daily life for many many years. Even in countries where people have the same job for 40 years, most marriages outlast most jobs, and most people spend more time with their spouse than with their colleagues, friends or bloodrelatives, children included.
So yes, I can understand that a good marriage is the first criterion to define happiness by. And if your spouse has a good job, that can help. But mormon bishop is not a paid job, it is only a title, and a title that only lends prestige in a small subculture. Tell whoever is sitting next to you on a plane from Hanoi to Singapore that your sister is married to a mormon bishop and they will not be awe-struck.
I would be more assured if someone said, "She's happily married to a bishop" because happiness is a bigger criterion than mormon nobility to me. And "She's happily married to a rich businessman" would be even more assuring since it combines two criteria that are important to me.
I also sense some sexism here. How's your son doing? "Great, he's married to a Relief Society president" sounds less natural than "Great, he's working as a dentist." All too often, men are defined by their jobs and women by the job of their spouse. And no, not just in mormondom. There is a great French philosopher called Sylviane Agacinski. She is a professor at one of the most prestigious colleges in France, best-selling author of a few books and the inspiration of a gender equality law that has been copied all over Europe. But whenever foreign media mention her, she is only "the wife of former prime minister X" even though her career has been substantially more successful than his.
As for the eight kids, to me that is just as worrying as the bishop's title. I've never seen large families where most members were happy, at least not until they had a very small family of their own. I used to know a family with fifteen kids. Now that they are all over 35, there are less than a dozen grandkids. That speaks volumes.
> If someone asked you how you or someone close to
> you was doing, what would be the first thing that
> you would mention?
You will probably call me superficial, but I would first mention that "we" (or "me and my husband" if they do not yet know I am married) have just been to (wherever we travelled over the past three months) and are going to (wherever we are going over the next three months) and that other than that, we enjoy swimming, cycling, reading and day trips. And then I would ask them how they are doing, because maybe they need something off their chest.
> Has this changed based on how you feel about the
Of course, in TSCC it was all about prestige, appearance, and make-work. You were not supposed to be lazy, having fun, or reading things not related to TSCC. I do more volunteering for charities now than when in was in the cult, but back then you were supposed to brag about it. Hated that.