This past weekend I attended the Young Single Adult (read Young Single and Awkward) Conference in Ft. Worth. I actually had a great time - it was very well organized, the workshops were well planned and presented, the fireside with President Uchtdorf was amazing. The food offerings left something to be desired, but I'm not complaining. And of course the best part of the weekend was the fact that there were 20 girls from the Mount Bonnell Relief Society crashing at my house. I will admit at times I felt like a Cruise Director/Hotel Manager, making sure everyone was taken care of, that everyone knew where they were going, that everyone had a place to sleep, that everyone knew how the shower worked, that everyone knew that there was food and bottled water in the kitchen in case they got hungry or thirsty, that everyone had a chance to eat breakfast, that everyone had made themselves a sack lunch... I also felt like a mother waiting for her teenagers to get home from a party as I stayed up late on Friday and Saturday night, waiting for everyone to get home alright from the conference. Seriously, waiting up until 2 am, sitting in the front room, reading a book by lamplight, checking my phone every five minutes, worried that a car-full of girls is either lost or stuck in a ditch somewhere along I-35 - kind of stressful!
Overall, it was a great weekend. I was grateful to have the opportunity to attend and receive new insights and meet new people.
Speaking of meeting new people, I had an epiphany yesterday. It goes a little something like this...
On Friday night, there was a mix & mingle activity at the stake center – registration, food, basketball, volleyball, service projects. It was extremely crowded and since I am not a huge fan of large-group sports, I situated myself against the wall and settled in for a night of people watching. Imagine my surprise when a guy standing next to me (we will call him Boy 1) introduced himself and then started talking to me. He was very nice, very talkative, but our conversation was basically a Q&A: what do you do, where do you go to school, what are your hobbies, what kind of music do you like, what are your favorite movies, etc. We talked for a good 20 minutes, going back and forth with these types of questions and I guess you could say I got to know him on some basic level.
After we had been talking for some time, Boy 1 politely excused himself to go find his friend. Imagine my surprise when yet another guy approached me and began a conversation. (It was a very surprising evening – guys don’t usually talk to me!) Boy 2 immediately began joking around, bringing up random topics, basically taking all of the awkwardness out of the situation. And it wasn’t a Q&A conversation; it was more of a story time. We did get to topics like what do you do for a living and such, but it was only in passing as were discussing other things.
As I now sit back and think about this weekend I can honestly say that I know more about Boy 2 than I do about Boy 1 (and visa versa – Boy 2 knows more about me than Boy 1 does) because of the way they approached the whole "getting to know you" phase of a relationship. Boy 1 might know more about what I am (I am a person that listens to Breaking Benjamin), but Boy 2 knows more about who I am (I am a person who can appreciate a good joke when you show up at my house at 1:00 in the morning).
My epiphany, then, is that talking to the opposite gender and getting to know them better is a fine art and some guys get it and some guys don't. I can only hope that we, as girls, can also get it and not waste time with the Q&A and get straight to the fun part. There will always be time to fill in the blanks later.