Wally and the search for the perfect girl

By: Stephen Marsh
August 3, 2012

Let us be serious.  You should be over at FAIR, reading about serious things and enjoying their conference and the papers and how women fit into the Church.

Since you aren’t, I’ll share the story of Wally and the search for the perfect girl.

I met Wally* about the time I was graduating from law school.  He decided to share with me his search for the perfect girl, and the top twenty on his list.  There was Red,* the most zaftig girl on campus, Slim,* the perfect gamin waif … ok, I have to admit, I tuned him out before he even got through the introduction to his search, when he told me that there was a celestial archetype for perfection and pointed me to the following person:

You can spot what was wrong with his search.  Ok, there are probably too many things wrong with his search, but:

  1. He had contradictory definitions.
  2. He had incredibly shallow definitions.
  3. Trying to date twenty girls at once?

But seriously, too often we set goals of perfection, definitions, that are contradictory and impossible to reach.  Every time I see someone doing that, I think of Wally and his search.

Which, of course, tells me that you should go over to FAIR and search for the perfect essay.**

*All the names are made up.

**I was a founding board member for FAIR, but have not been involved with them for a long time now.

22 Responses to Wally and the search for the perfect girl

  1. Stephen Marsh on August 3, 2012 at 6:17 AM

    Failing going over to FAIR you can catch the retreat and conference at http://segullah.org/

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  2. Stephen M (Ethesis) on August 3, 2012 at 8:06 AM

    http://heartofafricafilm.com/2012/08/03/past-promises-4/ is another alternative.

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  3. Morgan D on August 3, 2012 at 9:02 AM

    I was so excited for a second. I thought this was going to be about Pixar’s WALLE. It is one of my favorite movies, and I never thought that deeply about the love story, I just think its a a beautiful message about how you should live life. But I was hoping you had some mind blowing post about the nature of love learned from two robots.

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  4. Howard on August 3, 2012 at 9:20 AM

    The FAIR article you linked to regarding gendered participation within church was an impressive step forward. Author Neylan McBaine begins by demonstrating an impressive understanding of some women’s issues within the church and concludes with suggestions for improvement that do not require doctrinal change while ignoring other issues like; working moms, single women, HM, harken etc. In the middle she shares her thoughts with the Public Affairs team which amounts to spoon feeding them a new narrative which they certainly do need but this ignores the consciousness raising requirement implied by the spoon feeding!

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  5. NewlyHousewife on August 3, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    Your post reminded me of the ‘don’t be picky’ charade that’s shared amongst YSA wards. My husband’s best friend got married at 27. To many in the ward the reason for this was because the guy was too picky. Dated wonderful girls by anyone’s standards decided they were not for him, and then went on to marry a great person.

    I personally think ‘too picky’ is used to cover up the fact that a guy who doesn’t see a wonderful girl in front of him just because she’s 10 pounds heavier than the girl next to her is being a douche. There’s a difference between someone looking for an equal mate (as in the case of my husband’s friend), and someone looking for a model wife (as in the case of Wally).

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  6. Bonnie on August 3, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    You’re so funny, Stephen. My son-in-law’s pet peeve (well, one of them, I won’t speak for him that it’s his only one) is YW activities in which the girls make lists of the “man they’re looking for.” Yipes. Sometimes I look at myself, wonder how many traits I possess that would actually be on anyone’s list, and have a great belly-laugh.

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  7. Bob on August 3, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    #6: Bonnie,
    To me, what is HATEFUL, is veiwing a newly married couple, and saying/thinking one__ “Settled For”.

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  8. Natsy on August 3, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    I think that if there is ever a time to be picky, it’s when you’re deciding who to spend eternity with. I have a lot of friends who basically got married just to get married because that’s what they were “supposed” to do. That’s wrong. Of course, I have friends that go the opposite direction and won’t give anyone a chance because they are looking for perfection. I’m not perfect and don’t really want to be with someone who is (I don’t want to feel inferior my whole life) but I definitely want someone I click with.

    That was an interesting article over at FAIR. I’m glad that people are at least acknowledging that there is a problem.

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  9. salt h2o on August 3, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    If you’re physically fit- you can desire to marry a physically fit person

    If you’re out of debt- you can desire to marry someone else who does not carry a load of debt

    If you are a doctor- you can desire to marry a doctor.

    If you have a testimony- you can desire to marry someone with a testimony.

    If someone has told you that you’re too picky , that’s a polite way of saying “Dude, you’re shooting way too high, you’re a 4 in search of a 9. ”

    Do you think people tell George Clooney that he’s too picky? Or Jennifer Anniston that she should settle?

    The point is when creating your list of ‘must have’s’ in a spouse- aside from chemistry, the rest should consist of “I have”.

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  10. SilverRain on August 3, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    Stephen, this makes me want to publish my “list” and see if anyone can find inconsistencies. *l* I truly want to know.

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  11. Natsy on August 3, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    salt H20 – exactly!

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  12. Stephen M (Ethesis) on August 3, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    SilverRain– post away.

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  13. Stephen M (Ethesis) on August 3, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    Salt, most doctors I know do not want to marry other doctors, though it is possible.

    I think, if you want to talk marriage you should be looking for fit which is different from perfection.

    But my point was that too often people create impossible goals for themselves by having conflicting ideas of where they want to go.

    I wanted to use a humorous example, perhaps I should have made marriage foiblesy focus.

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  14. Nate on August 3, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    This subject reminds me of David O McKay’s quote: ”

    Perfect people would be awfully tiresome to live with; their stained-glass view of things would seem a constant sermon without intermission, a continuous moral snub of superiority to our self-respect.”

    salt h20 also made a great point. Putting my scrawny body with the perfect body of Farrah Faucet would be a terrible crime. Perhaps if I were really rich, then I would feel comfortable with someone of her corporeal perfection, because it’s a fair trade. Women want money, men want sex. But being poor, and plain, one must remember this adage: “Tis a gift to be simple, tis a gift to be free, tis a gift to come down where you aught to be.”

    The problem with many men is that they constantly overestimate their own desirability.

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  15. Stephen M (Ethesis) on August 4, 2012 at 1:52 AM

    “Tis a gift to be simple, tis a gift to be free, tis a gift to come down where you aught to be.”

    I like that.

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  16. Hedgehog on August 4, 2012 at 3:20 AM

    Thanks for the link Stephen. Interesting reading, and it’s good to see they acknowledge a problem. I’m not sure that getting the YW to open the doors for the deacons passing the sacrament is anything more than window dressing however (she did say her expertise was marketing), and I think the YW would see that. I was also puzzled by her suggestion that titles be introduced across the board – it seemed to be in direct contradiction to her cooperative as opposed to heirarchical model explanation. The cooperative model sounded good, but might be better observed by abandoning titles altogether I thought. ‘President’ has always sounded a peculiar title in a religious institution…
    It made me nervous that she seemed to favour Hudson’s views, though she didn’t state that explicitly, and did list the other arguments.

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  17. SilverRain on August 5, 2012 at 8:26 AM

    Well, Stephen. I’m continually told that I have no chance of finding a guy with the qualities I’m looking for. So I must either have inconsistencies, or people think I’m aiming too high for my appeal.

    Basically, since I am in the midsingles range, I want a man whose faith has been tested in some way, and has overcome, who makes and honors his covenants, and understand his priesthood.

    I would like someone who self-motivates, who makes good goals and works for them. Someone who is moderately active, and enjoys working hard and gets pleasure from a job well done. Someone who I can trust to speak up when something is important to him, and doesn’t expect me to read his mind. Someone who shows he really wants a family (and not just a wife) by doing what he can now to prepare for one, financially, mentally, spiritually, educationally, and through service.

    Oh, and someone who sees me (and each woman in general) as a person, and not simply as the means to an end.

    So that’s it, mostly. All my other hopes are negotiable. But according to every male I’ve happened into a conversation with on this topic, I’m pipe dreaming.

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  18. Stephen M (Ethesis) on August 5, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    SilverRain — no inconsistent goals there, and no unreasonable ones either. What about them are you being told is a pipe dream?

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  19. SilverRain on August 5, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    Mostly, expecting a man in my age range in the church and who is still single to be self-motivated. Which is discouraging, even if not true.

    But I’d wager it’s really that subtle hint that my looks won’t earn me that sort of man, which I’m okay with. Being single has been the best of my experience so far, and I’m not in any great rush to end it, particularly if it is contingent upon the sort of looks you outline above. Those take way too much time away from important things. -lol-

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  20. Stephen R. Marsh on August 5, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/thou-knowest-that-i-believe/ — another place that may well be better than the OP.

    Getting back to those kind enough to make the thread worthwhile …

    “Mostly, expecting a man in my age range in the church and who is still single to be self-motivated”

    Ouch. That is a definite vote of non-confidence in single men — though, honestly, self-motivated men often are not single long, so they move themselves out of the available pool.

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  21. SilverRain on August 5, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    Yes, it is rather self-selecting. But I find it regretful that men don’t have more respect for their gender. It does reminds me of Bill Cosby’s “Genius” skit, though.

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  22. Geoff - A on August 6, 2012 at 12:45 AM

    Having Read the presentation to Fair by Neylan Mc Baine I got the feeling all the way through that she was trying really hard to sell a second rate product she didn’t really believe in.

    As the husband of a wife who has been president of all the Auxilaries, who has a degree in business administration, and who would have made a better Bishop than any I’ve had in the last 20 years, and the father of 4 daughters only one of whom is currently a RS president it is glaringly obvious that the church is not fully utilising the female half of it’s resources.

    I used to sit in ward council (as HP group leader) and observe my wife as RS President. When the Bishop wanted to know about a name he didn’t recognise the person who invariably knew, because she had visited them already, was the RS president.

    There are 5 ex bishops in our ward and there are at least as many women who would be better bishops. Why can none of these even bless their own children?

    This along with same sex issues are the biggest reasons for doubting the ability of our Prophets to communicate with God.

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