A Singles’ Ward Valentines Day

I’m constantly learning new things about being in a Singles Ward. Like today, for instance, I learned that being in a YSA ward in mid-February is slightly excrutiating. Actually, being at an LDS school around this time is relatively distressing. I’m not having issues with my “social life,” no, but may I say that being single in February is ridiculously awkward? Cursed Valentines day!

Pretty much every college and university in the US had a Valentine’s Day dance last night – SVU included. For the last two weeks, Institute teachers (and even some professors!) have been encouraging students to plan on attending. Now, I’ve learned that Institute teachers are inherently matchmakers. While our class president was making the announcements – including the announcement about the dance through the school and the spaghetti date night through the Institute – my teacher says from the back, “Anyone who doesn’t have a date, please see me, and we’ll take care of that right away.”

Scary thing was, you couldn’t tell if he was serious or joking.

And it’s been like this since February first.

The bishopric has been getting in on it as well. My roommate, H., has begun rather recently dating a young man from another ward. Bishop A., making his rounds in the congregation (shaking hands, asking after those who aren’t there, etc.), shook my hand, and then H.’s. Although I have a rather firm grip, I don’t necessarily shake hand’s very firmly. Bishop, shaking H.’s hand, grinned and said, “I think H. has had a little practice by holding a young man’s hand.” K. and I nearly died laughing, because Bishop A. is very reserved. He has a great sense of humor, but is very quiet about it. For him to say that, with a little smirk, definitely made my day.

I suppose, thinking back, the onslaught of matchmaking has been a long time coming. Earlier in the semester a rep from the Stake High Council sat in on our meetings, and spoke at Sacrament. After introducing himself from behind the pulpit, he observed, “I have a tendency to, when I visit singles wards, count how many people are sitting within arm’s length of one another. After tallying it up, I like to count how many of those people are sitting within arm’s length of a person of the opposite gender. There are eight of you doing so. Priesthood, step it up! You are sitting next to beautiful daughters of God! They are waiting patiently for you to realize how awesome they are! Step. It. Up.”

We laughed, but were secretly mortified. Some of the guys pounded our missionaries – elders, of course – on the back, laughing and poking them. Poor elders.

But I will say this, we have a pretty awesome Elder’s Quorum. Today in Relief Society as we were doing announcements – the usual stuff – one of the guys shuffled in holding a giant plastic bag. He looked like he was torn between wanting to flirt and wanting to run away, like the other guys had forced him into the task. He refused to step more than a foot in the door of the RS room, but held out the bag with a grin, saying, “We decided to try to make Valentine’s Day spiritual for our sisters in the ward, so we made these for you. It’s just a little poem, but we thought you’d like it! They have kisses attatched!”

He pretty much darted away after that. But it was ridiculously cute:

In case you can’t read the text from the photo:

God’s Valentine Gift

God’s Valentine gift of love to us

Was not a bunch of flowers;

It wasn’t candy, or a book

To while away the hours.

He gave his son to die for man,

So He could freely give

His sacrificial love for us,

So you and I could live.

He gave us sweet salvation, and

Instruction, good and true —

To love our friends and enemies

And love our Savior, too.

So as we give our Valentines,

Let’s thank our Lord and King;

The reason we have love to give,

Is that He gave everything.

– Joanna Fuchs

We were definitely impressed by the sweet gesture of the Elder’s Quorum, but then again I suppose we shouldn’t have been, because they leave little “love notes” like this for us in the RS room all the time:

My outlook is pretty good right now, but let’s see how it is after a day of classes tomorrow, on the actual holiday, yeah? Haha, just kidding. Happy Valentines day all!!

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