Welcome to Utah, where Thou Shalt Not Commit Adulthood

Dame Toadstool here with an official response to the Hullabaloo that came out of the woodwork after The Cotton Floozy’s December post about Creative Dating in Utah County.

I went out of town a couple hours after it was posted and was really surprised by the CONTROVERSY is seemed to stir up. Our website is still sort of in Beta here as I slowly get more of the back-end stuff taken care of. But since I hold some sort of responsibility for the direction in which Happy Valley Crafters may go, I want to make this clear to any and all readers out there:

The disapproving attitudes toward the Floozy’s gentle mockery are exactly the reason why Utah Valley needs to have its feathers ruffled, and we Happy Valley Crafters are just getting started.

I am proud to be part of a community that is not afraid to poke holes in the Utah County Bubble. The Cotton Floozy made fun of herself and her own Creative Dating experiences as a teenager in that post, so she was more than qualified to rain on the Dating Diva parade of silliness. All the sweet, innocent locals need hear more from other locals who aren’t afraid to talk about how ridiculous the heavily LDS church-influenced local trends, attitudes, and de facto laws can be. Because guess what? Communication and criticism are key methods of making the world a better place for everyone—not just the dominant majority.

That’s right, innocent friends and disapprovers. Covering your eyes and ears and churning out rules and regulations to prevent “sinners” from impinging on your lifestyle doesn’t make anyone a better person; it simply indicates a lack of emotional maturity on your part. A cheese and cilantro-laden burrito from Cafe Rio may be the right lunch for you, but would you assume that it’s right for me? I’m lactose intolerant and I think that cilantro tastes like poison devil soap, so hopefully not (for both our sakes). Attaining adulthood means being rational in your evaluation of opinions and information and accepting that people are inherently different. The glorification of sameness usually fizzles out for most people after high school… along with the fear of adult themes like subversion, realism, and, of course, sex. In parts of the world outside Utah County (and even in places like—gasp!—Salt Lake City), it is not considered admirable for married couples to engage in sophomoric dating that focuses on hyper-planned, cutesy “adventures.”

I was introduced to the concept of creative dating by a friend who grew up a happy Mormon in Utah County. She was sixteen when I met her, and excited about participating in the elaborate dating world at her public high school.  Now finishing up college at Southern Utah University, she had some insightful thoughts after reading Floozy’s post:

I found it very entertaining! Especially because I’ve lived through one of those creative date experiences – the spaghetti dinner! Good times! It was a blast, in high school. But now, no way! My boyfriend would just laugh in my face if I tried to get him to do that. Especially if like the Dating Divas I just made him do it and not me.

Dating as an adult should be fun because you enjoy the person you’re spending time with, not because you’re doing something crazy. I mean sure, going to the thrift store with a bunch of friends and your husbands would be fun if everyone was into it. But how does that strengthen your marriage? In my opinion going to dinner, or doing something simple one on one is what’s going to strengthen your relationship because you get to spend quality time together.

I think adult creative dates just seem like you’re still stuck in high school and never really grew up. Probably because everyone in Utah County gets married so young. And man, the diva who made T-Shirts and dog tags for a date!?!

Creative dating really shouldn’t translate into adulthood. Sure, go on fun dates, like bowling, or a hike, but geez these people go crazy and plan every single detail! I just don’t understand how that could be fun or stress free like a date with your significant other should be! I remember how stressful planning a creative date could be in high school!

Anyway, I don’t understand why people think Floozy’s post is offensive. Because it’s not! It’s entertaining and a very accurate portrayal of what dating in Utah County has turned into.

Anyway, that’s my opinion of creative dating. oh I should also mention the only times I see the whole creative dating thing in Iron County is when the [LDS] Institute hosts a date night.

Well stated, I think.

People certainly have every right to remain a teenager, emotionally speaking, for their entire lives—and many people do, regardless of where they live. I just don’t recommend it.

My fellow Happy Valley Crafter bloggers and I are generally good-natured people who have to live with a lot of crap rules in a culture that defies our sense of logic and sense of personal freedom. We are not striving to be hateful and will never tolerate hate speech on our website (just sayin’). But we encourage discord in the comments (and on our Facebook page and Twitter) that leads to conversations where someone, including us, has the opportunity to look at something from a different angle. Floozy’s feelings weren’t hurt because some people didn’t like what she said.

Start thinking critically! Don’t be afraid to disagree with the majority!

We will poke fun at ourselves and others and promote sarcasm and subversion in crafting. If you decide it’s not for you, we’re okay with that. We’ll understand if you’re Happy Valley Crafters-intolerant or think that we are poison devil soap. Just be aware that if you cluelessly promote juvenile and ridiculous ideas to a group of adults, we may mock you accordingly.

About Dame Toadstool

From her humble Midwestern beginnings, Dame Toadstool has developed into a lady of fine taste (as long as you are flexible with the definition of "fine"). She enjoys sarcasm, knitting, subversive cross-stitching, and will never stop using the Oxford comma.
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11 Responses to Welcome to Utah, where Thou Shalt Not Commit Adulthood

  1. Not only were my feelings not hurt, they were elated! I was like, people have an opinion about lil ol’ me? YES.

    And does this mean you won’t be sharing an Xtra cheesy, double pico de gallo Cafe Rio burrito with me, Dame? NO.

  2. chucky says:

    hole in one!

  3. Kat says:

    We who are about to rock salute you.

  4. Nephi seer of newen time says:

    “Creative” dating is all about avoiding sex. Not a bad idea when you’re a teen-ager. Very suspect when you’re married.

  5. TieDyeGeezer says:

    It seems to me as I have observed adult couples that participate in this “Creative Dating” and as mentioned by the Dating Divas, they do it to connect with their spouses. They participate in these childish antics because they have not learned how to have a deep and meaningful conversation and connection with their significant others. I think this stem from that fact that many young people here fall into the trap of finding someone they are attracted to and wanting to get down to business with them. (Euphemism for hot sex… oh wait, not in Utah). But since premarital sex is frowned upon by the LDS church, the young adults end up with “Hormonal” marriages. That urge to procreate can be a powerful thing. Even if they have a long engagement they are warned not to spend too much time alone with each other lest the evilness of their tingly bits may overwhelm them. In this culture how can a couple spend the time to truly get to know each other when they are spending their time with a group doing outlandish things to distract them from the normal human desire to express ones attraction in a sexual way? I have also encountered people that don’t want to delve into the psyche of their spouse. They fear that what they may learn they may not like so they carry on a superficial relationship, losing themselves in their church callings, raising kids etc. Then after the kids have moved out they find themselves married to a stranger whom they have never really connected with. I am also sure being a man that none of those husbands, given a real choice, would chose to do those “crazy” things. Being a man I can be about 90% sure the husbands go along so they have a chance of having sex.

    My 2 cents worth, I also know I am painting with a broad stroke. I think the adult couples that “Creative Date” on a regular basis are really a minority of LDS members.

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