...your ward Christmas party is an auction where the members can afford $300+ items.
I've lived in the boundaries of my ward since May of this year. It has been a difficult adjustment, because I really loved my Omni Ward. I blamed the fact that I was out of town for most of the summer. Of course, fall semester is almost over and I don't know many more people than I did when I moved in. Becca and I try to attend all our activities. We go to FHE (we have to, Becca is the mom) and ward prayer and choir and we both participate in our calling. The Bishopric (who are all awesome!) all knows who we are. And yet, we still don't seem to be fitting in.
For a while we pretended that it was just the ward. We had heard that it was a hard ward to get into. But we've watched several move-ins in the last month or so integrate themselves into the ward without a problem. So, basically, we know that it is us .
Somehow, even though we are the coolest people you could possibly know, we give off a stand-offish vibe and are, surprisingly, forgettable. We've had countless numbers of people in our ward re-introduce themselves over and over.
I don't know what it is. Maybe it is the fact that I just feel so uncomfortable in my ward. I'm easily the heaviest girl in the relief society. I don't wear clothes from Forever XXI or Banana Republic or wherever they shop. I don't have a nice car or flawless hair and skin. I don't make my own hairbows or own a pair of expensive boots - I don't even own a pair of cool tights and I definitely don't wear 4-inch heels. So it is clear that I don't look like any of the girls. I don't run marathons. I don't date. I haven't traveled anywhere really cool. I really just don't feel like I fit "in" with these girls. The guys in our ward go for the girls in my relief society - or, they do enough to talk to them....they haven't really gotten the dating/marriage thing down, or it would be happening more often. Whatever the case may be, I don't talk to many of the guys in my ward.
And after tonight, I must admit, I don't know that I ever will! I think of the quote in the movie Pride & Prejudice when Lizzie is protesting against visiting Pemberley because Darcy is so rich and her uncle says, "Why Lizzie, what a snob you are!" And I have to admit, I am sort of a snob against the rich. We went to our ward Christmas party tonight at the Spring Haven Lodge. They have been talking about this activity for a few months in ward council and whenever they did, I kept thinking to myself, "These people are nuts! No one is going to spend that much" or "You'll never get them to do that!" But boy was I wrong! After dinner we had a service auction, where we were to bid on the services offered by a ward member. Money bid would then be used to purchase money for the Utah Food Coalition. I've done things like this before. Services offered were like: bake a cake, clean the kitchen, a haircut or something similar. Granted, we had some of these things. (I offered to bake a cheesecake.) But this auction had items like: An overnight 6-person horseback trip in Wyoming, a weekend in Vegas at a house owned by the member, a weekend in a cabin with snow mobiles provided, an opportunity to volunteer in a Mexican orphanage, a day skiing at Sundance for six people, etc. etc. Basically, it was crazy. More crazy, the fact that people were bidding $300-400!
I don't know about you, but I don't have $400 laying around for a Fly Fishing trip. My measly cheesecake was no comparison. And I left feeling the same way.
I have a feeling that if the Christmas party was the first activity I ever attended, I would have gone RUNNING back to the Omni and not thought twice about it. As it is, I will only be in this ward for another month or so and then I am moving to try a more poor-college-student-friendly ward closer to campus. We'll see how that goes.