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Brigham Young University
  1. The most non-conformist girl in our dormitory
  2. Confidences, confessions, and advice
  3. An intimate little gathering
  4. Girl talk and a run-in with Standards
  5. I just don't belong here
  1. Young Women's
  2. Youth Conference
  3. Saturday's Warrior
  4. Brigham Young University
  5. Polygamist
  6. Temple Wedding
  7. Orem High
  8. Bordeaux Mission
  9. Exmo Conference
Brigham Young University

Or more likely it was her way of demonstrating what a good mom she would make in a real family, I reasoned. Janie was fond of reminding us all that one of her (real-life) older sisters had married a guy she had met as a "brother" in her BYU Family Home Evening group. Janie was pretty clearly headed along this same path as she openly flirted with the short, chubby, freckle-faced boy who was our Family Home Evening Group's "dad." Our beloved Family Home Evening parents weren't an established couple yet, but the guy was starting to look interested. As distasteful as attracting a man using a baby story board may seem, it's hard to criticize what works. Janie had one more serious prospect than I did.

Actually I generally found Janie's stories about her family to be kind of disturbing. She was the third-to-youngest in a family of eight children, all of them girls except the very last one. So when she wasn't explaining what tricks an older sister had used to land a husband (or "eternal companion" as Janie liked to say), her stories usually revolved around her younger brother, the boy of the family. She loved to recount how he had been raised to be the perfect gentleman, so when the family went to church on Sunday, it was the boy who got out of the car first and held the door open for every single one of his older sisters. Then he would rush ahead and open the door to the church building for them as well. It was kind of cute in a way, but in a way I felt sorry for her.

Once Janie had finished preparing her lesson, we set off with our friends to our local cafeteria, the Cannon Center, for dinner.

At dinner, Trisha was gushing over the latest letter she had gotten from her missionary in Brazil. Missionaries are supposed to stay focused on spiritual matters at all times, so three of the four pages of the letter were devoted to describing discussions he had taught and other spiritual matters such as how well the Holy Ghost was helping him to learn to speak Portuguese. But there were enough sweet nothings in it to keep Trisha's attention. In fact Trisha was corresponding with three different missionaries, one in Japan, one in Brazil, and one in Idaho. It wasn't clear to me precisely how she had met them or if they knew about each other. By coincidence, Janie seemed to be wondering the same thing, so she asked Trisha how she had found three missionary pen-pals like that.

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"Why, do you want one?" asked Trisha. "All three of my missionaries know other guys in their missions who would be happy to have a girl back home to write to. That's basically how I met them myself -- it was a friend-of-a-friend thing."

It sounded interesting. Corresponding with missionaries would be a pleasant and simple way of lining up some future prospects if they were guys who were coming back to BYU. I was about to ask for details myself when Wendy and Lavyrne broke into a rollicking chorus of Will I Wait for You? from Saturday's Warrior.

They were practically rolling over each other laughing by the time they got to the final line: "Like a faithful girl waits for her missionary..." At that I figured it would be better to ask Trisha privately later rather than suffer that sort of teasing. April was already blushing as Wendy was punching her in the shoulder laughing heartily at her own joke.

After dinner, Janie went straight to the mirror to redo her hair and make-up. She fired up her curling iron and took off her glasses to do her eye make-up. She then spent about twenty minutes re-curling the entire front part of her hair and puffing it up and spraying it. She had perfected the technique of getting that "bangs to heaven" look that was so popular at BYU.

Family Home Evening passed without incident. Bizarrely enough, no one besides me seemed to think it was at all incongruous that Janie was holding up a flannel-covered board and sticking pictures of animals to it to illustrate the story of Noah's Ark, as if none of us had ever heard the story before. The little smiles exchanged between our "mom" and "dad" were actually kind of cute even though to be honest I found that I normally didn't like Janie very much.

In my opinion, none of the guys in our Family Home Evening "family" were very cute. Still, girls at BYU can't afford to be picky. The girl-to-boy ratio was such that all three floors of our wing of our dorm building were paired with only two floors of a corresponding boys' dorm wing to make up our ward. The bottom floor of the boys' dorm was grouped with some girls from Heritage Halls, the all-girls dormitory complex. Our FHE group of course bore out the same ratio. I looked at the guys in our group again, but none of them interested me in the slightest. They certainly didn't interest me enough to inspire me to fight so many other girls for them.

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