I have thought about this moment. I've had this moment, this moment of looking at the women around me and being delighted and in awe of their greatness. Their genius, their goodness, their buoyancy, their depth and kindness and nimbility. Maybe it's the product of my last nine years of living exclusively with other girls, but I have a profound testimony of the goodness of so many women.
Look at this, will you?
At what sir?
I don’t know why, but nothing makes me feel quite so good as the sight of colleagues,
enjoying each other outside work.
So, what were you guys talking about?
We were talking about these women.
We can’t get over these women.
Last month, or maybe the month before, a friend of mine got up during our fast & testimony Relief Society meeting and bore her testimony. It began as you would expect: "I'm grateful for my Savior and for this church. I know that President Hinckley is a prophet" (this was likely before President Hinckley passed away) "and I love this ward." But then she took a stand: "I love this Relief Society, and I want to say that I want you sisters to be happy. I want you to get the man of your dreams, and I don't care if he's the man that I want and you get him. I want you to be happy, and I will root for your success." (Essentially. This is essentially what she said.)
We were delighted. I was delighted. This is a hard thing to say, I think, because it's such a sensitive subject. How do we say--how do we mean--that we are glad for each other's romantic successes, even when it means that we do not have the success we want in the moment we want it? It seems funny that it's even an issue. I wonder about women's reputation for cattiness, and I've been glad to have so little exposure to it. But still--in our community, small as it is, we may date the same people. We may like the same men. We may hope for successes with the very people that others want to succeed with. And I think the answer--the only comfort I've received--comes from my belief in the goodness of so many women. This is what I figure: If there's a boy so cool that I like him, then I'll probably like the women that he likes (maybe--maybe--even more than I liked him). So, if he chooses another one over me, then I can take comfort in my happiness for her--that she, this good woman that I do or would like, is getting attention from a good man.
So, a story: The first boy I sort of dated at BYU was named Brent. I didn't know we were dating until after we'd broken up. In post-break-up talks he said, "So when we were dating..." I said, "We dated?" And he said, "Yeah, but then when we broke up..." And I said, "We had a break up?" (I was totally excited.) After we broke up, he started dating this other woman named Kirsten. I wondered about her--he and I were still friends--what she was like, how I would feel if/when I met her, what I should think about the whole thing. But then, one night, maybe at a poetry reading at Brent's, I met her. And you know what? She was awesome. Awesome. She was smart and cool and pretty and great, and she helped Brent dress better (which he needed) and got him to watch movies (which I never could)--good movies, ones I like. And they got married and they have three or four kids, and sometimes I get baby announcements from them. And I delight that he ended up with someone as great as she.
That's my story. And I'm sticking to it.