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Today's word on journalism

March 17, 2009

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 1863-2009

"Can Seattle's oldest newspaper be successfully transformed into a child of the information age? The Northwest is a land of big dreams. With the demise of the Soviet Union, one quipster noted that Puget Sound is now home to three empires still bent on global dominion: Microsoft, and Starbuck's. If the stars align properly and with a quality product, Seattle will show the way to a new model for journalism of the written word."

--Joel Connelly, columnist, in today's final print edition of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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Feedback and suggestions --printable and otherwise --always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

What's a -- single, college-educated -- Mormon girl to do?

By Kandice Crompton

February 11, 2009 | I don't go to BYU, nor have I ever, so this isn't quite as shocking as it could be, but it's still not a situation most LDS girls think that they will be in someday.

I spend a lot of time wondering what to do next. Should I stay in Logan? In Cache Valley? Heck, should I even stay in the country? Should I consider graduate school, or law school? Should I take some time off and volunteer, or dive into a job immediately?

It has recently hit me that I can go anywhere and do anything I have ever dreamed of. There is nothing holding me back. That's right, folks, I am an active female member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who is graduating from college. Single.

My parents married at 19, a year out of high school. I went to high school with a girl who was engaged before graduation, and went to my first wedding reception for a friend at the beginning of my freshman year of college. I have scores of female cousins, all of whom, save one, were married young, and all of whom have children. With the exception of that one cousin, whom I admire greatly, I am an anomaly in my family, and apparently in the LDS community as a whole.

Growing up I fell into the trap that many LDS girls seem to fall into, that of believing that once you graduate from high school your job is to find a husband. Growing up I always imagined myself going to college, but my dreams in any kind of professional capacity stopped by the age of 22 (and for anyone who would like to send cards, I turn 22 on Feb. 19), because I just assumed that by then I would be married and supporting my husband. Unless something absolutely unbelievable happens in the next eight days, I am obviously not doing either of those things.

Going to church with my parents now is like poking a beehive with a stick -- just asking for trouble. When I went on a trip three weeks ago to the home ward, a woman I have known for years skipped the formalities and immediately asked me if I'd been "given any diamonds recently." This was not the first time such a situation had arisen. After saying the required (or so I thought until "diamonds" lady) "Hello," I have been swarmed with questions, from "Are you seeing anyone," "Would you like to go out with my nephew/grandson/pool boy? He's very attractive, and lonely too, you two would get along," to the very blunt "You're not getting any younger, you know."

What these people don't seem to understand is the one fact I find most important. I'm happy!

Contrary to what most people are probably thinking in the back of their heads, I am truly happy to be graduating from college with my BS degree, and not my MRS. There is nothing to hold me back come May. I have applied for jobs in Washington D.C., New York, Seattle and Dallas. I've sent for information concerning volunteer opportunities abroad, and even spent some time with the Peace Corps Web site. Because I have only had support myself through college, my spring breaks, as well as the past four summers, have all been memorable and full of trips to sometimes exotic, sometimes random, locations. I have dated some fantastic guys throughout school, I have made great friends and had experiences I never would have had as someone's wife.

I know there are others out there in a similar situation. It is time for us to take a stand. We are not a group for others to pity. We enjoy life just like everyone else, perhaps more in some ways! Getting married is a big decision, one I don't think should be made lightly just so that other people will "approve" of your life's direction. Marriage is definitely not a bad thing, but neither in being single, so to all you married people out there, please stop trying to set me up with your new husband's best friend's brother.

Response from a reader, 02/013/09


Being a single non-Mormon woman, your article really hit home. So many people cannot understand how a woman can be single and be happy. I've never had the desire to marry & raise a family; spending time with my nephews & nieces is more than enough. And I hate to break it to you, but at 52 I'm still getting people trying to set me up with "the perfect man." Only now he's usually either a widower or divorced and comes with kids.

Hang in there! The world truly is at your feet. As a single, successful worker, I've traveled through all seven continents, met a whole bunch of people, continue to spend time with a wide & varied circle of friends (female & male), and am very happy with my life choices.

Terrie Wierenga, Richmond


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