Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Youth Conference 1986

Some may have noticed that I've been serializing my Youth Conference novella over on RfM. The novella is part II of my novel Exmormon.

It's fiction (though the Youth Conference part is strongly based on actual events), so for non-fiction lovers, I thought I'd post my real-life Youth Conference journal entries for you here.

Let's set the way-back machine for August 4, 1986...

I recently went to Camp Many Point and then to Youth Conference. I will tell about Youth Conference first.

I knew I would hate it there. I told my mother I didn't want to go and not to sign me up for it, but of course she did anyway. I convinced my friend Jennie H- to go too so that I wouldn't be miserable. (She didn't want to go either.)

...here I'm skipping two pages of description of how very awful it was. It just keeps going and going... ;-)

We girls got dorms that were intended for boys. There were urinals and dirty drawings on the walls and everything. The dorms were incredibly ugly and the closets stank.

The activities were over-planned and boring. Most of them took place in a huge hot auditorium. It was stuffy and uncomfortable. In contrast I practically froze to death during the seminars.

We had testimony meeting on Saturday only to have one the very next day in our own wards the very next day.

Everyone was playing frisbee, and although I love the game, no one threw any to me.

Once Chris O- and Scott R- were playing frisbee. I walked by with Jennie as it was coming to Scott. I lined up the angle and stood in line with where the frisbee would come. Scott, being a polite kid, wasn't about to knock me over for a frisbee. He just stood there.

When it came to me I put my hand up and let it fly in. It was a perfectly effortless catch.

Scott then turned to me, and by the expression on his face I could tell he was in a state of shock. "Nice catch," he said surprisedly.

I was a little surprised myself and since I was quite embarrassed, I just tossed it back to him saying, "Here, want this?" turned and kept walking.

I think I know why he was so amazed. I've known Scott for several years and during that time in various groups and organizations we've played water balloon war, dunk people in the pool, canoe races, softball, kickball, volleyball, three-team keep-away, pie races, foozball, frisbee, tackle frisbee, sledding, swat the animal, hacky-sack, various relays, etc. I hadn't shown any promising talent in ay of these.

I might as well tell you right here and now that for years I've had the biggest crush on Scott. We've talked and had fun (our families are friends) and done a lot of things together. We were always at least friends although he nevver showed any specifically romantic interest in me.

At the dance that night my plan was to join in the group dances with Scott, Lynn, Karen, and Lynn's many male friends. I figured that during all this dancing I could look at him and imagine how wonderful it would be to be his girlfriend.

Unfortunately Jennie, being new, was shy because she didn't know anyone, and walked over to the tables. I figured I'd better go with her because I was her best friend at Youth Conference, and besides, I had nothing to lose because Scott seeemed to be ignoring me. I went over and talked with Jennie.

A few minutes later I looked at a table a few tables down, and there was Scott, talking to two of the girls he had met earlier that day.

I then said to myself, "Carrie, this has been coming for quite some time now. He doesn't like you at all, so just quit bugging the poor guy."

I turned to Jennie, who wasn't having a great deal of fun either, and suggested that we go back to the dorm. Surprisingly, she didn't want to. I asked her how long we'd been there and she replied "About 20 minutes."

"I guess I can stay for an hour, but after that I'm going back to the dorm."

For a half an hour I sat and wallowed in self-pity. I again asked Jennie the time. When she said there was only about 10 minutes left, I figured I could wait another ten minutes.

After a few minutes, Scott came hesitantly to our table and sat down. We had a wonderful conversation and he brought some other boys over to the table for Jennie.

We all had wonderful fun stacking cups, playing with the live-goldfish centerpiece and scratching words into the disposable plastic centerpiece.

Ah, how we danced. I was clearly the center of his attention. It was wonderful beyond description, especially holding him in my arms for the first time during the slow dances. We danced the last dance together.

The boys of our ward had escorted us to the dance, all except Scott. They had done a hopelessly lousy job of it. The boys walked ahead in a glob and the girls walked in a glob behind.

My mother, being a chaperone there, was determined that the girls should escort the boys to the next one, to show them how it's done, and to be polite and return the favor.

I, of course, escorted Scott. I took his elbow in the usual escort way as we walked to the dance. As we were walking he took my hand as we walked close together. I have to admit that I let out a few giggles, but it was so wonderful to be with the person I loved and know I was the object of his affections.

Actually, I should be really embarrassed to post something so ridiculous -- but what can I say? I think it's kind of funny, and apparently I have no shame... ;-)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

sigh... young love! it's too bad it seems to get so complicated as we get older.

thank you for reminding me to allow that just maybe, life can be simpler and a whole lot funner. =)