Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Some bands suck... but still have a point

I grew up in Seattle. My family moved to Utah when I was 17 years old. I frequently get to make trips back to Seattle and I get to see my friends there. On my last trip in May of this year I showed up to my old Ward and I was amazed to discover my closest friend from High School sitting on the stand in the Bishops seat. My friend Joel was 6 months older then me. He was only 22 for 3 days when he received the call to be Bishop. I thought this was insane, I definitely have no aspirations to be in Joel's position at any age, let alone so young... However, I sat there and realized if it were to ever happen to any person it would be my friend Joel.

Joel was an outstanding individual. He was righteous to be sure. I had never heard him swear or say a rude or demeaning thing about another person. Growing up he was a leader, not just in our little Ward, but in our school and our community.

We grew up in what most would consider a pretty bad part of town. When I tell people from the Seattle area where I went to High School those from Seattle's suburbs always refer to it as the "Black High School." Though I had never heard it called that until I moved away I could see why people made the reference. In my high school if you were white you were either Mormon or a recent immigrant from Boznia or Russia. The African American population was huge, there were also a large number of Chinese students. (this will explain my jungle & yellow fever, which will undoubtable become more aparent as this blog continues) There were even more hispanic kids in my High School than white ones which in Seattle is a stretch. There were a lot of low income families where we lived and crime and poor morals were the norm while I was growing up. You can imagine my culture shock arriving in Utah and attending Brighton High School in Sandy.

Anyway, back to my friend Joel. Joel was our High School's student body president. Everybody loved him. Everybody. If I could figure out one word to describe him it would be "Christlike." One time in High School Joel and I were walking from gym class and Shawn Murray, the biggest gang member in our school was walking by. Shawn was a year older then us and a known drug dealer. His best friend had recently died of a cocaine overdose and his older brother was in prison for stabbing someone at a birthday party 2 years ago. I had seen him on more than one occasion with a gun. He was the guy nobody messed with.

Shawn looked right at us and said, "Jesus is a #@$%ing lie. If he was around today he'd be tokin and shootin up jus like eve-one else. #@$% Jesus." I was 16, I was a little offended but Shawn was at least a foot taller than me, and at least 100 lbs heavier than me, and getting beat up wasn't the worst thing that could happen. I remember looking at Joel and the look on his face was one of extreme pain. He was seriously offended. Joel started walking towards Shawn. Three steps behind I followed him. Joel said, "Shawn..." Shawn cut him off, "#$@% your Prophet too, guaruntee he kicking back beers, an' out the window of his limo flipping the bird at the world laughing with #@$%ing Jesus." I had no idea what that was all about, but figured it must have been some part of a previous conversation that they had.

Shawn turned to face Joel man he was a big guy. Joel was athletic, he was the captain of the Basketball team, but he wasn't taller then me. In any kind of physical altercation Shawn would have twisted his head right off. I looked at Shawn in his black beanie and huge white T-shirt. I imagined a gun tucked into his belt even though we had metal detectors. They didn't really work, all the students knew their way around those. I looked around to see to plan an escape route in case this got ugly.

Joel said again, "Shawn, you are talking about the most important person in my life." Shawn grinned kind of out of the side of his mouth. Joel continued, "Have some respect man. Jesus Christ was a real person he died for me and he died for you. Please don't disrespect the man. I'm begging you, it hurts me to hear you say those things. Make fun of me behind my back, but know that if you say stuff like that to my face I am going to have to stand up for him and for my Prophet and for my beliefs." Joel was starting to tear up. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I thought, is he really that offended? Is he really taking his life into his hands to defend what some ignorant gang banger said in anger?

Shawn's grin had disappeared. I watched as Joels glossy eyes bounced back and forth between Shawn's and how Shawn just stared at him, like a statue. After a few seconds, Joel said, "I know you're a christian, brother. Jesus Christ has faith in you, whether or not you have any faith at all. I know he loves you Shawn. (I thought - where did Joel think he was Sunday School) I know that he has a plan, it's hard for us to understand, I know. Just don't take it out on the guy who loves you more than anything." Shawn looked at me for a second (a second longer then I was comfortable with) then looked at his two friends. Then he said, "Yeah, aight. We's aright. Sorry J." He reached his hand out and they did a handshake I was never cool enough to be able to do with anyone. How could Joel be so cool, so freaking cool, and still be 100% Mormon.

Shawn and Joel were the best of friends after that. Joel even got Shawn and his family to meet with the missionaries for a while, nothing ever came of it, but I was always amazed. Joel is the kind of guy I've always felt "the latchets of whose shoe I am not worthy to unloose." Joel, was unapologetic in his observance of his beliefs. He was never a drag to be around though. He was always fun, everybody's favorite guy. He has a way of making you feel like you are the most important person in the world. I never thought Joel was being self-righteous, condescending, or that he ever thought he was better than anyone else. People respected him, and wanted to be around him.

Here's the point. Joel is the kind of guy that Andrea deserves. Not a coward like me. Andrea is just like Joel. Andrea, is fun to be around whether you are Mormon or not. Everybody likes her. She is christlike. She doesn't have a judgmental bone in her body. She is understanding and compassionate, but never a drag. From some of the comments about her it is clear that I haven't adequately described her in this blog and this stems from my shortcomings as a writer and has nothing to do with her. If you knew her and me you would know that I am way out of my league here.

I know what the readers of this blog think about this decision. Perhaps I will, as you all say, regret it. I am seriously feeling like it is more noble of me to end this relationship though. I was talking to my older sister about it and she played me a song called "You're a God" (it's really kind of a terrible song) The lyrics hit home though. "You're a God and I am not and I just thought I'd let you go." No, she's not a "God"... but you get the point. When we were sitting watching Conference this weekend those awful lyrics went through my head over and over, as she excitedly hung on every prophetic word and I struggled to stay awake.

I am going to end our relationship today or tomorrow. Someone famous said once, if you love someone let them go..... I'm hoping there is some truth to that.

Jake

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think I might know who Shawn is, I grew up in Northeastern Oregon and I was really good friends with a guy named Scott before he got involved with drugs and got caught up in a gang, he stabbed someone at a birthday party and was put in Prison, then his younger brother took up his style of life and his name was Shawn, small world.

whyimstillsingle said...

No, don't do it!!!!

f1trey said...

oh to be young...what people deserve has nothing to do with what they get...... ask a starving ehtiopian..... rethink this self centered trite course of discussion

Anonymous said...

Ok yea so end it...but this is what is bothering me about this whole better woman than me crap. Any woman you date or stay with will always be lower if she swears a little, is sort of crass, maybe watches some pg-13's. I find it troubling that so many Mormons put each other in spiritual "classes". It is wrong, and your elevating Andrea so much means you demean so many others. Stop judging people overly righteous and others not so righteous. This is a problem with you and some of your commenters. Either way you are playing "God" so why stop now. Keep judging and keep losing out on great and fun edgy people and super nice spiritual people. Its a flaw in you and something you need to stop doing. When I meet someone, do have a spiritual meter running? Do I think a person is less spiritual because they say "what the hell" vs. "oh my heck"...no.
I think it is a shame that you are so categorically driven. You should stop labeling people and learn to accept people for who they are and work from there. Your obvious self-loathing will keep on the anti-depressants for a long time and frustrate your world as you go through life. Stop putting Andrea in a box and just accept her for who she is and expect the same from her. Unless there is something you aren't telling us like you are addicted to kiddie porn or something. If you aren't ready to settle down then break it off, but stop making her spirituality a flaw for you.

The Boob Nazi said...

If you're going to think like this, maybe it is better you break off the relationship. The other person is supposed to inspire you to be a better person, not make you feel like you're a terrible person.
Maybe find someone more on your spiritual level who will inspire you.

noyb said...

OHMYGOSH!!! are you too freakin lazy to improve yourself to the point that you dont think she is so above you? i said it before when you went on the last cry baby low self esteem trip- she is smart, she follows the spirit and if you werent worthy of her she wouldnt be hanging around you. catch a glimpse of yourself in her eyes. there is something worthy there or she would have dumped you a long time ago.

Kelly said...

I think Anonymous 11:11 has some good points. We shouldn't judge ourselves or others too harshly. And while you think you may know Andrea inside and out, your relationship is still new and there are things about her that may surprise you.

I used to think that I wasn't good enough for my husband while we were dating. He was straight off his mission and suggested praying over the food in a hamburger joint once. I look back at this and just laugh! I am glad I gave him a chance to calm down and I think he has learned a lot about life from a heathen like myself. Don't sell yourself short! It's un-Christ like.

Ru said...

Oh Jakester ... well, you gotta do what you gotta do. And you're too young to settle down now anyway, so it's probably for the best.

I do have to agree with Anonymous above that I worry sometimes about how much you guys "rank" people according to their spirituality, good looks, sense of humor, etc. It's not kind to the people who you think aren't good enough, and makes you feel inferior to the people who seem great - all in all, not the best way to treat yourselves or others. But maybe I'm just reading too much into your posts.

Good luck with the break up, those are rough. :/

samnhal said...

What a sweet post, thank you for sharing it. If may regret it, but sometimes you just need to do things...and if it's right, it will work out. Now I am trying to think if I know you...I went to Brighton, but I think you would have been a year younger than me. Thank you for sharing the story of Joel, he definitely seems inspiring.

Chloe said...

i think that it really doesn't have to do with whether she is more spiritual than you or not. i think that you know deep down it is just not right, that you guys are not going to work, and you are looking for reasons. which is fine. i still think that the right girl is out there for you somwhere, and when you find her? you will just know. you will want to be better because of her, but you will not feel inredibly inferior to her.

i dated a guy like that once. he was perfect. i couldn't figure out why i still had doubts. i couldn't stop looking for reasons though. a few weeks later i met my now husband. i know why it wasn't supposed to work now.

me and my husband are on the same page. we have the same sense of humor, and we can be ourselves around each other. that is what you need Jake. i really believe that.

Anonymous said...

I know what it's like being so close to a situation that you can't really see what's going on. I believe that everything you say about Andrea and the way you feel about her is what you honestly believe to be true.

That being said, you will look back on this experience in 10 and laugh at how silly this decision is.

Looking at this from the outside it's clear you are just not ready or mature enough for a more serious relationship. This is how we learn though. Thanks fir letting me watch.

Joel sounds like a stud, I have run across characters like him my whole life. Be more like him.

-Blazzer

Anonymous said...

I think that you are noble in recognizing that she might deserve better than you. If you feel like someone might be able to make her happier than I applaud you for being selfless enough to consider her future instead of just thinking what a great wife she would be for you.

"Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same." -The Fray

Anonymous said...

i think you're making a good decision. you can't be with someone who makes you feel not good enough - i know she's not doing anything to make you feel that way, but being with her is making you feel that way. and you can't be with someone who you aren't comfortable being yourself 100% with. if you aren't feeling right about the relationship for whatever reason, you need to end it. i think andrea will understand, and i think both of you will find who you are supposed to be with. good luck. this is gonna be a really hard one.

Anonymous said...

I found your blog yesterday and could not stop reading it! It is so funny. And, yeah, break up with her. You'll eventually find someone you won't have to create a game plan to give you tongue and who wants to be horizontal as badly as you and you'll totally forget all about Andrea. Yup, that's my advice.

Miss Priss Morgan said...

Your friend Joel sounds awesome. I love the blog, and I love the stories, but sometimes decisions can be dragged on and can annoy everyone else. My advise (if you even care) is that you have two options.
1 Step up to the plate and BECOME the kind of guy Andrea deserves rather than wollow in the fact that you're not already there.
or
2 Cut ties so you don't have to stress anymore, and set her up with Joel.
Good Luck!

Miss Priss Morgan said...

Your friend Joel sounds awesome. I love the blog, and I love the stories, but sometimes decisions can be dragged on and can annoy everyone else. My advise (if you even care) is that you have two options.
1 Step up to the plate and BECOME the kind of guy Andrea deserves rather than wollow in the fact that you're not already there.
or
2 Cut ties so you don't have to stress anymore, and set her up with Joel.
Good Luck!

That Chick said...

i agree with The Boob Nazi. She sounds awesome, and it sounds like you guys are good together, but if you are going to let something like this get in the way of your relationship, then it isn't right, and it should end. You have to be able to not worry about something like this when you're with someone, regardless of what other people tell you.

Make your own decision, stick to them. :)

Anonymous said...

I feel bad for you that you drag your self down and think Andrea's way out of your league. If you think that way then yeah, she is. I bet most girls you date are out of your league, unless they're easy... And that's pathetic. You're missing out.

Anonymous said...

You are about to break Andrea's heart.
Who cares if you think she's too good for you. She likes you...and now because she's "too good for you" she's going to get her heart broken.

I wish I knew her so I could be there for her.

Scott said...

Great story. Makes me want to be a better Christian.

As for Andrea-do what you want. If you dont think you can change, or dont want to change for that matter, then end it. If you want to change and believe everything you taught people in Ireland about repentance and everything, you can, and should hold on to her and ask her to help you change.

My $.02.

Chuckwagon said...

Break it off! It wouldn't be fair to Andrea if it did work out with her because in the back of your mind you would always really be in love with Joel. The line between respect and infatuation is usually a little wider? Easy there, dude. Drop the girl who is too good for you and start trolling for the low hanging fruit you deserve. It's everywhere.

Anonymous said...

Seriously if I had a bishop who was 22 years old I would freaking move out of that ward. I don't care what anyone says, no thanks, stay the hell away. I had zone leaders and AP's who were my leaders in the mission field and they were dumb as rocks and screw them. They were too young and lacked wisdom and so does Joel. I don't buy into this romantic notion that there are jr. prophets among us...No offense, but Joel may be a stud to the many climbing the Priesthood ladder types, but to me he needs more experience before I raise my hand in sustaining that post teenie bopper.

CarrieBradshaw* said...

Well now that you're single.... haha. Dude I get it. It's not about low self-esteem or being too lazy. Some people are just built differently. I seek for a religious man but if he's the equivalent of Andrea I couldn't do it, I would know he could do better as well. And in Andrea's eyes she may think she can change Jake to be just as she wants, and that's not how a relationship should be. This is what irritates me with the LDS members is they think everyone has to be little perfect angels who don't want PG-13 movies or drink coffee or get tattoos. God made us all individuals and gave us free agency. So just because he's not as "good" as Andrea doesn't mean he's not a good guy. Ugh.

Nate said...

Just make sure you don't do a Calvin breakup! ;-) Step up to the plate and do it right.

kelleidoscope said...

I can't stand that you're making this decision. I know it's your life- do whatever, but it bugs me that you think like this. It doesn't matter what she deserves if it's not what she wants.
But hey, if all you're going to be thinking around her is that you're not good enough, maybe it's for the best. Lower your standards and settle for less.
Poor girl.

Claire Marie said...

If you don't like her enough to improve yourself to make yourself worthy, don't blame it on her being "out of your league". Blame it on yourself. You could improve, change, work harder, but you're not. It's you that's the problem.

Hailee said...

That's a really tough decision you're making, and I think you should do what you feel is right, but I'm going to suggest (if it's not too late) that you talk with Andrea about it. You aren't the only person involved in your relationship. Tell her how you feel, what you're thinking. It might do you good.

Brenn said...

I realize that the comments of a bunch of people who have never, and most likely will never, meet you probably don't mean much, but I think maybe you should stick it out. You say Andrea deserves better, and from some of the things I've read here, maybe she does, but I feel like you could learn a lot from her. She obviously doesn't feel she deserves better, or she would have left by now. She sees that there is good in you, and I hope you can see it too. If you do break it off, stay friends with her. I know it's hard, and crazy awkward, but still -- I think she could help you a lot.

Don't mean to preach at ya -- what do I know anyway? But those are my thoughts.

joN. said...

i think that song is by vertical horizon, right? yeah, crappy band.

Haley said...

Wow. I have a lot of respect for you Jake. She sounds like a truly amazing person, and I honestly believe you should always be with people that will make you a better person. But I'm proud of you for being honest with yourself and her. Good for you.

Anonymous said...

You're an idiot. I've been reading the story of you two from the beginning and I am sick of guys who can't get their crap together and be a man.

At this point, breaking up with her is probably the best thing you can do. You have a lot of growing and maturing you need to do and it obviously sounds like you know it but you're not ready to make the change.

I do not by any means condone marrying young (I certainly haven't) but I think there will come a time when you will regret this decision.

Anonymous said...

I could never figure out why returned missionaries are so intent in getting married right away. And what is up with Mormon girls getting married right after high school? Okay, that's a topic to be discussed another day. If Andrea was the right person for you, then you would have done whatever you could to still be with her.

21 years old is too young to be settling down. Have fun, get more schooling, travel, date around and when you least expect it, you'll find Mrs. Right!

Jenna

lifechick said...

Oh, well, it's probably not meant to be then. If you believed Andrea was "the one", you wouldn't want to let her go. I feel bad for her, though.

Maybe she still has the fireman's number?

Anonymous said...

You're ruining a perfectly good thing. Good job.

20 Something said...

I think if you feel like you need to end it fine. I Think your gonna hurt andrea and she wont understand why your breaking up with her. Its kinda a slap in the face to be dumped for "deserving better" But you better learn from this and become that better man for the next girl.

I honestly think Andrea wouldn't be with you unless she thought you were good enough for her. She has confidence, she knows what she is doing. But do what you think is best.

Andee said...

I think it's sad that instead of trying to "become a better person" you're just going to dump her.

That's so unfair.
You boys are so wierd.

J said...

I was in a similar situation bro, but I've stepped up to the plate, changed my life and am now worthy of the girl I love. You can do it too.

What's a massive factor in choosing a girl you want to marry?

She brings you closer to God...

Anonymous said...

your a moron. your not even considering how andrea feels about this whole situation. why not ask her how she feels! tell her you feel like your not good enough and see what she says! matters of the heart don't always make perfect sense.
my fiance and i both used to ay all the time we did't think we were good enough for one another and so we always worked to deserve each other cause we love each other. been together for going on 3 years now and getting married this december

be a man.

Cassee said...

I completely agree with everything Anon 6:18 said.

It's sad that you're not willing to talk it out first, because it sounds like she's really into you. Your her first kiss. Hello, you're her first horizontal make-out. Pretty much took her innocence right there.

Just kidding. But really, she really likes you, and I think you should communicate your insecurities before dumping her. :(

Anonymous said...

I guess I just don't believe your post. I think you have other motives for breaking up other than "she's deserves better."
Maybe you wanna date other girls, maybe you're nervous she's TOO religious for your taste? I dunno, it just sounds like there's more going on in your head then you're putting out there.
Or I could be completely wrong.
My wife tried to break up with me while we were dating because she felt like she was going to corrupt me. We stayed together, and ended up getting hitched. Been married for a few years now and things are great.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why so many people think Jake is falsifying the truth here. His blog is anonymous for the very reason to be able to honestly say what he feels right? That's what I believe. Now I think he is definitely making the wrong choice. However, I believe that he really believes what he is saying... whether it's truly the reason or not. It seems clear to me that he just isn't mature enough to see the bigger picture.

There would be absolutely no reason for him to candy coat his motives.

Just saying.

-Jason-

Anonymous said...

I just want to say that I would rather be talking about oral sex than Jake's girl dumping. Can we please have more posts about sex?

anna said...

joel sounds cool and all. but do you really think andrea wants some general authority for a husband? i think you might be mis0judging the girl. everyone is imperfect. you just haven't figured out what her flaws are. before i married my husband i thought he was perfect too. he was definately more spiritual than me (in my eyes...at the time). but now i realize we are much more equal in that department. just saying...you don't really completely know her. but that's okay. you have a lot of life left to explore. and you will find out on your own.

Kevin and Natali McKee said...

Sad, it's too late, but that quote is from a Parent to a child, not to the one you love. We meet people in our lives that can help us become better, and you let that go.

Cindy said...

FYI for next time don't tell the girl you don't deserve her. Tell her that when you hang out with her you feel crappy about yourself because you know that she is better than you, which makes hanging out not fun. Otherwise she will think that she can change your mind.

Rissy said...

You guys seem to take a lot of flak for what you say on this blog, but what you said about Joel was inspiring. I'm not Mormon, but it hit home.

Virgilicious said...

jake, i just found your blog and i started from the beginning reading it all. so i know that this is late... and i haven't read all the recent blogs yet... but if you did end up breaking up with andrea you need to get her back!!! seriously, she sounds so cute and genuine and the best freakin quality a person can have is christlike. what the freak were you thinking?!?! even if she does seem too good for you. maybe she sees your real potential and you just need to try harder to be like that. and you sound like a really great guy yourself so be so hard on yourself. maybe she has flaws you just havnt discovered yet. think about it. and get back with her.


p.s. if you love someone blah blah blah. that is bull. if you love someone you should do everything you can to hold onto them.