Ok. As of the time of writing this I’m about 600 miles into a PCT Thru-Hike.
Which means I often don’t have internet—and when I do I probably get a call from Jake (and yes, name is changed to protect the guilty). I’m skipping his question and making an observation instead
On the trail forget about multiple ear piercings. usually there are no earrings at all. Rings are simple silicon bands. Anything else is so gaudy.
But. I’ve seen a lot of singular, simple nose rings.
By trail standards, earrings and the other jewelry you see on many people are gaudy and ostentatious. A simple wire nose ring is modest and conservative.
The inversion is surprising to me as I reflect on it.
Made me think.
What “norms” have you seen that are inverted outside of insular LDS culture.
Maybe next week I’ll share Jake’s presupposition begging the question rhetoric. Maybe I’ll just wait until he asks me about my snow traverse.
In line with your appearance observation, women wearing capri pants and a short sleeved shirt outdoors in hot humid weather (east coast). Every time I see someone dressed like that I immediately look for the tell-tale signs of garments. Men wearing long shorts and a t-shirt doesn’t garner attention as that is their normal apparel.
Congrats on 600 miles of the PCT, that’s amazing! I just finished doing 200 miles of The Michinoku Coastal Trail with my kids (Japan’s version of the PCT)- so I appreciate that thru-hiking is no easy thing.
I don’t know if this is a good example of what you were asking about, but what popped into my mind is that in the church people often are very open about making decisions based on their feelings or the Spirit. Whereas to non-members that looks a lot like superstition. “Normal” people tend to make decisions based on what they want or think is best for them- not doing things they don’t really want to because they “feel like they should”.
Nothing beats garments as an answer to your question. I’d also mention full-time missionary uniforms. Women who look like pioneers and young men who look like the geek squad on bicycles certainly doesn’t help the effort. Makes the Pharisees proud as heck though.
In the south, men are typically more physically affectionate with each other. Whether it be hugs, squeezing a shoulder, or wrapping my arm around someone, it’s so normalized that no one really pays any mind to it. My cousins would even share a bed with me growing up (and even snuggle every once in awhile) because we were family and we knew that nothing was going to happen beyond that.
Total opposite while I was serving my mission in Utah. Sisters could display affection without hesitation, but heaven forbid if two Elders looked at each other for more than a second. I was even reported to my mission president for displaying “homosexual behavior” when I scratched my companion’s back during sacrament meeting. Thankfully, he knew that I was a southerner and understood that it was a cultural norm for me, but he still cautioned against it because of how it could appear to others and that it wasn’t “professional”. He saw church as a professional setting while I saw it as a family / community setting (another cultural difference I suppose).
Perhaps people in Utah need to reread John 7:24 (judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment). When we care more about how we could appear to others rather than actual virtue, then we’ve lost our focus as a community. That’s why I’ve never been too keen about going to BYU. The Honor Code teaches students to be virtuous in appearance only, with even slight deviations being judged severely.
Coming of age in early 2000s AZ/UT, modest clothing was tight, capped sleeve, knee length. Technically covered but as form-fitting as possible.
Shocker to move to the deep south and modest summer clothes were baggy oversized tees with loose mid-thigh shorts. Southern modest seemed more modest.
I flew to Texas a few years back to help out when my daughter-in-law (non member, son not active) had foot surgery and needed to be in bed for two weeks. Parents of kids who went to school with my grandkids organized themselves to have food brought in every other day for those two weeks. None of the meals were home cooked as we are used to from the RS. My favorite meal was waffles and chicken, with the waffles shaped like the state of Texas. The grandkids loved it. Takeout for 2 weeks!
So, I finally decided it was about time I looked up capri pants, since it’s not a term I’m familiar with, and they get mentioned so often. Turns out they’re cropped trousers! Yup.. I absolutely do not understand why they’d be a problem at any of the byus. Bizarre.
A norm I have seen that is inverted outside of insular LDS culture is enjoying life and being present for it, versus enduring life (careful – it’s a test!) and not really living it. Although it appears that Stephen R Marsh is living his life. Bravo!
Josh H – your comment reminded me of an experience my brother had a couple of weeks ago. He and his wife went to the DC Temple open house. He left the church 30 years ago and she’s never been a member. After the tour, she asked him if all the women were Amish. The ankle length skirts and clothing they were all wearing did not leave a positive impression.
I mostly notice the differences in approach to family. People outside the church who value family tend to spend a lot of time with their family. I notice (in my family and others) that people inside the church value family but spend enormous amounts of time away from home (time that often equates to a part-time job) doing temple work, attending church meetings and activities, etc.
When hiking the four pass loop in Colorado I noticed women hikers / runners outnumbering men probably 5 to 1. I thought I was imagining it until two others observed the same thing. Maybe women like physical exertion and the outdoors as much as men. Who knew?? Maybe LDS women are too busy with godly pursuits.
Why oh why is the norm for women to wear dresses/skirts to church rather than pants/slacks?
There wouldn’t need to be anymore monitoring of hem lengths!
Outside of our culture…just a few…
-Fewer dudes getting married at age 21-22
-Being able to watch important films like Schindler’s List regardless of rating and without guilt
-Less gluttony when it comes to cakes, cookies, ice cream, and Coke/Pepsi products
-Fewer donations to hedge funds posing as churches
Coffee, tea, and beer. Trying to explain that prohibition is increasingly difficult, particularly in light recent nutritional studies.
Just to say how different but similar. You are in snow in the middle of summer, my wife and I went for a walk on the beach yesterday in the middle of winter. There were some young people enjoying the sun with bottom exposed bikinis, some males too this year. Bottoms are very attractive. Not too much concern about skirt length or ear rings, when bare bottoms are popular.
A granddaughter had a beach wedding last week. Bishop who performed the wedding said it was his first barefoot wedding. He was bare foot too.
Time and effort being recognized, valued, voluntary, and compensated.
Big thumbs up to PCT achievements & pics!
One norm that LDS folk invert is just how to live life. Most of my colleagues in Southern California go school, career, marriage, and kids, in that order. In Mormonland, the order seems to be marriage, kids, school, career with some overlap on the timeline. And when I see what appear to be young couples wrangling multiple kids, I assume they are either Catholic or Mormon.
As the world (and Utah and Idaho) get more expensive, it seems our tribe is finally following the money instead of the prophet on this one.