Friday, April 29, 2011

The Challenge

Toby and I are trying to rebuild our friendship.  We had something of a falling out recently and we've both decided to alter some of our bad habits and try to be better friends for each other.

So yesterday, we went and grabbed some lunch.  We were acting normal again, joking and making fun and just being normal.  He's got a mouth, which I can usually handle except for the F-Bomb.  I hate it; it's the one word I don't say often and never in public, so I told him that I'd stop chewing with my mouth open (one of his pet peeves) if he stopped saying the F-word.  He agreed and after a few minutes of contemplative silence, he told me that he'd stop fooling around with other guys if I went on a mission.

Jaw, meet floor.

An online friend of mine and I were talking about same-gender attraction and what it is about certain people that attracts us.  I brought it up because I've been wondering what I'd do if I found a man with my same goals, if I'd be able to resist the desire to be with that person.  One of the things we agreed on is that faithfulness is an attractive quality.  And here was Toby, telling me that we should move forward in the Gospel by repenting and following the commandments.  He was submitting himself a little bit to the recommendations I'd judgmentally made for his life.

And that, paradoxically, made him so much more attractive to me.  I've referenced my safety net before, where I tend to like straight, faithful Mormon guys, but I've never had the experience of liking a gay, faithful Mormon boy. And ironically, dating a gay Mormon guy would put both of us in a life contrary to the teachings of the Church.  It's a weird little cycle I find myself in.

Anyway, I'm trying really hard not to take his challenge to me at face value.  I think I want to serve a mission and when I do, it won't be to get Toby to stop sleeping with men; it'll be for myself.  And if he wants to stop fooling around, his motivation will need to come from somewhere else besides me.  My mission's value is not dependent on his obedience, nor is his faithfulness contingent on my honorable service.

Still, it was nice to hear that he had a little desire to change on some level.

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