So, You Say You Like Us Mormons, Eh, Salon?

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I don't think they're real.

My gut feeling tells me this.

Adipose tissue tip

Attn: Nat The Fat Rat mommy. 

Your child has a great excess of adipose tissue. 

This increases his chances of being a fat man quite a bit. 

He needs a slightly less wholesome diet.

You do know these blogs are recruiting tools, right?

These women and their photos may not even be real.

 I knew a Mormon girl once.

She ate one In&Out burger a day because she said it satisfied her. 

(See the Rat's photos of hamburgers . . . have we got a hamburger cult here?)

The key question is,

how many other "perfect" wives is the lovely lumberjack shirt wearing husband servicing?

I'm just jealous. 

I want to arrange flowers all day too!

Hi, my name is Natalie, and I am a unicorn.

Oh, excuse me! What I meant to say is, Hi! My name is Natalie, and I am a Mormon. Goodness! But I can certainly understand your confusion.

Natalie Holbrook of Nat the Fat Rat


All of my life I have been a Mormon. This means that all of my life I have been something of a spectacle. Yeah, it's okay, I'm pretty used to it. What you see above are some of the comments from a recently published article on Salon.com by Emily Matchar titled "Why I Can't Stop Reading Mormon Housewife Blogs".

Hamburger cults aside, I generally like being a Mormon. I think it's pretty rad, actually. But there is one thing that really boils my gourd, and that is People. You know? Because once People find out you're a Mormon, BAM! It's pretty much the end of civilized conversation.

"How many moms do you have?"

"You might think you're Christians, but you're really not!"

"I heard you sacrifice virgins in your temples!"

"Oh my gosh, I love Big Love!"

That sort of thing.

So when Emily, a fantastically talented writer and all-around lovely person, asked me for an interview for the article she was writing about her fascination with Mormon bloggers, well, I sort of knew what was coming.

Number One, it's not like anybody knows anything about Mormons these days that they didn't mishear from their brother's wife's sister's pastor pertaining to horns and brainwashing and having lots of moms and food storage,

Number Two, while nobody having actually met a mormon will have anything negative to say about us, most of those people will be off doing other stuff and are thus too busy to come to our defense,

and Number Three, conspiracy theories.

Overall, I liked what Emily had to say. I thought her article was well-written, witty, spot-on in some regards (and in others, way off), and in the end, I believe it was meant to be flattering. 

And I love to be flattered!

But at the same time . . . 

A friend of mine said it succinctly: "It's like, look at the pandas!"

I'm not going to get into all of the ways in which the Salon article was off. I mean, I generally regard myself as a bit of a college-educated liberal feminist from time to time, and try as I might, I cannot get my husband to wear any of the lumberjack shirts and square-framed glasses I repeatedly buy for him, but that is neither here nor there. (And anyway, I've written plenty about this subject already here and here)

The issue that I think deserves some attention is this: What is happening here? Are we all so unhappy these days that a bunch of upbeat blogs portraying the positives of domesticity are such a freak show? Is it true what Emily said about most mommy blogs, that they "make parenthood seem like a vale of judgment and anxiety, full of words like 'guilt' and 'chaos' and 'BPA-free' and 'episiotomy?'" Are we seeing the backlash of the unhappiness-as-sophistication model? Can we somehow blame this on Woody Allen?  

Or is it really all because being a Mormon is just THAT weird? Do Mormons represent a lifestyle that is extinct at best and fictional at worst? 

Maybe we're not real! Maybe we're all just a bunch of unicorns, prancing about in our simplistic, Anthropologie-decorated meadows, braiding our professionally-photographed hair, making elaborate astronaut-themed daisy chains and arranging flowers all day. Shoot, sounds like fun to me!

But anyway, I must be off. I have a sudden, overwhelming craving for a hamburger . . . 

Natalie Holbrook blogs at Nat The Fat Rat and thinks you're probably a really delightful person.

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