The Girl Who Was a Mennonite

Not a Mennonite

Do you know what a Mennonite is? Neither did I. Mennonites, it turns out, are a traditional, peace-oriented religious group that can be like Protestants, or can be a LOT more strict. Like…ride a horse to work strict. They’re not Amish, Quakers, Shakers, or Candlestick Makers – but can often be confused with them because some Mennonites refuse technology and dress in the funny clothes and the floppy hats. As religions go, it’s not terribly, well, progressive, and their views on premarital sex, divorce, alcohol – in fact, pretty much everything we other people call “fun” – are, again, pretty strict. Like…a lingering stare equals second base strict. In short, Mennonites are not the sort of folks that any normal person would even think to date. But lucky for you, dear reader, I am not at all normal.

The sentence, “they have all these old, lugubrious looking tires” is what sold me on her. I know, sexy, right? Well, during my first drink with Marcia the Mennonite, we got to talking about Costco–because I know how to sweet talk a lady–and she had recently bought tires there. “Were they a good bargain?” I asked. “I don’t know,” she said, and then explained how flat and lugubrious they were. You know, your standard flirty romcom conversation. Except the thing was, I didn’t know what lugubrious meant. I’d heard it before, probably used it wrong a few times, but to know exactly what Marcia said, I had to go home and look the word up. And for me, that’s as romcom as life gets. A girl who uses a word that I don’t know is a girl who immediately jumps to the top of my list. Which probably explains my past relationships with “Tumultuous Tina,” “Horticulture Hannah,” and “Triskaidekaphobia Diane.” But Marcia was funny as well, and entirely adorable. So it didn’t really bother me when she told me she grew up Mennonite, and lived that way for the first 25 years of her life. Now, when she added that a few years earlier she had a long-term relationship with a man she agreed not to kiss until they got engaged, that did give me pause. And not a short pause, either. A pause long enough for me to check my watch and make sure it wasn’t still 1927. But what can I say? I’m a sucker for vocab. She said she wasn’t very religious anymore, and was drinking enough beer to back that up, so I decided to go for it. Before date one had finished, I’d already her out for date number two.

Obviously, before our next meeting, there was research to be done. After looking up lugubrious, (Turns out it means sad. Who knew?!), I googled Mennonite aggressively. There was this…

and this…

but also this…

I mean, I like women who throw their arms up in front of water, don’t you? What’s not to like? But which ones were the real Mennonites? The sad singing group, the background players from Witness, or the fun girls on a probably very wholesome spring break? I didn’t know. I was intrigued enough by Marsha to try to find out, but I realized I was going to have to ask her some awkward questions.

To find out what happened when I did, and then the much worse thing that happened after…buy my new book Not a Match: My True Tales of Online Dating Disasters. 

Available for your ereader on Amazon and iTunes. The only place to get my most popular archived stories. It’s cheap, and awesome!

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12 Responses to The Girl Who Was a Mennonite

  1. Plain old boring girl says:

    B, you are definitely a case study.

  2. Most Mennonites around here are pretty integrated in modern society, though you come across the anti-dancing ones once in a while. I’m dating a Mennonite who has completely rejected the religious part of his heritage. It’s a healthy mix of residual wholesome (though not oppressive) family values, a critical and deep-rooted aversion to organized religion, and a passionate appreciation for alcohol. You should find one of those.

  3. nbree says:

    How do you not have a book deal yet? I mean, I don’t think I’ve EVER heard of someone getting played by a Mennonite.. This stuff is just too fascinating to not be in book form.

  4. nbree says:

    How do you not have a book deal yet? I mean, I don’t think I’ve EVER heard of someone getting played by a Mennonite. This stuff is just too fascinating to not be in book form.

  5. Hannibal Hamlin says:

    You should extend this rule to “Don’t trust anyone with a vagina.”

  6. Casandra says:

    So, where do I begin? There are quite a few different varieties of Mennonites. There are old-school, more socially “conservative” kinds of mennonites as well as socially progressive, sex-positive post-modern mennonites. What they all have in common is a disdain for war, a love for peace, they’re down with JC and all that love thy neighbor stuff, they believe in separation of church and state, and they value simplicity (though they vary on how to interpret this) in one’s approach to living. Some mennonites wear traditional clothes and don’t have sex until marriage and some of us do not and are more integrated into contemporary culture in those ways.

  7. danny says:

    Haha so funny !

  8. Jackal says:

    Every Mennonite has their black sheep, ultra left-wing, NDP, Green Party voters. Older ones like myself, went to bible school elementary, high school, joined the navy for 5 years, love the soil, bought a farm, work on them, don’t make any money, marry Irish lasses, but wish now that I would have married that lovely Mennonite girl I met in Abbotsford. I don’t thin there is much left to the story book. He writes well, though.

  9. Dyuissen says:

    friends, so can I have a real good chance to assess the posibility to meet perhaps former mennonite girl?

  10. Joicydoodle says:

    This made me chuckle so hard while at work! Oops. Reading It’s Not A Match while at duty :)

  11. Pingback: The Great Mennonite Identity Crisis

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