As of approximately 3:00am last night I entered my name on the website to have the missionaries contact me. In the little description box I put, “Because I want to go to a ward around here and don’t want to go alone.”

For some reason I’ve got this urge to go to the churches around here. Not because of any religious or spiritual urge, mind you– in fact, that stuff drives me nuts– but simply to be around more people.  Doing the calculations in my head, the Mormons are the most prevalent (50% of SLC is Mormon), active, and– having grown up around these people– whose vomiting of their contrived beliefs I’m able to put up with (ignore?) for at least the 3-hour span of time it takes them to do their worship services.

Believe me, if there’s any way to make friends and not sit through that I’d take it.  I guess I could go to their ward activities but it seems like the only way to know is catch their little announcements at the beginning of their big meeting.  Or something.

It was three AM because the hours before I spent with drunken men drinking dark beer and eating wings.  No, I personally didn’t eat wings and drink beer– I’m no fan of wings and I can’t drink any more– but every single testosterone-laden lout in the room sure did.  Boy drunk people are annoying when you’re sober.

Imagine this:  a heavy-set, tall, wrestling with middle-aged and losing, sweating profusely even with the air conditioner turning my toes to ice at a cool 66 degress, shaggy, unkempt hair, stained t-shirt, tennis shoes, with a huuuuuuge television showing us images of some horror/thriller in the theme of Halloween whose protagonist’s hair never, ever lost it’s cleanliness or lightness, bulbous nose protruding over a fried chicken wing covered with a distilled, cayenne-pepper-based sauce and secret-recipie concotion of blue-cheese and sour cream, words slurring more and more as the evening wears on talking about Suicidal Tendancies concerts and run-ins with the local authorities.

Yeah, sounds like a real good time, right?

Oddly enough it was.  Here’s why:  Mike (the aforementioned) was genuine and real.

Now, what do I mean by that.  I mean he’s a genuine, honest, and real person.  He wears his emotions on his sleeve.  When he makes friends he’s loyal and they’re loyal to him.  He’d give you the shirt off his back.  He was the most gracious American host I’d seen in a long time.  His house was clean and well-maintained.

Sure, my clothes stank of frying oil after, sure he was overweight, very loud, eating gross things with gross sauce, living in the past, holing up in a trailer park, and probably not or ever will be well-to-do.  But ya know what:  all that flies out the window when you’re with him for more than 10 minutes and you see what a genuine, honest, generous, accepting, and friendly person Mike is.

I’ll hang out with Mike any day over the week over the self-absorbed, deceiving, back-stabbing, selfish creatures that I daily rub shoulders with.

Thanks for having me over, Mike, and showing me what it means to be content and happy.