In college, I often went to church alone. I had great roommates, whether or not they were active/LDS doesn't matter. But I got used to going by myself up the street to our meetinghouse (until I lived with Nikki, and then sometimes we drove her car into a snowbank on our way to church).
Attending church in a singles ward is kind of hilarious. It is common practice to have a ward directory that includes photos and phone numbers of all the members. Which translates into a free catalog of eligible singles in a neighborhood near you!
The thing about attending a singles ward though is that at least when you're there, you can flirt to make friends. I had a lot of casual friends in the various wards I attended before meeting Kev. So even though I often went to church alone, I had people to sit and talk with.
Now that I'm attending a family ward alone most weeks, I find it incredibly difficult to find someone to befriend. There was a nice woman who invited me to go camping at Pineview with the ward (oh, how I would cry driving back through Ogden Canyon) in August, but somehow I don't think I would survive that outing alone with my two-year-old who has never slept anywhere but in a cage made for humans. Maybe we will sleep in the Pink House and then drive up the next morning for the free breakfast...? We'll see.
Anyway. I thought about how easy it used to be to meet people at church when I could just flirt with boys to get their attention/friendship. While I'm relieved I no longer have to hunt the ward directory for my eternal companion (or stalk people in elevators at the Institute building (TRUE STORY FOR ANOTHER DAY)) I'm at a loss as to how I should strike up a conversation with people in my new ward.
My first impulse is to use Aspen's cuteness to lure other moms into my clutches. When they find themselves ensnared by her shining eyes and elfish voice, I'll pounce and ask them if they want to get the kids together at a mutual location so they can be sure I'm not a legit crazy person. So far, that hasn't worked.
Another option is to raise my hand and contribute to the lessons, which I have done. A lot. When there are only seven other people in the room, you feel just a little bit of pressure to help keep the discussion going. But I think all I succeeded in doing is letting people know I have somewhat non-traditional thoughts on the Gospel. Which doesn't always make people want to talk to you.
I signed up to bring a dessert to the Relief Society activity this week, and we'll see if that seals the deal. I'm sure everyone will love my dairy-free strawberry shortcake and want to be my best friend after one bite.