Sometimes it’s hard to explain to people that it’s not WRONG for a Mennonite girl to go to college, it’s just different. Slightly odd.
People tend to think of the Mennonites as either a quaint idyllic community where everyone makes their own butter, or a legalistic community where everyone must abide by strict rules at the risk of getting shunned.
Some churches do have lists of rules, but more than that, the Mennonites have unspoken lists of what’s normal to be interested in, and what’s abnormal/somewhat fishy with potential send you down a slippery slope.
Unfortunately for me, I’ve always had a tendency to be interested in the fishy-slippery-slope-ey things.
Here is a list of them:
People ask me, “so what do you do?” When I say I’m a college student who teaches part time, there is a certain strip of Mennonite that will always say, “oh interesting, tell me about your teaching.”
2. Fairy Tales
…which often requires copious amounts of makeup, so that’s kind of a double-whammy.
These days I’m not into dancing the way I’m into fashion, acting, fairy tales, and college, but when I was in my teens this was a big deal for me.
I didn’t know anyone who danced, but I would copy dance routines from movies and then teach them to my friends.
Once I got in trouble at school for dancing, so I went home and found every Bible verse that referenced dancing, and printed them out. Each reference was either positive or neutral towards dancing. I showed them to people but no one’s attitudes towards dancing seemed to change.
So I was basically like Ren McCormack, only without the happy ending.
In parting I will do an annoying clarification.
I’m not looking for anyone to say, “oh don’t be so hard on yourself! I’m sure you’re actually a good Mennonite!”
Calling myself a “bad Mennonite” is a joke.