Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Why I Don't Trust the Media..

In 2002 I was writing a book (it never came to fruition). A journalist got word of it and asked to write an article about me. I thought, "Why not?" The interview went smoothly enough, we joked about being single, my roommates were in the room, I thought it went well. However, when saw my face on the front page of the Daily Herald, and then read the article accompanying it I was mortified. First- front page news? This was front page news? I was on the front page? What the? Second the article was a total LIE! The journalist had manipulated my words to make me look pathetic and arrogant at the same time. She used quotes that I didn't say, she even got my current job title completely wrong. I almost vomited when I read it, I lost my appetite completely. I then proceeded to steal all the newspapers out of the vending machines on BYU's campus in hopes that no one that knew me would read it.

Lucky for me, the majority of BYU students don't read local newspapers, but some of my mom's old boyfriends and college roommates residing in Provo read it and sent the article to her saying, "Kathy, Is this your daughter?" I started looking for a rock to crawl under. I wanted the earth to swallow me whole.

Today I stumbled upon this article on the internet- I got a good laugh. I went through my scrapbook and found the hard copy with this lovely picture. I'm not embarrassed by the article anymore, it's hilarious in so many ways. A life lesson stuck with me, I figure if a small town newspaper with no personal agenda could misrepresent me on such a simple story - then big stories by the big media must be really screwed up.

Here below for your reading pleasure is the TOP STORY (seriously, THIS was the top story in my college town) on April 24th, 2002.

Graduate chronicles leaving Provo without ring
The Daily Herald

The Daily Herald

PROVO -- Kory Welch doesn't know whether to laugh or cry after experiencing dating at BYU for four years -- and looking at graduating this week without a wedding ring.

So she's writing a book about it: "Don't I Get My Tuition Back? Graduating from BYU Single."

"I had a plan since I was 8 years old, and I feel like my plan has run out," said Welch, 24, a senior from San Diego majoring in global trade and world economy.

"Now what?" Welch said.

That question haunts her and many other women who are about to leave BYU unmarried.

BYU is seen by some as the perfect place to find the perfect mate -- especially for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who live outside of Utah, where the number of Mormons is slim.

"BYU is definitely the great candy store," Welch said.

But if that's so, why is she graduating single?

One night in September, Welch woke up at 3 a.m. in a fit of anxiety.

She sat at her computer to vent her musings and theories on dating and marriage at BYU. She now has 45 pages written and is working on getting her book published.

Welch said she doesn't feel bad about graduating single.

"It's another step in life. It's not a failure," she said.

"It's just the Mormon culture puts so much stigma on us," Welch said. "I wonder if there's something wrong with me. But there's a huge number of LDS people who are over 24 and single."

And Welch does have a post-graduation plan.

She is working as a marketing assistant for KISN 97 FM and plans on moving to Salt Lake City after she graduates this week.

Embarking alone on this adventure in a new city is scary, Welch said, but she plans to meet the challenge head-on.

"It's not as bad as people would think," she said.

What's more difficult, she said, is dealing with the negative perceptions of others: mainly the "smug-marrieds."

When questioned at a recent missionary reunion about why she was still single at BYU, she quipped: "It takes a little longer than four years to find someone of my caliber."

Twenty-four of Welch's roommates have gotten married while she was at the university, she said.

One of Welch's theories of marriage at BYU, as outlined in her book, has to do with puzzle pieces. Some people are plain squares or triangles and can fit well with anyone. Others have intricate angles, she said.

"There's more than one person for you, but it's harder to find a decent fit," Welch said.

Slim, smart, talented and good-looking, Welch said she could likely find a guy at BYU and be married in two weeks.

"A lot of people here are marriage-focused and not spouse-focused," she said.

Another theory Welch outlines in her book is the candy-store analogy.

BYU is like one giant candy store with a huge selection: Snickers, Baby Ruth, Butterfingers ... so many to choose from, she said.

"Those who stick around in Provo after graduation are the ones who don't want to leave the candy store, but also don't have the guts to make a purchase," Welch said.

Or the ones who do leave find themselves at a ballpark snack stand, and all that's available is Snickers, she said.

"Your choices are narrowed," Welch said.

Though she has felt great pressure to marry while at BYU, Welch recently broke up with her boyfriend.

"My mother was crushed," Welch said, "but it wouldn't have been a good marriage. Just because I was in love with him doesn't mean I was supposed to marry him."

Welch admits she has commitment fears.

"And marriage is forever," she said.

This story appeared in The Daily Herald on page A1


crazy4danes said...

Why a story on "not graduating from BYU married" would even make newspapers is beyond me! That's the problem with Provo...everything revolves around marriage...yuk! I can tell you for a fact that if I would have stuck around long enough to graduate, I know that I wouldn't have gotten married...had some boyfriends...yes...found someone to marry NO! What a joke...good thing you were just weeks from getting out of there! LOL

Miss Hass said...

Ah, the Utah Valley media... I think I vaguely remember that article despite your best efforts to keep the world from seeing it.

When I first left BYU without a rock, I thought I had somehow failed. But then I remembered that of the guys I dated I wasn't interested in spending the rest of my life with any of them. Not that they weren't good guys, we just wouldn't have been all that happy together.

The more people I see get married (my roommate numbers are about as high as yours), the more I realize that it's just a miracle for most people when they find someone that's compatible enough with them to take that step.

Plus, I was DEFINITELY too immature to get married when I graduated from college...

Hadz said...

I especially loved the idea of you "waking at 3 a.m. in a fit of anxiety." While I dated quite a bit in the "candy store" called Provo, I never could quite find the right candy fit for me. Now I am living in Hawaii looking for my chocolate macadamia nut bar!

Steve said...

I actually don't find that article that bad and from what I heard about BYU and attitudes of the post-college singles out her in DC that 'survived' the Candy Store, it seems pretty accurate!
But even out here in the singles ward, it was like Candy Store 2 sometimes and I TOTALLY agree with your quote in the article, whether you said it or not, that most people in the church are more focused on getting married than finding a lifetime (eternity) partner.

Salt H2O said...

Ange- I was very happy to be graduating single, but you don't see that in the article.

Hass- It's hard for me to comprehend that people get married so young. My sister got hitched at 20 and my response was "everyone has their own path in life" I'm glad getting married at 20 (or 26) wasn't mine!

Hadz- yeah, that's one of my favorite lines along with my mom being 'crushed'. Whatever, I'm sure when you were in Provo you weren't looking to buy, just try all the flavors. And why not? who wants to make that kind of purchase so young?

Steve- Almost everything is an actual quote or derived from something I said- For example: I said that anyone in my apartment could be engaged in 2 weeks if they wanted to be. And it turns into "slim smart talented and good looking. Welch said she could likely find a guy at BYU and be married in two weeks"

adam said...

My favorite line: "It takes a little longer than four years to find someone of my caliber."

Steve said...

Ha, yeah, nice out of context. But seriously, I think almost anyone, at least from the guy stand point, could walk across BYU with an engagement ring an open invitation and before crossing the campus be engaged, haha.

Steve said...

And thanks for the link! I like the creative title you gave the link too, hahaha.

I was surpised you didn't weigh in on my Iowa predictions. :)

Vanilla Vice said...

This is hilarious. I realized when reading this that you and I are more alike than I ever knew. Same major, same problems, same misunderstood attitude by the rest of the world aka Provo, and same attempt to write a book about why it's so difficult to get married (I'm only 20 pages in). You are my hero.

Kam said...

Kory, you are my role model! I love the fact that you were the posterchild for getting out of BYU alive... anyway, I want to read the 45 pages of the stuff you did write... you have that around anywhere? Lamos like me still need some help now and again. :) See ya next weekend?

ThomCarter said...

"Candy Store" - Classic!

Allie said...

That's funny.

At USU, my picture was in the school paper when I participated in trying to break the Guinness Book of World Records for the most people kissing at one time.

Only my friends could tell it was me though. :)

Sherpa said...

That article is hilarious. Yeah, I would be pissed if that happened to me though too at the time.

cropstar said...

oh come on. just admit it. you were a bitter old hag until you got married!
ha! just kidding.
i concur with the above comments. i was so stupid at the tender age of 22 when i graduated from usu. i can't imagine i would have made a good spousal (?) choice at that age! hurrah for graduating single and having amazing life experiences in the single years before marriage. and harrah for marriage also... it's a good thing.

Salt H2O said...

Vanilla- I think we should add your twenty pages to my 45and find a publisher.

Kam- I recently re-read what I wrote and it wasn't very good. It was more along the lines of explaining Provo and pointing out everyone that escapes single is sane.

Allie- Leave it to Utah to try to break a kissing record!

Crop- Weren't we all bitter and old at 24? seriously life had just passed us by. (I hope I didn't scare you in The Cheese Cake Factory- that was just too random!)